Cera Gibson is not afraid to make a statement when it comes to her art. The Salt Lake City-based independent musician has released the video for her new song “Blood Diamond,” where she takes a literal interpretation of the lyrics — soaking in a blood-filled bathtub. She leans all the way into a dark-pop vibe with shadowy visuals to match. While it can be risky to release videos that can’t be promoted as freely because of community guidelines, Gibson has definitely set the precedent that she is going to create whatever she wants — regardless of who is watching.
We got the chance to chat with Gibson upon the release of her new video. Check out the full conversation below:
TYF: Your new music video for “Blood Diamond” is very literal, what was the inspiration behind that?
This song really evolved as I wrote it and came up with the video concept. Initially I was writing it out of a desire to succeed after so many years of struggle, but soon realized that’s not what I wanted to say at all. I think everyone wants things they can’t have. Things that are far from necessary to human existence. I am no exception. As I wrote about wanting cars and islands (haha) I had to consider why anyone would want those things in the first place. When you can’t possibly have something in the moment, it’s easy to brush off where these things might be coming from. Where the diamonds are coming from. We use expensive and beautiful things as a signal of status, while disregarding the people that gave us those things. So as much as this song is commenting on hard work and a glamorous destiny, it’s also commenting on the harm our consuming culture can have on the people feeding our consumption. I wanted the video to be very literal. I had always planned on including blood to represent the metaphorical blood on our hands, but it was my videographer Levi Welch that mentioned the bathtub with blood in it. Bathing in the blood. I loved it. He absolutely killed the video.
TYF: What made you want to lead this new chapter of your music with “Blood Diamond?”
I wanted to lead this new chapter of my music with Blood Diamond because it’s a natural beginning. These are my expectations; “I want it all”. I hope that through my future releases my audience will be able to feel a more personal side to my writing. Blood Diamond is stark and theatrical. I want people to feel like a bad bitch while listening to it.
TYF: I’ve been following your Instagram account for a while and I’m really interested by how engaged you are with your followers on your Instagram story. How much of an impact do their responses mean to you when you’re posting questions or looking for feedback on aspects of your career?
Let me start by saying, I LOVE my followers. Some people think it’s unnecessary for me to be so connected to them, but I don’t want it any other way. I create this music for myself, don’t get me wrong, but I always have my audience in mind while writing, constructing visuals.. etc. I think of it as a conversation between me and my people, so I want them involved. My followers solidified Blood Diamond as my first release through an online focus group I orchestrated with them. I will always do what makes me happy, but if I can make them happy simultaneously, that’s the goal!
TYF: What do you want listeners to take away from your music?
I want my listeners to take away whatever comes to mind while listening to my music. It’s an individual experience. No interpretation is wrong.
TYF: What kind of subject matter do you find yourself inspired to write about the most?
They say to write what you know, so I write about me. You’ll notice I almost never write about relationships and love. As weird as this sounds, it almost feels too personal… unless you piss me off (haha). However, my song “Away” is about my boyfriend. It’s one of my prettiest songs by far. It will be on the album. As for everything else, I write what I’m feeling in the moment. I write about wanting success, anxiety, my day job, losing friendships. Something that’s come directly from my love of fiction is writing around an alter ego. It’s me, but more theatrical. That’s the place Blood Diamond came from. Some stories are told better through a character.
TYF: What is something that you learned in 2018 that you are taking with you into this year?
2018 was the year of working my absolute butt off. I easily spent over 1,500 hours in the studio. When I wasn’t in the studio, I was writing or thinking about the studio. However, I learned that I need to give myself a break from time to time. I love that I work hard, but creativity can’t flow when you’re always grinding. You have to give yourself space to look around once in awhile. Go to the gym, eat more than a quick snack between session. Mental and physical health are just as important as determination. I forget that, everyone does.
TYF: What are your plans when it comes to releasing music/performing this year?
Man, it’s hard to say. If I’ve learned anything over the course of my life, it’s that nothing… and I mean nothing turns out as you expect. Sometimes that’s good! So I’m just leaving myself open to opportunities. I want to watch Blood Diamond, see how that goes and release my other music accordingly. I love performing, so you bet that you’re going to see me playing around Salt Lake. Me and my manager are working towards putting together a regional tour this year. You might even see me on a festival! All good things to come.