‘Runaways,’ the title track of SIMA’s new independent album to be released later this year, represents individuality, empowerment, transformation and freedom. Hyper-charged guitars roar between an arena-ready beat offset by scorching synths on the rebellious song about staying true to who you are and having faith in what you believe in. We had a chance to talk with SIMA about the new single and her plans for the new record:
ME: For any readers who may not be familiar with you, how would you describe your music to a first-time listener?
SIMA: My music would be classified as hard rock, as well as pop. And there are some electronic influences to my music that I try to incorporate. It’s very driven, energetic music. I always try to talk about things that are important to me, like with ‘ Runaways’ and the singles ‘Breaking Down the Walls’ and ‘Set It On Fire’ which are about things that are trying to inspire people. I’m always trying to empower others. So it’s very driven music, but it’s definitely something that has soul and there’s always a message behind things that I’m trying to say through the music.
ME: Definitely, and I think that’s very well reflected in your latest single, ‘Runaways’, which came out about a month ago now. Can you talk a little bit about the idea and the messaging behind ‘Runaways’?
SIMA: Yeah, well, first of all, I wrote it before COVID-19 happened and before, you know, the racial injustice protesting began. I wrote it because, as I said, I like to write about things that I’m affected by and about stuff that I think we need to shed light on. And so I wrote it not for a specific topic like COVID-19 or anything, but it’s fitting because everybody’s feeling so lost and overwhelmed right now with just what’s happening in the world in general. And for me, it’s always about something bigger. It’s about the system on a global level or in society and how we are and how we treat one another. And so for me, ‘Runaways’ was something I wanted to inspire and empower but also send a message of individuality and transformation, like some kind of a freedom through, you know, the video, even the visuals and the lyrics that I wanted to to kind of talk to people like me who, you know, for a long time growing up, I was kind of like an outsider. Like the runaways, I ran away from something that held me back, you know? And I felt like I wanted to talk about how there are certain systems and certain things that create this limitation and oppression, and it’s not necessarily that I was talking about, you know, racial injustice or police brutality that we’re seeing right now, but the fact that those things have always existed. You know, they’ve always been there. But, you know, sometimes we kind of turn a blind eye to certain things and we only want to think it affects us when it’s close to us.
For example, God forbid somebody in your family got, you know, I don’t know, killed or you get affected personally by COVID-19 or whatever it is. Anything that affects you personally gets you closer to that, you know, because you know how it feels. But a lot of people don’t see it. And so I felt like, you know, in society we only look in on the little circles around us. You know, we don’t see the bigger picture and how everything is connected to everything. Because certain things have always been there, it’s just people have had enough and it finally kind of came to the surface. So, I always think, you know, when I write songs, what about the messaging? What I want to say as an artist, you know, and like, trying to inspire people through music. It was something very important to me as a little girl, you know, I was born in Israel listening to certain artists and would sit in my little room and it was just music was that thing. You know, lyrics, the messenger that artists are through music.
Definitely In a nutshell, ‘Runaways’ was all about empowering and inspiring people to take ownership of their power and being the light. And I kind of like with the chains in the videos and then the fire, you know, burning things down. It wasn’t like, let’s burn and riot. Let’s burn the limitation. Let’s burn everything in our path and in our life that doesn’t serve us anymore. That’s why I feel like people related so much to ‘Runaways’ in this time, because people always felt certain things that I was talking about in the song. So they were able to kind of like pinpoint it to the current situation and everything that’s happening.
ME: Absolutely. I thought it was interesting when you said that you wrote this before COVID-19 and, you know, the racial injustice protesting and everything because it’s so prevalent to what’s happening right now, exactly like you said.
SIMA: Yeah, absolutely. But that’s the thing, I would say as an artist, and just as a person I was investigating and I always research things, I always study things, I always care about what’s going on, you know. And especially because where I come from, when you come from another country, when you’re born into certain circumstances. like I’m born in Israel, it’s a warring country. As a kid, you grew up to a lot of things that in America you don’t experience. So your outlook on life is different. You grow up very young. So I feel like I was that deep kid, you know, with that question. I was like, you know, if I’m a woman and I’m supposed to be certain way and my life has been chosen for me since I was born, and I’m supposed to do this, but I was questioning all that. I was like but where’s my happiness? Where’s my individuality? Where’s me as a person in all of this, you know? It’s like I don’t want to live your life. I don’t want to live this person’s life. Or, you know, like please other people. With ‘Runaways’ I felt like some kind of transformation was in myself, too. It’s like as a woman, as an artist, I’m breaking free of something, you know, instead of caring what other people think and kind of keeping myself in a box. You know, I just want SIMA to shine like a hundred percent on all levels.
ME: Absolutely. And I think that comes through so well in the new single. And my next question you kind of touched on already, but I wanted to talk about the video that goes along with ‘Runaways’. With all the visuals that you brought to the table in the music video, as you kind of mentioned, all of the burning and everything was more symbolic of not necessarily destruction, but more of rebuilding and transforming. So would you say that those are kind of the images that you wanted to get across through the video?
