Petra Jarrar released her newest single “Past Life” earlier in July. A song about seeing that ex one last time. A creative visual video came out along with it.
Hi Petra! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. The video is visually interesting. Where did the concept come from for the video?
I conceptualized the video with Natasha Brito from Austere (former Creative Director at Sony Music). “Past Life” is a personal story about moving on from a relationship I didn’t think I could. In the video, I wanted to explore going on a tumultuous journey through the universe, and keep on falling until I eventually found myself again.
What is the symbolic meaning of the continuous falling and the sword?
The continuous falling represents the various emotions and journeys one goes through when trying to reconcile with their emotions. It’s complex, and oftentimes I felt like I was never going to land on my own two feet again. The sword represents one of the many symbolic metaphors of the emotions felt post break up, such as “words cut like knives.” Everything in the video, from the swords, to the lightning, all alludes to physical representations of internalized emotions.
I love that symbolism. What can you tell me about the meaning and inspiration behind the song?
“Past Life” is about reminiscing on a great love that happened once in your life, and learning that sometimes, love is not meant to be. I write my songs based on my personal experiences, whether it is through love, relationships, or states of being. Songwriting is my way of saying everything on my heart and mind.
Was the song inspired by a particular person or more of a general theme?
I wrote this song about the final time I saw my ex. After we broke up, it was sudden with so many things left unsaid. I never thought I would hear from him again, but out of the blue, he wanted to meet up and talk. I was nervous, excited, angry, and thrilled all at the same time. I didn’t know what was going to happen or what we would talk about. But when I saw him, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and came to terms with the closure I needed to move on. I knew what we experienced in the past was something beautiful, and he will always be someone that I love. However, I’ve learned that sometimes, things aren’t always meant to be. And that’s okay.
That’s a great lesson to learn. How would you describe your sound?
I would call it “straight up pop.” I’ve played in so many different genres within the pop music world, from more acoustic/band based pop and indie rock to electro/dance pop. I feel like I’m consistently a chameleon with my music, but I always find myself creating music within the pop world. I absolutely love pop music.
What made you want to be a musician?
When I was barely 2 years old, my older brother, Felix, would prop me on the piano and press my fingers on the keys to make me play what he was learning in his lessons. Soon, I developed my own love for the instrument and played classical piano for years. However, when I was 6, I made a fuss to my mother about wanting to be my own person and doing something different in music. She bought me my first guitar (a Fender Strat) and that took me on a new journey ever since. I didn’t write my first song until about the age of 12, but when I did, I knew this was something I wanted to do with my life. From there, I became obsessed. I turned my closet into a mini recorded studio and self-produced hundreds of demos in my bedroom. I knew from a young age that there was nothing else in life I could do but music.
If you weren't a musician, what kind of career would you want to have?
I definitely would have been a lawyer. When I was a child, I told my mom that I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice. In school, I would always play the lawyer or judge in mock trial or school plays. I knew in my heart I wanted to be Elle Woods, but music definitely stole my heart (and I’m not mad about it).
What kind of message do you want your listeners to take away from your music?
I like to create music around real life experiences. It’s easy to feel as though you are lonely or alone, especially during moments of hardship. However, it’s also easy to forget there are so many people who experience the same emotions every single day. I want listeners to be able to take my songs to help them celebrate, cry, dance, scream, or rage and create soundscapes to their own lives. Music is a universal language that can bring anyone together.
Who is your musical inspiration?
My inspirations range from all different genres and artists. My parents raised me on The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac. I grew up on the radio, and was completely obsessed with Britney Spears, Robyn and Lady Gaga. I’ve drawn inspiration from so many different artists, all for different reasons as well. It’s so hard to pick a single one.
Do you play any instruments as well?
Yes! I play guitar and piano. I’ve attempted to play instruments such as the bass and drums, hopefully one day I can learn both instruments.
How do you overcome a writer's block?
One of the best ways for me to overcome writer’s block is by being outside. I rarely write songs at home, so quarantine has been a test for my writing abilities. When I feel stuck, I would go on walks throughout my neighborhood or the city. New York is such a vibrant place to be as a writer, and I get inspiration from people experiencing life every single day.
Random question: Are you more of a cat or dog person?
Ooh, that’s so hard! I grew up with animals all my life, and currently have the sweetest Russian Blue Kitten named Audrey Hepburn. Today, I am feeling more like a cat person.
CONNECT WITH PETRA : Facebook | Instagram | Website |Spotify
Written by Amanda Epstein :
Amanda is an avid music lover and supports independent artists in various genres. She writes for music publications in her spare time to share her love of music with the world, as well as learning to be a musician herself. She believes that music has to be experienced and not just heard.
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