Premiere: Sleepless Nights and Feeling “Down” with Aiko

London-based Aiko communicates strong feelings of home and belonging through dance and music in her new video “Down.”
Stream: “Down” – Aiko




A lady is walking some lonely street somewhere in London; the church bells are ringing in the background. She is entering a building, staring at the old ceilings, full of historical paintings and stories. Then, she starts to sing with her angelic voice.

Let’s just sit in silence
It doesn’t seem so loud when you’re your friend
And you can really hold your own hand and
places change, people grow
If nothing’s changing something’s wrong
We just all belong to a home
Down - Aiko

Down – Aiko

Atwood Magazine is very proud to premiere the music video to Aiko’s new single, “Down.” The project of Moscow born, Czech Republic raised and London based musician Alena Shirmanova, Aiko started her musical career with an appearance on the TV show “Superstar,” and from that point on she kept on pursuing music. In the summer of 2018, she released her debut EP, AIKO.

Her new single “Down” finds her dealing with the aftermath of feelings after a sleepless night, starting off the lyrics with the magical word, “silence”. That weird feeling of silence that you tend to feel in your body, after a night out. The sun is rising, people are starting to wake up, and your body is craving rest. On the way home, you see people passing by, and you start to wonder… The loneliness starts to take over, telling you that you are your own friend. You feel isolated, desperately seeing a sense or feeling of belonging:

We just all belong to a home
What is even home?
Is it your mother, your father,
your best friend or brother or places,
where
you’ve grown
Aiko "Down"

Aiko “Down”

Home can be a place, a person or simply just a feeling. Whatever it might be, it gives us a feeling of comfort and belonging. Without it we feel restless, seeing that piece of the puzzle that is missing. This message is underlined in the video by a strong dance, letting out the confusing feelings. It is shot in a location with references to religion and fine art. In the middle of it is Aiko, singing and dancing her inner feelings out her guts. As soon as she sings the chorus, the dance gets even more intense:

Down,
And I’m down on the ground I’m down
And it feels as I can’t move around
But the lights are so bright,
haven’t slept seven nights
and I’m down down down down
There are whispers all around
I’m down
I don’t know if I believe the sounds
Give me freedom at night,
cause I don’t wanna fight
And I’m down down down down
Aiko "Down"

Aiko “Down”

Now, the message of the song gets clear. The restlessness and the lack of a sense of belonging lets the negative feelings in. You start to feel numb like you cannot move around. During the chorus, the dance moves get quicker and more intense. By the end, there is a quick stop motion of historical fine art paintings through several decades, communicating the desire to find its place of belonging somewhere. After the intense chorus, the determination of finding one’s place kicks in:

Slow down
Uh, I gotta slow down
I gotta find my role now dear
I gotta find myself in here

After letting the intensive feelings through, the will and focus to change starts. In most cases, you have two options. To either feel lost forever or to change the situation to your own benefit. Whatever happened in the past should be locked away, to make room for a better future. The lyrics are underlined by a strong melody, supporting the image of the inner war that someone goes through in that situation. By the end of the song, the bridge leaves the listener with hope:

Down down down
My train is leaving, eyes half closed,
I must be dreaming, am I home?
My train is leaving, eyes half closed,
I must be dreaming
I must be dreamin’

Suddenly, every constellation seems to fall into its place, no matter what the circumstance was. The tiredness of searching takes over and the dreaming starts. This might be an open end of the storytelling, but the story has only just begun. The video closes with the church bells ringing, just like it has begun.

Aiko "Down"

Aiko “Down”

Aiko "Down"

Aiko “Down”

Aiko’s new music video is full of energetic performance and unique atmospheres.

Unusual locations, with clear references to art, explore a topic in an abstract sense. According to the singer herself, the song is “musically a dynamic rollercoaster, with a sound that takes you deeper and deeper into the song until you’re entirely submerged. Lyrics take us down the path of sleepless, tired nights and quiet mornings afterwards. Music video expresses inner feelings through dance, combined with different symbols and meanings.”

Aiko’s latest song takes us into new spheres of expressions, reassuring all of us lost souls that, whatever we might feel, we have to let it out in order to change for the better. Stream “Down” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Stream: “Down” – Aiko



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Down - Aiko

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Nina Schaarschmidt

Music, fashion, arts and book enthusiast. Big lover of alternative, indie and rock tunes. Restless wanderer lived in several places around the globe on two continents. Appreciator of creative lyrics and storytellers. Based in lovely Manchester, a place full of musical history, creativity and good gigs. You’ll probably find me in the vinyl section somewhere, well dressed with a coffee and a book in my hands.