With her captivating visuals straight out of a 1970s discotheque and beats that would please any rave goer from London to Amsterdam — the two locations that shaped her creative process — Mila V manages to build an impeccable artistic persona. Today she's releasing the music video for Clear Eyes, a track from her first EP titled The Craze, which displays a cabaret fever dream that contrasts oddly perfectly with the lyrics sung and written by the multitalented Dutch artist herself.
You’ve been engaging in the creative industry as a filmmaker and multimedia artist for quite some time now. What made you decide to pursue music as a way of expression along the way?
The urge to pursue music has always been there, but I did not have the courage at first. I was singing from a young age and writing texts in notebooks, and then, later on, I started to produce soundscapes and more abstract sounds for my videos and visual art. I feel like the elements were always there but I couldn’t find the confidence to put them together. A year and a half ago I started producing a lot more and I had to tell myself, this is it, now you are going for it. Music as a way of expression has given me something I always longed for, as it feels like an expression that I have to make, and that I am finally allowing.
Your unique beats have been described as ‘emotional acid’ sounds. What is the meaning of that to you?
It means that I am trying to tell a story with these sounds, one that’s quite personal and comes from within. Whenever I am producing, the sounds that I pick reflect what’s going on in my life or what I am struggling with, so there is really no hiding from it.
Your music displays nodes of techno, electro and breakbeat genres, along with strong vocals. Having lived in places such as London and Amsterdam — where the rave and techno scenes have always been so preeminent — how does that impact your creative process?
I think it impacted my creative process because I was exposed to it from a young age, so it made a big impression on me. I felt really out of place at my high school and going to my first raves as a teenager was a moment I felt part of something bigger and something that really hit hard. I met so many people through raving, friends, collaborators, etc. and they all inspire me creatively. When I moved to London I did not know anyone but was introduced to a group of people I started going to raves with, and everything kind of changed.
Is there any track in The Craze EP that you feel most connected with?
I think Clear Eyes because it was one of the first songs I produced where I felt that it was a complete song, and that gave me faith in myself to pursue music further. It started as an instrumental track and I struggled at first to find the right way to add vocals, but it worked out eventually.
What was the creative vision behind the new self-directed music video for your single Clear Eyes?
The creative vision for Clear Eyes came to life when Creative Director Indiana Roma Voss and I brainstormed about the track. We both like to create paradoxical universes within our work so creating a video where the aesthetic is A-typical of what you would expect with this genre of music was a given.
Stemming from Indiana’s childhood fantasy the idea of a cabaret re-invented came to life. Our cabaret show is made out of beautiful, extravagant characters. But the song is about realising that you don’t owe someone anything and distancing yourself from emotional greedy people. To embody this message we created a mean spirited cabaret director (portrayed fabulously by Indiana herself) that instructs and hassles the characters and me, but eventually, we break free from her bullshit and move and interact as we please. The joy that is felt at the end of the video was real, we were all cheering each other on and there was an amazing energy, the kind you would need to overcome what I am singing about.
How do you feel your upbringing and overall environment contributed to the creation of the artistic persona you have today?
I think my parents had a big impact on my artistic persona, as they were quite artistic themselves. My dad was a hippie, ran away from his family home in Amsterdam when he was 17 to join the Living Theatre, turned 18 in New York, travelled cross country to perform theatre shows on acid, partied in The Factory... He pretty much did everything and anything you can only imagine in your wildest dreams in these years. When I was born he was old and living a more ‘quiet’ life, but he used to tell me: “Even though I’m just sitting here in my flat and I don’t really have much, I have so many memories to think about every day, that I feel like I have a lot.”
I think that has always stuck with me, especially when he passed away 2 years ago. My mom always let me express and dress the way I wanted, even though I would get shit for it, rocking up to middle school with two different boots on. She gave me space to become who I became and has always been my biggest inspiration and support. 
In both videos of Clear Eyes and The Craze, as well as in previous works, it is possible to conclude that your visual work and overall aesthetic seem to be heavily influenced by the disco scene from the 70s. While at the same time, your beats, although very unique, seem to pay tribute to 80s electronic music, especially British. Do you have any go-to inspiration source when creating?
