Watch Zhala's personal, fantastical ‘Aerobic Lambada’

Robyn's pop protégée starts a rave in her euphoric new video

The arrival of Zhala – the first signing to Robyn’s Konichiwa Records – made 2014 that little bit more interesting. Following on from last year’s captivating “Prophet” and “I’m In Love”, the spacey singer has crafted the Grimes-flavoured pop wonderland of “Aerobic Lambada”, which comes with an appropriately peculiar promo. Directed by Ester Martin Bergsmark, the acclaimed Swedish director behind the documentaries Maggie in Wonderland and She Male Snails, it flits eerily between blissful fantasy and grotesque nightmare. “The song describes the itchy feeling you get in your butt when you have to adjust to different social contexts but you can't, that frustration, and also stress, when you hurry in slow motion,” explains Zhala. “I wanted to keep that feeling in the video and create a dream and reality that is fused together.” Shooting exclusively in her homebase of Stockholm – including choreography in the stunning wilderness of the Nacka nature reserve and a local pub – as well as casting her friends instead of actors, the result is intensely personal but also wilfully fantastical. “We wanted the video to capture Sweden, Swedish nature and Swedish society from our perspective,” continues Zhala, who sports a blue jacket in the video emblazoned with the Swedish flag from Ana and Pablo Londono’s This Is Sweden project. “They like to create fashion that challenges the idea of Swedish society. The project is based on two refugee children growing up in Sweden and trying to reclaim the right to define themselves as Swedes and claim Sweden as their home.” A perfect meshing of poetry and politics.

Director and DoP: Ester Martin Bergsmark
Producers: Siri Hjorton Wagner and Tony Karlson
Choreographers: Nadja Hjorton and Zoë Polluch
Costume and set design: Tony Karlson, Johan Ahlkvist
B-photo: Lisabi Fridell
Gaffer: Roland "Tökkförs" Engström
Catering: Elliot Foxprince
Runners: Neda Sanai and Hanna Strandberg
DIT: Alexi Carpentieri
Grading: Erik Fhölenhag
Thanks to: All the actors and dancers, Humlehof, Vår Bagarbod, Molami, Sofia Hedlund, This is Sweden