“Have you ever made love to a maniac?” It’s the question Jhené Aiko asks in her latest single “Maniac.” Yes the track is steamy and sexual, but there’s a deeper meaning for the song that fans of the “The Worst” singer may have not known prior.
Directed by Jhené and Topshelf Junior, the visual for “Maniac” takes you through a mental asylum giving AHS meets Hannibal Lector vibes, but that’s just the mood Aiko was going for. While promoting the visual on Instagram, Jhené opened up about her idea behind the video and how in-depth she went with research to execute her vision.
“What inspired the asylum imagery of the music video? When I start putting together the concept for the “Maniac” visual, I wanted to explore what it meant to be manic,’ she wrote, adding, “That idea led me to research old asylums and the bizarre techniques that were used back in the day to treat mental patients. I watched a few movies that explore the topic including Stonehearst Asylum and Shutter Island. I even visited a Psychiatry museum in Hollywood. I learned that lots of women were admitted for absurd reasons, including being “nymphomaniacs” and were basically tortured in the name of treatment.”
She continued, “Ironically, I released “Maniac” at a time where I had recently been diagnosed with Bi Polar disorder, so my interest in the research was genuine. I think we all have some sort of imbalance, but I also believe that we can overcome it. I find my balance through creating art. The “Maniac” visual is the story of a mental patient who finds her own cure.”
There’s also special meaning to the cover art that was used for the “Maniac” single. Jhené explained, “How does the video relate to the art project/shibari imagery in the song’s cover art that you worked on with Steven Taylor? There are so many layers to my personality. One of them is very sexual. The song “Maniac” is me sharing that side of myself. One of the things I love about creating visuals is that I get to act out my fantasies.”
“Shibari was something I’ve always found interesting and wanted to try. Being tied up in general is something Ive always found exciting. I’ve always liked a little pain with my pleasure. Most of the props that I used in the “Maniac” visual are actual sex toys that I bought myself, including the gag and restraints. Being tied up, gagged and caged were all treatment techniques used in asylums back in the day. Being tied up, gagged and caged are also forms of pleasure for some people.. who some may call crazy… maniacs even,” she ended on another Instagram video promoting her latest visual.
The artist ended her Instagram stream of posts with a message to her fans about taking them on a trip “through every layer” of her being and “straight to the depths” of her soul. Buckle up!
Watch the music video for Jhené Aiko’s “Maniac” in the clip below. Share your thoughts in the comment.
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