Royal & the Serpent has returned with the music video for “Death of Me,” the second chapter of a five-part series, premiering exclusively via Consequence today (September 30th). The latest installment from the Los Angeles artist (born Ryan Santiago) is a somber electropop train of thought, and the accompanying visual sees the singer-songwriter thrown into her own version of A Clockwork Orange.
Santiago has been releasing a track and video each week as a part of a project dubbed happiness is an inside job, an effort that will allow listeners to join her in pursuit of happiness. “Death of Me” marks the followup to last week’s chapter, “IM FINE.”
“It’s kind of like a journey through my thoughts on figuring out how the fuck to be happy (which you would think would be simpler, but they really don’t spell just it out for you!),” Santiago tells Consequence. “This week’s chapter is a song particularly referencing the notion that we’re all losing touch with ourselves and with one another — even though seemingly we’re more connected than ever,” she adds.
Indeed, “Death of Me” epitomizes the idea of harsh reality. In a world consumed by technology, Santiago realizes that screens and machines do the inverse of what they were intended for — keeping people connected. The despair of the track is matched by its video, thanks in part to its Kubrick-esque brainwashing sequence and cuts to an empty room colored by dark organs spewing out of Santiago.
“The internet killed conversation, personality, and friends/ We’re all depressed and self-obsessed,” she sings over a soft, dragged guitar before shifting to an intense sound with drums to match. For Santiago, this track is sonically “a ride” — one that she is especially satisfied with.
“I honestly very rarely am excited to listen to the music I make, but there really is something so special about this one,” Santiago notes. “It somehow still gives me chills and that really never happens if I’m listening to my own stuff. I feel like it’s a little piece of my heart and brain in song form.”
Get a first look at the music video for “Death of Me” below, followed by the inspirations behind it all.