Digging Into the Modern Dating Dilema with ANIIML

ANIIML has just released their newest single, “Handle me” and with it comes a very involved and interactive video concept, that allows singles to showcase themselves. This video incorporates individuals looking to meet others via the power of the music video. Giving information about themselves and making themselves vulnerable while still maintaining their identifying qualities and showing their strength. This is the exactly the idea that Lila from ANIIML had in mind for this experience.

Phluff: The video, it’s so lively, colorful and interactive. Every person involved is so vibrant, but it also captures the essence of how everyone is so different from one another, especially putting themselves out there in the online and app dating atmosphere. How did the concept for this song and video come up?

Lila: Well, there were two different moments. The song was about my own experience first and for most. My dating life, I’m sort of single for the first time. My experience is I’m a very strong, fierce woman who has her shit together. I’ve had some sort of level of success and I’m smart and funny and have all these great attributes and so the feeling of dating and then trying to find someone who can handle all of this. I also have my down sides, right? We all do. So, I was thinking, “who can actually handle all of the greatness and all of the difficulty?” I started to notice as I moved to LA a couple of years and my friends here are just incredible people. Successful, good looking, outgoing and loving and just fantastic and they’re all single. I’m just thinking “what is going on here?”. This song was about that, you know, who can handle all this awesomeness and who can handle all the difficulties that comes with a powerful, super charged human being? We all have these downsides, so that’s where the song came from. My co-producer, Daniela and I were working on the song and it was just one of those creative moments. I don’t know how to explain it, it was just a downpouring of creative inspiration. It was one of those moments that just hit me, and I was like, “What if we use this song to hitch our single friends, myself included, We could use it as this match making thing. MY co-producer doesn’t always go for my ideas, but immediately he thought that was a great idea. Two weeks later we’re filming the video and kept it really low budget, really lowkey, super down to earth and that’s what happened.

Phluff: I can tell that about the video, its so colorful but you can tell that it was kept it sort of in home and you said that those actors were all of your friends?

Lila: Most of them. We actually put out an ad on craigslist just to see what’d happen. We just thought that we know all of our friends and we’ve got these people that we know, it’d be kind of fun to throw some new people into the mix. There were about three people in there that we found through craigslist who are now our friends forever.


Phluff: Well, it really worked out then?

Lila: Yeah it really did, actually. Everyone was just so awesome, and everyone had so much fun and that was the point. I wanted to make an experience where everyone could pitch themselves as single in a fun environment in a new way. I also wanted to make the creation of the video fun because a lot of the time it isn’t fun and it’s a lot of work. It can be terrible hours and very expensive and I wanted to do things differently and that’s what we did.


Phluff: Because this video is so interactive and involved, what would you say your intentions of the video are towards your audience?

Lila: Well, number one intention is to match these people with their person out there. That would be the ideal. Imagine I found my person via the video, right? What a story that would be to tell. So that’s my number one hope that people actually do interact with the video. The other part of it is marketing, so I hope that it does something good for the song and helps the song get out there and into people’s ears.

Phluff: The song and video seem to talk about struggles that people in our generation have trying to find connections with others online. Even in your song titles it asks, “Can you handle me,” whether its at your best or worst. It seems pointed in a certain direction, because online dating can be so casual, and it makes it easy for people that we’re trying to connect with to ignore us or lie. Were there any personal experiences of yours that led to the idea of this song and video?

