NYC-based artist Kisos released the music video for his single “He Didn’t Want Me” and we feel the pain his voice and see it in his eyes.
On the floor of his apartment in Manhattan, Kisos lights candles on the floor that he’s surrounded by, including a mirror and a bouquet of roses. It’s a melancholic yet therapeutic scene that sets the stage for the video.
Accompanied by the his smooth vocal transitions and strong vocal delivery, we start to feel the emotion in Kisos’ voice as well as see it in his teary eyes as he sings. It took me back to a time when I once felt this way too. Distraught, emotionally dismantled, and unsure of myself or where to go next.
When the chorus comes in, we start to see the storyline of the video progress. It almost feels more reflective about self-identify here. The truth is, Kisos nails what it’s like to be human in these low moments of life. We start question if it was our fault. We look in the mirror and wonder what’s wrong with us, or what we could have done better to be with someone we once cared so deeply about.
As the second verse ends, we start to see the peak of this exact feeling. Kisos looks in the mirror, and starts cutting his hair. I felt this represented the feeling of wanting to change yourself to move on. It’s the feeling of wanting to look nothing like you did when you with the person who broke your heart. This part of the video kind of felt like that part of the breakup where you accept it’s time to move on, and you try to find beauty in yourself.
Kisos lays on the floor, and a flower crown starts to be created atop his head. This part feels like Kisos is meditating and trying to find the beauty within himself. Although the look is reminiscent of Dani at the end of Midsommar, we think it’s fitting for the raw emotions given throughout the track and video.
The peak moment of this scene is when Kisos holds the bouquet with his beautiful flower crown and looks himself directly in the mirror, sniffs the bouquet with his eyes closed, and lays down the bouquet on the ground. I felt this signified the final feeling of acceptance that his ex was not the one for him, and that’s okay.
The candles are blown out, and the sun starts to creep in from the window. Kisos said that the video was filmed throughout the night and by this scene, all the candles really had burnt out and the sun was rising. I find this perfectly fitting, because it signals a new day. Although the scene is melancholic by nature, it’s relieving too. Moving on is hard, and some days, it will haunt us more than it will feel rewarding. We might think of our ex every day for weeks, but then we think of them only three times a week, then once a month, and next thing you know, time haa healed our wounds. The sunrise at the end signifies there will always be a new day ahead of us full of possibilities, and it’s up to us to manifest and create that.
I had the privilege of asking Kisos some questions about the song and the video.
What was your favorite part about recording the song? What about your favorite part filming the video?
I didn’t formally record this song until about 2 years after the breakup, so I thought I was largely over it by then, but while singing adlibs all this emotion washed over me and I just started bawling into the mic. It added a uniquely vulnerable moment but also I think was one more step towards true full healing.
For the video it follows the same pattern of the transformation being my favorite part. I’d never shaved my head like that before so it was a suspenseful moment of seeing myself in a new light, wondering if my head was about to expose huge dents or something lol, plus then with the flowers and everything in the full reveal. As much as it is cinematic, I was feeling all of the transformation as we filmed too!
The music video tells a story, and I want to know what the hardest part about telling that story was emotionally? What was the hardest part telling that story logistically for the video? (Love the cinematography, but give the readers a behind the scenes moment of frustration filming the video!)
To be honest the hard part was more me trying to get into the character of missing my ex still in a romantic way. We filmed this over 3 years after the breakup so trying to get back into that mindset and see myself with the same weakness I felt then was tough.
Now logistically is a whole other issue! first off that many candles are surprisingly smoky and hot, not to mention the time it took to set each one up in the perfect “natural” formation, blowing them out when we’d leave the room to take breaks, being largely bent over the whole time to make sure I was even well lit enough to get the shots. We had to redo a lot of the most simple scenes trying to get the lighting just right. I think we spent maybe an hour or two per scene to get the perfect match strike and macro of me lighting candles. After two nights of long shoots my back was crooked as hell from being bent on the ground and I couldn’t stop sneezing or my nose from dripping from the smoke inhalation. You can actually see a drip or two in the video but they looked like tears so it fit haha
Lastly, why did you have to lure us in like a siren with your voice and the instrumental and beautiful visuals, then make us skwirt from our eyes throughout the entire video, and then at the end haunt us in our dreams with that vocal mixing??
THE SKWIRT!!! Big shoutout to my friend Jo Lee who helped me produce this track and get those vocals crispy, classy, and perfect! I’m so honored this video has been so well received, especially for a track that isn’t necessarily a top 40 hit style. And my cinematographer Adam Ouellette is such a pro with shots, it made it so easy to translate every vision in my head to what you see on the video. And that’s super rare! Usually no matter what I create I make peace with the fact that it will never be as grand as the perfect vision in my head, but this visual hit every emotion and amount of whimsy that I hoped.
We absolutely love Kisos and his work in music and beyond. Be sure to check out his music video for “He Doesn’t Want Me” here, and tune in to his Twitch every Sunday for the next 7 weeks to catch Queerantine (Season 3), an online queer music video showcase with tons of special guests and giveaways!
Kisos on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itskisos/?hl=en
Kisos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/itsKisos?s=20
Kisos on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/itskisos
Queerantine on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2VX4qJ8pJgnfs4KNU-13fg
Written By: Bryce Quartz