Below, Aish and director Rashaad Newsome speak on the creation of the song and the music video:
“I first encountered Rashaad through his piece “Shade Compositions” at the SFMoMA. It is both exquisitely funny and extraordinarily subtle. I was also struck by some parallels in our work when I saw his grand collages at the De Buck Gallery that juxtaposed Renaissance architectural motifs against very current, up-close, queer vibrance in the way that my music is classical era art music inspired string compositions against modern electronics about themes of migration, loss and identity.
So, when Tim at Rabbit Hole suggested working with Rashaad to create the visuals for “Migrant” and “Orcas,” there were no doubts in my mind that we would be able to create something deliriously wonderful and weird together.
I told Rashaad that I wrote “Migrant” about about my separation from mother and seeking a refuge, and that I was also thinking about the massive global migrations that we are witnessing, some of the largest in human history. “Orcas” is literally about my reunion with mother at Land’s End in San Francisco after an extended separation, but on a more symbolic level it was as if I was reuniting with the person who had represented home and given me the basis of my very identity.
So Rashaad responded in classic Rashaad fashion, unapologetic and bold. The characters are non-human, maybe even post-human. He erased our colour and gender, but gave us special powers. He represented us as all the same, as mythical Pegataurs, with the power to fly as we migrate across vast prairies, magical forests and tumultuous oceans, all in search of home.”
“Aish’s music was the first thing that drew me to the project. Tim from Rabbit Hole UK approached me with Aish’s music and his ideas for visual narrative for “Migrant” and “Orcas.”The project came at a time when Rashaad Newsome Studio had already been functioning as a production company bringing large scale art, film, performance projects to life for artists like Solange, Swizz Beatz amongst others, and mainstream commercial brands. Aish’s project was a perfect extension of the studio’s production practice and, extending my aesthetic to Aish’s work.”