Music by VICE

Kelela's 'Sims'-Like "Frontline" Video Explores Pain In an Unexpected Way

As with all the other videos for songs from 'Take Me Apart' so far, it shows a new artistic side of Kelela.

by Lauren O'Neill
Feb 28 2018, 2:51pm

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Kelela's an exceptionally strong artistic presence in music, both visually and sonically. That's something you hear deeply on her debut studio album Take Me Apart, which came out last year. You also see it very clearly in all of the visuals she's released in support of that record so far too.

Where "LMK" embraced partying and "Blue Light" was beautiful and surreal, she's taken yet another direction for her "Frontline" video, which tells its story via animation, which is specifically reminiscent of everybody's favorite early aughts human simulation computer game, 'The Sims.'

According to Rolling Stone, the concept for the visual was developed by Kelela and Mischa Notcutt, with animation by Claudia Matè. It follows a Sim likeness of Kelela (amazing outfits and all) through a breakup, and in a statement issued to Rolling Stone about the video, Kelela said:

With this Sims-like video, I was able to tell my story in a light-hearted but dramatic way. It's about leaving your ex with the wind in your hair while acknowledging a curiously complex feeling of pain that he has left you for a white woman.


As Kelela notes, it's complicated subject matter, which makes her decision to present the narrative in this way even more fascinating. There are a lot of ways you can interpret it: perhaps it's a comment on transcending the seemingly set ways in which we interact, or about the way that we can control our own behaviour (as a player might control their Sims), but ultimately not that of others. Maybe it's neither. The beauty of Kelela's art is that it offers so many rich possibilities.

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