SIMA: Yeah, I’m a very visual person. Even in my photography, people see my photos and are like, oh, that’s sexy, oh and that’s this, and that’s that, and there is so much stuff that goes into everything I do. I think a lot about visuals and art and how can I symbolize a message instead of just saying something. So with the fire in the video, I feel like fire is such a powerful element. It’s something that can be so dangerous because you can get hurt, you can get burned, you know, and like wildfires can destroy houses and kill people and all of these destructive things. But in the same time in nature, it’s so powerful for the ecosystem. Some fires are so important for the rejuvenation of land. I wanted people to feel kind of like a Phenix rising through this fire, which for me was representing transformation. And like kind of like, you know when you take a letter, or something from your past that every time you look at it triggers something, and when you burn it it’s like I’m letting go of that. And all of a sudden you feel a sense of freedom and liberation. That’s what I felt. And with the chains the same thing, it’s like let’s break free from old things like slavery, and slavery in all levels of society. Like us feeling like a prisoner to a belief system or to whatever it is in our life that keeping us in that darkness. So I felt like I wanted to use those elements that are just so powerful and important to kind of creating transformation through a visual signal.
ME: That’s incredible, and it really was so well done in the video. I also saw that you’re planning on putting on an album later this year. So I wanted to ask if these messages and themes of transformation that are encompassed in ‘Runaways’ are what listeners can expect more of throughout the album that’s coming out later this year?
SIMA: Yeah, for sure. I feel like for me as an artist and a woman and a spiritual being, everything for me is like shedding layers of skin. Everything that I do, I feel like it’s kind of like the pieces of the puzzle that are coming together as you transform. Everything I do it’s like another transformation, another shedding layers of old, you know, and kind of like going towards the new you. I want to become the best I can become, and it’s always about that for me. So definitely with the music, a lot of the songs on the record are the same kind of elements of empowering and inspiring transformation.
And also, creating a collective sense of oneness. You know, I feel like it’s so interesting with COVID-19, it’s like, you know, growing up in Israel, I felt like when you go through certain things that other people don’t go through, you feel like you’re the only one and that nobody can understand what I’ve gone through. You’re the only one that experienced that. And then I feel like with COVID-19, it’s the one time, I don’t know, in history maybe, that the entire universe, like all of us everywhere around the world, are going through the same thing at the same time. There’s no part of the world and doesn’t understand what I feel and what we’re going through, because everybody’s going through this thing, which is so profound to me right now. I feel like, even with the music and everything that I do, I always see the connecting dots between events in the world, things that have happened to us, us as humans, and how we’re all connected. And for me that’s like a big message, you know, of oneness.
ME: Yes absolutely! I’ve talked about this a little bit with my friends too about how this is such a weird time in life because, just like you said, I don’t know that there’s ever been another time in history where everyone in the entire world is going through the same thing.
SIMA: Right! It’s so profound.
ME: Yes! And as much bad has come from it, I hope that it may bring some kind of unity, some kind of feeling like we’re all in this together.
SIMA: I feel like we need to stick to thinking positive and that everything happens for a reason and nothing lasts forever and everything changes all the time. Think about your body, every cell in your body. There’s so many things that happen that you don’t understand in a split second, everything rejuvenating, cells changing, cells dying, like that’s the world, you know? And it’s so crazy. If we stick to having like a child-like wonder about things like wow, this is a profound time in history that we are all experiencing right now and I feel like from darkness always comes light. That’s just how life is, you know, it’s like you go thorough certain things to come out on the other side of it. So if you don’t learn something about yourself right now, if you don’t learn a little bit about the world, about others, about compassion, you need to be creative. Think outside of the box. Think about other ways to be good to the planet and, you know maybe that’s what we’re missing. Let’s use this time in a positive way to explore these things and be kind of excited about, oh my God, if this is happening right now, what’s going to happen next? Maybe this is all part of a bigger plan. You know, maybe it all happened for us to wake up, I don’t know. It’s like when I was writing ‘Runaways’ before this all happened, I was thinking about those things, you know, like people need to wake up.
ME: I agree 100%. I’m definitely a person that kind of believes the saying that everything happens for a reason. I really believe that, as much bad can come from things like this, I hope there’s something in the end that does some good for the world too.
SIMA: Yeah. I definitely think it’s going to bring a lot of different, good things. We already see it, you know, with all of the protesting together for a cause. You know, how powerful! You think you’re this one small person but then you come together with so many other people and you realize the power of humanity when we come together. I mean, I feel like that for me, those are the ‘Runaways’ that I was thinking about with the single. Those ones that was that challenge things and question things. Those are the people that are creating the change, they’ve had enough and are wanting to chang. And it’s so crazy how it’s timing was perfect, I had no idea.
ME: I know haha, I still can’t get over the timing of this single. It was timed perfectly, I couldn’t believe that you wrote it before all this because it’s so fitting for the times.
SIMA: Yeah! But if you hear my first single and you go back to ‘Breaking Down The Walls’, you get what I’m saying. I always talk about stuff like that.
ME: So is there anything you can share about album release plans? Have you officially set a date or anything yet for either new singles to come out from it or the album in general?
SIMA: Well, yesterday I set up the dates for the second single that’s going to come out on August 6th. And yeah, that’s exciting. So we went back yesterday and worked on changes in the mix. And then after the second single, I’m probably going release the record if everything’s goes well. It’s kind of like you don’t know right now with everyhthing haha. But I’m hoping that by October I will release the record!
‘Runaways’ Music Video: