Watch Toronto-Based Audra Santa’s Self-Directed Amorously Macabre Masterpiece “Afterglow” The Canadian Trip-Hop Goth-Soul Singer/Songwriter and Mixed Media Artist’s New Video
In one of her most raw, intimately-told and empowering works of art yet, mixed-media trip-hop, pop, soul, and rock singer/songwriter Audra Santa has debuted her newest single and video, “Afterglow” — available now.
The track is the result of a single hour-long writing session as part of an online songwriting club Audra participates in. “As I was writing “Afterglow”, there was a seething anger below the surface that I didn’t realize was there.
“That’s often how it is with songwriting… It’s only when I close my eyes and start to sing that the truth comes out.”
Her self-directed video is an amorously macabre masterpiece, further juxtaposed by a radiant Audra basking in the sun’s golden hour. The push/pull holds viewers glued as she deftly ‘goes there’, invoking undertones of the #metoo movement and asserting themes of power, dominance, and a female taking control back into her own hands.
Having lived in Australia for the previous decade, a dissolved marriage prompted her return to Canada. The short-term visit became a long-term stay, and the resulting changes cracked the Thunder Bay-born artist’s personal and creative exploration wide open.
“There’s an element of ‘F-you’ in what I create,” she shares, candidly. “It’s not directed at anyone, it’s simply because I chose for so long to live in a way where I silenced my own voice in an attempt to make everyone else happy.
“So I’m bucking against my own tendency to keep myself small. I have learned not to hold back.”
With a newfound network and following within the Toronto music scene — evolving from her storied roots as a church worship leader, all the way to progressive rock, indie-folk, solo acoustic, to what Cashbox Canada calls “goth-soul” — the multi-talented artist has kneaded a depth and maturity into her work previously untapped, by her own standards. Audiences and critics alike are taking note; multiple showcases at Cannes, France’s most recent MIDEM saw her welcomed for double encore, and her upcoming Toronto show at RADIO (Adelaide Hall) takes place November 9th — her first since returning to North America.
“Music and art gives people a voice, or a way of expressing what’s inside of them,” says Audra. “This is mine.
“Not everyone connects with what you do or who you are. When I finally figured out not everyone would like me, as a person or an artist, it was then I started to ask the questions about who I really was.”
Part of that inward inquiry included elevating creative skills while diving head first into new ones. This included Audra overseeing the entire production of “Afterglow”, including storyline, casting, directing and editing, writing and music, all in the service of Audra’s vision of “art beyond the music”.
“Directing the video came almost out of necessity,” she recalls. “I was working with Tom Sokalski, who directed “Cruel”, and he told me he would shoot but it was up to me to direct this time.
“That’s how it’s been recently… People around me saying “you can do this” so I’m finding myself developing more skills to bring to the light what’s in my head.”
The video “tells the tale of the marks lovers leave on each other, even after they’re gone,” she shares. “It’s about dominance and submission, power and control, intimacy and connection…
“Directing ‘Afterglow’ was as powerful and liberating of an experience as shooting ‘Cruel’ was. Every time, it’s like I’m leaping off a cliff, with no idea WTF I’m doing.
“But such is life… Most of us have no idea.”
If she doesn’t, you’d be shocked to tell gauging by this release.
“Afterglow” is available now from all streaming and download services.
We would like to thank Eric Alper for the artist profile and press release.