I don’t really have a go-to inspiration, I think you just absorb so much into your brain and then when it comes to it all this absorbing kind of pukes out mixed with your own emotions and you have an idea, whether it is visual or music. I definitely have a weak spot for anything 70s, somehow it just always appealed to me as something magical. I think I get inspired by the people around me a lot, but then also by just daydreaming and escaping to the world, you can create in your head. When I was younger I would get really upset if something pulled me out of my daydreams, when my imagination was running wild.
How’s your process when coming up with new tracks? Does it start by layering the beats or coming up with lyrics and vocals?
Usually, it starts with layering the beats, I started by producing instrumental tracks, so automatically the lyrics and vocals of the tracks are something that comes after. But then again, I do randomly write lyrics in my notes even though there is no song yet. When I am producing a new track, sometimes the lyrics I already wrote just match the track and it makes sense.
When picturing the perfect setting for someone to fully enjoy your EP, what do you see?
A space-age living room with an orange sitting pit, an elegant bar cart filled up with mezcal, two massive neon green speakers and a pink fluffy rug. A large crowd of sweaty dancing people fill the room.
Is there any creative field you’d wish to explore more other than the ones you’re already active in?
I’d like to delve deeper into sound for now, I would love to work with sound installation. Knowing myself I will probably always find something new I want to explore.
What can we expect to see Mila V doing next?
Releasing more music and more videos, and hopefully playing live this year. And making a short film.
Mila V Metalmagazine 3.jpg
Indiana wears shirt and bowtie vintage, stylist's own.
Mila V Metalmagazine 1.jpg
Luna wears red filt hat MARIANNE JONGKING, earrings and korset THE MAKEOVER FACTORY.
Mila V Metalmagazine 4.jpg
Lucia wears black nipple tassels VINTAGE STYLIST'S OWN, black garter belt and thong MARLIES DEKKERS; Judy wears Lavender Silk Top THE MAKEOVER FACTORY; Mila wears green sequin body THE MAKEOVER FACTORY, gold head piece GERRITSEN; Luna wears soft pink top THE MAKEOVER FACTORY.
Mila V Metalmagazine 5.jpg
Lucia wears whole outfit THE MAKEOVER FACTORY.
Mila V Metalmagazine 6.jpg
Mila V Metalmagazine 9.jpg
Yoeri wears jacket VINTAGE STYLIST'S OWN, loafers GUCCI.
Mila V Metalmagazine 7.jpg
Luna wears top, shorts and duster - THE MAKEOVER FACTORY, gloves LAURA DOLLS.
Mila V Metalmagazine 8.jpg
Mila wears earrings and necklace SWAROVSKI, hat MARIANNE JONGKIND, blazer vintage, stylist's own.
Mila V Metalmagazine 14.jpg
Judy wears whole outfit vintage, stylist's own.
Mila V Metalmagazine 10.jpg
Ranchilio wears striped cap MARIANNE JONGKIND, blouse DYLAN WESTERWEEL.
Mila V Metalmagazine 11.jpg
Savannah wears top and shorts THE MAKEOVER FACTORY, earrings PARIESIENNE AMSTERDAM, duster vintage, stylist's own.
Mila V Metalmagazine 12.jpg
Luan and Camilo wear black and white jumpsuits DYLAN WESTERWEEL, white feather boa LAURA DOLLS, hats MARIANNE JONGKIND, black top THE MAKEOVER FACTORY, black shoes PRADA, white shoes vintage, stylist's own.
Mila V Metalmagazine 13.jpg
Indiana wears smoking blazer DYLAN WESTERWEEL, hat MARIANNE JONGKIND, shirt and bowtie VINTAGE STYLIST'S OWN, stick GERRITSEN.
Mila V Metalmagazine 2.jpg
Mila wears green body THE MAKEOVER FACTORY, boa vintage, stylist's own, earrings and bracelet OSCAR DE LA RENTA AT PARIESIENNE AMSTERDAM.