Heavy metal artist and producer MIKAELA takes her new single "Nightmare" to impressive heights with a new reimagined version and short film music video!
MIKAELA is as defiant, imaginative, and talented as they come when it comes to the multi-talented woman of the rock industry. Ever since the debut album release of Nocturne In Red, MIKAELA not only came to prove that she was capable of handling her first record but that you can write and produce the music you love without being tied down to anyone.
“ I wrote the lyrics for "Nightmare" from the eyes of the serpent, it is a straight metaphor.The baseline meaning is that even the serpent, which is sometimes feared by many, could be engulfed by his fears of being eaten by other predators like the crow, losing its freedom and causing the biggest nightmare of it all, death.I used this perspective to discuss my nightmare and how I felt. Sometimes all there is around us are nightmares being shed upon people; it eats at us night and day; it’s a rage bringer to some, with temptations rising within us to do something.”
The fiery and confident artist has been hard at work since then, promoting her recent massive singles "Bring Me Blood," and "Chaotic Mind." Now the triple threat is ready to show off her a deeper extension of herself with her latest single off the album, "Nightmare." Re-imagined and extended for a short film release, the brilliant female metal artist has taken one of her most towering, impressive tracks on the record and has beautifully reproduced it for the new project. While Nocturne In Red is just a titanic new beginning for the blooming metal artist, this is definitely paving the way for something more explosive this year to take place. What may that be? If it's anything close to what we experienced with this first listening experience then we are in for something aggressive, raw, gorgeously imposing.
Thank you for coming on to INTO THE VOID, always a pleasure talking and working with you MIKAELA. I know your career skyrocketed with the debut of your first album in October of last year. This was a monumental effort on your part for so many reasons, considering how many caps you wear daily musically, haha. Looking back on that, did you ever feel your career would blossom to the point it has now?
Hey Sammie! Thank you for your love and support, means the world! The same goes for our readers here, I thank you all immensely for rocking out with us and for all your utter loving support! The debut album release, Nocturne In Red, was a great moment indeed. It was not only a celebration of all the work carried out that led to the album launch itself but also the start of an era for this project. I was a part of several rock, metal, bands, and projects beforehand but this marked the beginning of a new adventure. I particularly enjoyed writing and producing this myself, but not only that, I was thrilled to have my dear friend Marco Minnemann on board on drums and also Kyle Farrugia on guitars and bass which was all so much fun to experience and record. Ultimately, it was a blast working on the mixing with the legendary Tue Madsen who has mixed and mastered the album to perfection.
Two singles rooted from this album before the full-length launch itself, firstly ‘Bring Me Blood’ and followed by ‘Chaotic Mind’, both having official music videos accompanying them which continue to expand the vision and concept of to deeper dimensions and ultimately once we turned the page onto 2021, the work continued and now it’s been all about ‘Nightmare’, a third song from the album which I have re-worked a little, re-imagined, extended it and developed the song and the story into a short movie. To support this project, you can also get cool merch from the official store here: https://mikaelarocks.com/store/ I thank all those in advance who have been getting and wearing MIKAELA merch, you rock!
I want to talk about the track "Nightmare" off your latest album. It's one of the most impressive tracks on the record and showcases you in your best form as a metal musician I believe. What were your musical influences going into this track?
Thank you! That means a lot! I listen to a varied selection of music whilst I’m doing literally everything. I never limit myself to anything. Sometimes I’ll have a phase listening to a particular band constantly, but most of the time, it’s a myriad and a mix of everything I come across and gets added to my daily routine of music medicine. I take an unhindered approach whilst consuming music and also when creating music, it’s innate to me.
I don’t like to keep any inhibitions in place ever and keep myself, mind, body, and soul open up to any kind of good energy and music. A few of my all-time influences would be Opeth, Thy Art Is Murder, Mastodon, Black Sabbath, After The Burial, Whitechapel, Bring Me The Horizon, Herbie Hancock, Rachmaninoff, Attila, Architects, Snarky Puppy, Massive Attack, Tool, Butcher Babies, Death, Lorna Shore, A Tribe Called Quest, Ozzy Osbourne, Samsara Blues Experiment, Northlane, Radiohead, Deftones, Elder, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Of Mice & Men, Alice In Chains, King Crimson, Rage Against the Machine, Wage War, Beethoven, Pink Floyd, Eminem, Korn, Jaco Pastorius, Linkin Park, Queen, Bullet for My Valentine, Architects… Honestly, it never ends.
Being that you also produce your music, I feel there is a power behind that, being a woman in the metal genre who writes and produces their music. What was the process of recording such a massive track like compared to all the others on the album?
