It has been a few hairs shy of two months since the Night Mode crew landed an unlikely amalgamation between three groundbreaking artists in their own right. AWAY, Roniit and Crywolf channeled the darkest depths from the recesses of their minds to conjure up “Parasite,” a tragic tale tapping into a world ruled by self-destructive tendencies and crippling self-loathing.
“The parasite is the darkness that tells us to numb the pain, to self-medicate, to run full speed toward instant gratification,” says Roniit, revealing the raw source that fueled her songwriting. “This song is about the daily battle we wage inside ourselves against dissociation, addiction, and the forces of annihilation.” The triple-pronged production played out like a psychological thriller, one where the antagonist attacks the senses with its seething synth shrieks, cinematic framework, and intrusive thoughts that are screamed (but also whispered) out loud by the songstress Roniit.
With such a real and overtly sensitive subject matter sitting at the core of their single, embodying its essence in visual form seemed to be a herculean task. However, they put their brains together and brought their vision to life, enlisting the expertise of L.A. cinematographer Kassia Vera and visual artist Jenna Sherman. The official music video is a demented experience, which somehow manages to match the song’s ominous nature in both tone and treatment. All three artists step foot in front of the lens to help the story unfold before our eyes. In it, Roniit is held captive, portraying a tormented pet of sorts clad in provocative BDSM attire, while AWAY and Crywolf watch over her with sadistic love and care. The affliction jumps out from the screen, as eye-grabbing shots of the tortured soul quickly cycle through to depict a life defined by bondage. Much like the audio itself, the visual for “Parasite” will attach itself to the viewer without ever letting go.
Before ending up as a curiously perfect super-collab between the aesthetic minds of frequent co-conspirators AWAY, Roniit, and Crywolf, “Parasite” initially began as an experimental private writing exercise for Roniit. Her goal was to make a song in one night with absolutely no boundaries, standards, or regard for external factors or branding. What came out was raw anger—an emotion rarely heard in the writing or production of Roniit’s typically ethereal music. After hearing the scratch track, AWAY immediately heard the potential and asked to work with it, bringing his mastery of his signature dark and distorted style, quickly developing it into a full track that blew away both of their expectations. Feeling like something was missing from the end, AWAY and Roniit brought in Crywolf, who helped perfect the writing, and jumped in to craft an ending section that takes the last portion of the song into his own dark world, a final plummet into the void.