Meet your new afrobeat princess.



Premiere: Dance With Nerika in "Runnin"

If you can get down to pop and reggae, look no further than Nerika’s new music video for “Runnin”. Loaded with trippy visuals and Chinatown spunk, “Runnin” is the kind of rare track that makes you want (no, need) to get up and dance.

For those who are unfamiliar, 22-year-old Nerika is an up-and-coming Jamaican talent and one to watch. After growing up in New Hampshire and feeling like a misfit, she attended NYU and starting creating music that combined her worlds and identities. Now she’s merging her Caribbean roots with New York grit and a suburban landscape to create infectious afrobeat music that we can’t get enough of. Directed by Kamau Wainaina and Jeffrey Soffer, Nerika explains the story behind “Runnin” and how she’s feeling about transitioning into adulthood.

“‘Runnin’ is my attempt to teleport people into my mind that is constantly racing with thoughts,” she says. “It’s about escapism and is meant to depict the sensations of wrestling with your inner self. ‘You keep on runnin, but you never get away’. Sometimes you just need to look straight in the mirror and be honest with yourself. The video symbolizes a surreal dream-like state rooted in bits of my reality. I’m loud, confident, and while I often like to be the center of attention, other times I’m very shy. The video portrays the ‘best’ version of myself. It unmasks the truest voice which isn’t always the loudest amidst all of the madness that can take place in one’s mind. The music video expresses me reclaiming my power in my voice and identity.

I know everyone says that with age you begin to realize what life is ‘really’ about, which is true, but during the weird transition into adulthood the pressure to live up to expectations (often self-inflicted) can feel a bit like a chase…constantly desiring something ‘more’, searching for ‘meaning’, and desperately hoping to grow.

The video was shot in Chinatown, a few blocks away from the dorm I spent a year living in. Sometimes the glamorous parts of the city can feel like a fairytale, but the cold winters living down the street from a homeless shelter simultaneously broke me down and kept me strong.”

Watch the VHS madness that is “Runnin” above, directed by Kamau Wainaina & Jeffrey Soffer.

Image courtesy of Tyler Mraz.

Stay tuned to Milk for more premieres.

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