It felt awesome to me to be able to produce the album myself and not only write it or sing it only for that matter, the process felt more holistic, true to me, and what I wanted to convey and express to the public. I felt that I could go to newer depths with this mindset to a newer level of self. I could develop the ideas more authentically this way and that the energy released in the songs was all true and honest. I feel the purpose of music is to connect with people and with this work, the public could finally see, feel, and experience who I really am as an artist as we take the journey together.
Every song received a different treatment to be fair according to what I felt needed. I kept my eyes and heart open at all times and took all risks for every song to become the tracks that you hear on the album. With ‘Nightmare’ for instance, the verses, the pre-chorus and the main idea, or the main riff existed first, I wrote those first some time back and also originally wrote a different chorus and a different breakdown for it. I left it lying there for a while. When I revisited the track, once again working on the concept, I took to the piano to open it up again to explore new possibilities. That’s when I developed the new chorus and the rhythm for the breakdown that is now on the final track. They came naturally to me and felt like the song was then complete for real.
Diving into the lyrical value of the track, what was the inspiration for "Nightmare?" What was your mindset or headspace like when the lightbulb sort of went off to write a song like this?
As a writer, I deeply enjoy the use of imagery, pathetic fallacy, and all the poetic garments and figure of speech available. I always found those interesting and I always enjoyed coming up with my own use of diction in lyrics. I wrote the lyrics for ‘Nightmare’ from the eyes of the serpent, it is a straight metaphor. The baseline meaning is that even the serpent, which is sometimes feared by many, could be engulfed by his fears of being eaten by other predators like the crow, losing its freedom and causing the biggest nightmare of it all, death.
I used this perspective to discuss my nightmare and how I felt. Sometimes all there is around us are nightmares being shed upon people; it eats at us night and day; it’s a rage bringer to some, with temptations rising within us to do something. But they’re null and void because it has all taken over you and it becomes your own place of hell. Until you overcome it and start living again with a deeper sense of life. I wanted to call it how I see it and it seemed to have resonated with the public, I thank you all.
We also have a short film that you have made for this track? Can we talk about the context behind that? What made you want to do a short film piece for this single?
Yes, there is! What really inspired me to open "Nightmare" up from the album into a short film and an existing piece of its own, is actually the people. When the album was released in late 2020 the song was always at the forefront of the flock with the public and I always actually wanted to release it as a single too so I thought to explore the idea of taking it further to new destinations, the possibility of any and therefore taking it up a notch whilst doing so. I kept pondering about it for a while actually whilst even fans continued to hail the song constantly in their posts, to me, in their comments.
So after the brainstorming, I came up with the idea of creating a short film out of it! I came up with the story as it flowed from one scene to another and once I had the timeline, I could work on the mood board for all scenes and even start thinking of locations and logistics, cast and crew. Then I started working on it heavily with the director as well as with the band members and the cast and crew themselves whilst on set. It was a very immersive process. We went down to real depths of things and worked our way up until we were happy with the final results. It involved a lot of hours and constant hard work; all in all, a few months. I thank all the cast and crew who were part of the team and who are now actually part of our family for their love and support. I also thank all the fans for viewing the video, giving us such great feedback, and for supporting us by buying merchandise.
How the short film starts, we get a flashback of what will happen later, we have a death and a ritual to wake the girl up from the death dream she’s having. We live through the dead women’s mind and see everything that she’s dreaming, starting with the white light and our ideal kind of heaven and slowly into one scene and another until the ritual started to take effect, things started to happen in reverse and she woke. She woke up again, walked out of the coffin, and was driven home, finding a note and red roses from the unknown that it was really just a nocturne in red, a dream in the blood that is now long gone. I wanted to in turn use this meaning of "Nightmare" to mirror the nightmare that we have all been experiencing with this pandemic and to pass on this message in one way or another. This nightmare shall pass too and we will wake, for those who haven’t woken already.
What do you want listeners to take from this release?
I would like to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for supporting this project by viewing the music videos, listening to the album, the singles, and all my uploads, sharing, commenting, liking, and suggesting our music to friends and family, and most of all supporting us by buying merchandise from the official online store! Means the world to me honestly! Please keep on spreading the word and representing! I hope you enjoy this release as much as you enjoyed the previous music videos and are excited for what the future will be bringing to the shore! I cannot wait to travel, perform for you all around the world and meet you all on the road!
What's next for you in the new year?
There are a lot of plans, new ventures, new energies, and new works in the pipeline. Watch out on the official social media pages to stay tuned!
Official Website: mikaelarocks.com
Official Merch store: mikaelarocks.com/store
Official YT: YouTube.com/mikaelarocks