Lila: Oh, totally. When I answered your first question about how the song was made, I put it in a general way. The specific way was about a specific person that I mention in the song and he is completely opposite of me in every way. I’ve been vegan for 20 years and this guy at the time was moving into ownership of a burger joint. He’s super normal, run of the mill and I’m an absolute wild artist. We met in a leadership training program and in this program it kind of blows your heart open and makes you open to possibility. He moved in real deep and real fast on me. He won me over in so many way, told me he was going vegan for Valentine’s Day but would still eat chicken and turkey. That was it for me. Going through that experience was so extreme and blew the whole dating experience up for me. People will lie and do whatever it takes to win you over and I thought, “this guy can’t handle me.” I’m magical and wonderful and also, I have some neurosis, as many artists do, and I’m honest about that. It will take a really special person to manage all of the slew of neurosis flash fantastic qualities that I have to offer. I have so much beauty to offer, but I’m not going to give that away to anyone. They have to be able to earn that. The experience helped me write a song. The other person I mentioned in the song, as I mention two guys in it, but that little moment right there that I mention these guys names was a voice memo that I sent to my girlfriend as a joke very late at night. I sent her the song, when I started to write it and was like, “Girl you’re going to love this,” because we were both have our hearts blown open to random guys. So her guy is one of the name and my guy is one of the names. So, I thought, “Yeah fuck you guys,” and then I when I sent it to her I thought it was really cute and that we should leave it in there.


Phluff: heard that you teamed up with Kindra, the dating app, for your video release show.

Lila: Yeah! Another one of my wild ideas. I’m onto some fire right now and thought, “you know what? Lets just do the ideas. I generally have a lot of idea. A lot of them past the test and I make them and they’re very dark, but this time, whatever I’m going through right now I’m just having very fun ideas. I already had this realization about all my single friends and just thought, “Why don’t I just host a singles party at my house?”. My girlfriends told me yes and that they’d host it with me. Then I thought we could use this as a platform for the single release and team up with a dating app and have them sponsor and co-host. We found Kindra and they’re into alternative folks, that’s kind of their focus and I’m alternative.


Phluff: So, the people that are coming to this release show, what do you think they can expect and take away from the show?

Lila: Well, I’ve never been to a dating event before so I’m excited to experience that myself. From my understanding there will be a speed dating thing. I imagine it will be in more conscious way, you know I think that Kindra is focus towards that. I’m sure it’ll be in a cool way and I think they’re making a cuddle area.

Phluff: Oh really?

Lila: Yeah to have these little intimacy workshops, not sexual just intimate, just to get people to be comfortable being close and get to know each other. Inside people can expect to be wildly entertained because my shows are really wild and the opener for the night X RE, she is also a fantastic performer and also single.

Phluff: So it’s just one giant singles party.

Lila: Yeah! She’s putting her single out, I’m putting my single out. Everyone who’s putting it on including the co-host and co-director and videographer, I mean everyone is single. My hope is that people meet each other at the event. That would be the dream come true and we’ll be documenting parts of it. If we happen to capture some beautiful moments between people and we’ll do a follow up on the video and if people meet each other through it then we’ll create a follow up music video based on the results.


Phluff: When and where will the release show be taking place?

Lila: That is at Pour Vous in Los Angeles on September 15th.


Phluff: And you already have two albums released, is that right?

Lila: I do, yeah.


Phluff: I know you released another single earlier this year to called, “Ouch”. With this newest single is there also a new album in the works?

Lila: Yeah I have new album coming out on September 27th.  It is called “Oh Ah”


Phluff: What would you like to say to people who are currently in that weird dating atmosphere right now?

Lila: I would say what has comforted me, I’ve gone through all of the ups and down, like really longing to find this person to being really happy to be single and enjoying this time. I think I would say enjoy it while you’re there.  Enjoy it while you’re in the single zone, because we all know relationships come with their hardships as well and I’m sure we will all eventually find someone to love and be loved. When we’re there we’ll probably long to be single sometimes so might as well be in the moment and enjoy where we’re at and know that we’re not alone. I read a study recently that 50% of the population in my age range are single and so it sort of strikes me as an epidemic of sorts. Just to have people know they’re not alone, but enjoy it, you know. While you’re there enjoy the process.


Be sure to check out the newest video for "Handle Me". ANIIML’s release party will be at Pour Vous on September 15th and you can purchase your tickets  here!

-Riley DeSantis

Delaney Motter