Exclusive Video Premiere: ‘Runaway,’ Roniit

Since releasing her first album in 2011, Roniit Alkayam (better known simply as Roniit), an independent dark-pop artist and songwriter from the mountains of Colorado, has collaborated with EDM producers from around the world and led a three-month tour across the U.S., gracing her fans with a healthy dose of moody electronic pop. The video for her single “Runaway,” which is exclusively streaming below, depicts Roniit’s latest foray into gothic abstraction.

In the video, an explosion of smoke and mirrors are seemingly shattered by an odd stroke of lightening. It’s a kaleidoscopic vision of long hair, gothic claws, silk cloaks, and shadows—the result of drawing inspiration from Gareth Pugh’s video for “M.A.C,” as well as a collection of images from bloggers, photographers, and magazines whose aesthetics are characterized by darkness, magic, fear, and sadness.

Roniit emphasizes that the video is meant to evoke the universal feeling of a freshly broken heart. “[After having your heart broken], you want to stay in the dark,” she says. “You’re so confused and hurt because you’re utterly shocked. This video is so abstract and I’m not technically anywhere; I wanted to evoke a ‘in your own head’ feeling. As the song progresses, the video becomes brighter as we move from phase one of grief [and] shock into phase two, which is denial.”

Originally, Roniit wrote the song based on a friend’s experience, but “in the year it took to finish [the song], it became a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she explains. “My heart was shattered the day after I got the final mix.”

Sonically, the track is a manifestation of Roniit’s influences growing up. She and her producer, Varien (who is also a Skrillex collaborator), were both obsessed with melodic death metal, and traces of the genre—like abstraction and aggression—have an obvious role in the track. Infused with refreshing elements of cerebral R&B, twitchy trap, and esoteric harmonies, “Runaway” is the clear product of a metal head-turned-dark electronica songstress.