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Growing up, everyone dreams of coming from somewhere else. Maybe you imagined being born in Atlantis or being raised by unicorns. There’s a playful nature to these fantasies, but sometimes they belie a darker reality.

Meskerem Mees takes us through an imagined origination with her single, “Where I’m From”. The track, from her debut album Julius, mixes whimsical imaginations with a more bitter, darker undertone.

The music video starts with a young girl in a gym about to perform some acrobatics. But her mind flits away to another world where she becomes a paper cutout version of herself. The lyrics follow a repeated construction of “Where I’m from, _____.” But where she’s from is not here.

At times, light and childlike, but it sometimes delves in a chilling direction. “Where I’m from, the strong, they live off the weak,” she proclaims. It’s a stark reality that jars with the other happier lines.

Even the instrumental moments bring in a melancholic tonality. A cello cries its musical line; a lone guitar sighs its short-lived melody.

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This is Meskerem Mees’ escape. Her clear, strong voice lulls us in so we can see where she wishes she was from.

Watch “Where I’m From” below.

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