Dani Shivers, the Casio goth-pop princess de Tijuana is back with a vengeance for her music video “Up” – a track off her upcoming album JINX.
I ran into her at AMF and surprisingly she was a social butterfly amongst the crowd and, of course, decked out in her signature mod long-sleeve mini-dress, a pair of Mary Janes and perfectly groomed bangs. You really can’t help but fall in love with her – she’s a smart, congenial creative with a penchant for producing dark tracks on a Casio with an overlay of her angelic but bittersweet vocals.
The song’s chorus (“Well I fell like that ’cause I was trapped when you told me to go Up and Up“) is super catchy combined with the video’s raw, voyeuristic Wicca visuals. It piqued my interest so I dug deeper with Dani Shivers herself. We talked it “Up” on siblings and horror films:
Dita Quiñones: For some reason your video “Up” makes me have flashbacks of the film Heathers or maybe I could hear this song as part of its soundtrack. What’s your favorite dark movie with female leads?
Dani Shivers: Ha! Heathers is awesome. Well a lot of the new wave of French horror has a strong female lead and I love it. I’m a hardcore fan of teen flicks from the ’90s and the early 2000s – and this new wave of Greek bizarre humor is very interesting, too. If I had to choose one dark movie with a female lead would be Kynodontas [Dogtooth] from Giorgios Lanthimos. Also, I just saw Ti West’s The House of the Devil and fell in love with the girl, a very innocent but smart and real character. The Canadian film Ginger Snaps has been my life’s favorite though.
DQ: Who was your video’s co-star? And was she a literal or a figurative character?
DS: My sister co-starred. I think of her as another part of me. Sometimes I feel we are the same person. I was so happy when she agreed to do it. In this video she plays a literal character. I am the one who plays a figurative character.
DQ: Was the video really shot on VHS and what was it like directing your own video?
DS: The video was shot with a Hi8 camera. Directing my own video was so much fun because I had the help from my friends. It was a pretty ride to Tecate – like a fun field trip. And when we got there the place was beautiful and so peaceful and away from everyone. We were chillin’ by the trees and watching the sunset ’cause I really wanted to start shooting during the magic hour – when it’s hard to tell if it’s getting sunny or dark. It was pretty much like going back to film school where my buddies used to help me doing my horror short films. And we all had one thing in common: To see blood.
DQ: How did you choose your video editor since it was on Hi8?
DS: My good friend Jesus Vazquez from Artileria – who has directed videos for Carla Morrison – agreed to help me shoot the video and edit. The video was shot during my Tijuana summer vacation – I had just moved to D.F. – he kept the tapes and edited in Tijuana while I was in my house down in Mexico City. It was a little weird to have meetings on Facebook and work with the material online when I couldn’t be with him or see the footage. But, after a few months of revising everything I think we both were satisfied.
DQ: Where did you shoot it and were there any spectators wondering what the hell was going on? If so, what did you tell them?
DS: This video was shot in Tecate, Baja California near La Ruta del Vino, at a really cool mini-forest that belongs to my art director who has helped me with other videos and short films. I think everyone got the idea that it was supposed to be ambiguous and not have a clear resolution. Sometimes it’s good to let people interpret things in their own way instead of always trying to explain your art, even though I really do believe that there’s a closure in the story of the vid.
DQ: Excited to hear your next joint, JINX. When will you release it?
DS: I really don’t have an exact date for the release. You can expect it maybe in a couple of months, and read news in my label’s page.
For more Dani Shivers info and upcoming shows visit danishivers.com.
Watch Dani Shiver’s super Wicca video “Up”