Sevdaliza Captures The Dark Desires Of The Instagram Generation In “That Other Girl”

House | Tuesday 21st February 2017 | Josie

Some songs have clear political messages, like Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” or Lily Allen’s love letter to the BNP “Fuck You”. 


The beauty of Sevdaliza’s music, is the way in which she manages to make a statement with an understated sound.


Released in 2015, as the first single on her Suspended Kid EP, That Other Girl was recently remixed and renamed That Damaged Girl featuring A$AP Ferg. 


But we're not here to talk about that. We're here to talk about the original, which is just as relevant and should not be forgotten as a powerful expression of socially conscious art. 


Touching on the modern female experience with a subtle and seductive expertise, Sevdaliza shows us that desire isn’t just about our idols. It’s wishing you look as carefree and happy in real life as you do in the selfie you took last night or as beautiful and flawless without that particularly rosy hued filter.


“That Other Girl” opens with a haunting classical piano solo, which ends suddenly when the beat drops in and Sevdaliza’s throaty melody fills up the track. Her songs are loaded with moments like this, where her voice dominates and needs nothing but a beat.


The bareness of the track doesn’t mean it lacks complexity, however. At one point a low bass-y synth breaks up the song, which contrasts with the lighter tone of the verse. This flip between light and dark reflects the songs overall theme. 


Operating from another world

I want to be that other girl.


That other girl is the person we present to the outside world. The carefully constructed selfies and images on social media accounts that for many women, and men, can often clash with the reality of their own self-worth. 


This conflict of identity is present in the lyrics and the contrasts within the production, allowing Sevdaliza to explore the relationship between women and their digital alter egos. A duality which was possibly a part of her personal life, growing up in the Netherlands but born in Iran. 


The music video is abstract at first glance; a beautiful mansion filled with statues of Sevdaliza, untouchable and eerily beautiful. But as the song ends the camera pans out into an art gallery lined with portraits of Instagram selfies. 


Sevdaliza taps into our obsession with our social media counterparts, as our identities online become more important than our identities offline. In doing so, these digital alter egos can become a prison of our own making.


This obsession can also play out in the desires of those consuming these images. People can now become Instagram celebrities, followed by thousands simply for their branded, perfected beauty.


That Other Girl is the Jekyll and Hyde of the instagram generation. The airbrushed images of people we see, which are rarely a true reflection of the person behind them.