Ramona Gonzalez a.k.a. Nite Jewel has been rather prolific of late, following up 2016’s Liquid Cool with her upcoming fourth album, Real High. The eponymous first single and video from it finds Nite Jewel employing her usual brand of surrealism, with video editing that essentially updates those 90s school pictures people got with double vision effects for added intensity.
This constant visual presence of duality speaks volumes of what it means to love in the twenty-first century, often times, as Gonzalez remarks, “It’s about being a fucked-up crazy person and getting fucked up all the time and being a narcissist and being into the rollercoaster of life.” Perhaps this is why the person projected over Gonzalez’s own scenes never makes any actual contact with her, never appears in the same frame. Self-involvement can make a meaningful connection so difficult.
And yet, ironically, Gonzalez borrows from lyrics immortalized by two of the most tactile women around, Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige. Repackaging and rearranging words from “That’s The Way Love Goes” and “Real Love,” among Gonzalez’s most beloved songs while growing up, Nite Jewel instills its own unique auditory brand into the track. That each R&B goddess was able to exude a tough exterior while also admitting to a need for a bit of realness in the realm of romance is something Nite Jewel toys with in the video, always alluding to her ability to be fine on her own, but also clearly experiencing the desire for another that comes with modern loneliness–particularly the L.A. kind.