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[Photos via Siiickbrain/YouTube, Pussy Riot/Spotify]

Experimental alternative artist Siiickbrain took her love for Fight Club and woman-ifed it in the video for her new collab Power with Pussy Riot founder Nadya Tolokonnikova

The song is equal parts raging and empowering as Caroline Miner Smith, the mind behind Siiickbrain, asks, “Is it wrong to want back some power?” Revolving around this concept, the video has her own fight club composed of a diverse group of women, including phem and Kitten/Nasty Cherry vocalist Chloe Chaidez.

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The singer and model, who you might recognize from Machine Gun Kelly’s “I Think I’m OKAY” music video and Downfalls High, started releasing music as Siiickbrain last year. Kicking off with “Cigarettes And Cartier” in early 2020, she released a handful of other singles before her collab with Maggie Lindemann on “GASLIGHT!” last fall brought her to the forefront of the scene. 

Now, following the release of her latest single “PIN CUSHION,” Siiickbrain has joined forces with Russian artist and political activist Tolokonnikova for “Power.” Known for her involvement in the punk protest and performance art group Pussy Riot, she is an outspoken activist on various topics such as human rights and the justice system. She has also spoken before world leaders in many countries, including former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

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Tolokonnikova and Pussy Riot have collabed with artists such as Desi Mo and Leikeli47 on “Straight Outta Vagina” and Junglepussy and Vic Mensa on “Hangerz.” Pussy Riot were also recently featured alongside Village People on Dorian Electra’s 2020 track “My Agenda” and worked with Electra again earlier this year on “TOXIC.” However, this particular collab was certainly special for Tolokonnikova. 

“Sisterhood is the best thing on the planet, and this song to me is about empowering each other,” the singer tells Alternative Press. 

You can check out an exclusive look at the creative process and message behind “Power” from Siiickbrain.

What was going through your head during the creative process for making this song, and what message do you hope people take away from it?

During the writing process of “Power,” I was reflecting on past experiences that I’ve had. Specifically while reflecting on certain experiences that I’ve had and so many others have had with men, I found myself becoming really angry. I wanted to make a song about regaining power from anyone who made us feel inferior. When listeners hear this song, I want them to feel powerful and like they could take on anything.

How did you meet Nadya and come to collaborate together on the track? Are you inspired by the activism and protests she and Pussy Riot have done?

I met Nadya after she showed support for the song “GASLIGHT!” that I have with Maggie Lindemann. I also realized that we had many mutual friends, so we just started talking. And I told her that I had a song that she would be perfect to feature on, and then it happened super quickly. I am absolutely so inspired by Pussy Riot. The courage that they have to speak out on what I also believe are the right things is super inspiring to me. No matter what the consequences, they always stand up for what they believe in. I think that that is something that everyone should take note of.

The video for “Power” is inspired by your favorite movie Fight Club, so walk us through your thought process in taking that concept and fitting it to the message of your song.

In the movie Fight Club, they fight each other to feel alive. In the music video, we had a version of a fight club that was all women. We were fighting to feel alive but also because we’re angry at the power so often stripped from us. Originally in the other parts of the video with the guy, I had planned on beating him up to visualize regaining power. After, I thought that the worst thing you could do to a man would not be to inflict pain upon him but to tease him with something he can’t have.

We can see some cool women in the crowd such as phem and Chloe Chaidez. What was it like being able to work with other women in the alternative scene for this song?

It was so awesome having other girls from the alternative scene be a part of the video. All of the women in the industry should work together in some capacity and build each other up. We all have to stick together. It’s like a huge extended family of girls who are all obsessed with music, individuality and each other. 

You also worked with the team who directed and produced the video before, notably on MGK’s Downfalls High. What was the experience like this time now that it’s your project?

I have known Andrew Sandler, who directed the music video, for a while now from just having so many friends in the music industry. It never really feels like work when you’re working with your friends. I think that Andrew is so beyond talented. It was just a dream to work with him and the team again.

Being able to use your music as an outlet for self-expression, what would you say to women who listen to your music and feel empowered to take back their power?

Throughout life, everyone is going to have different experiences—some of which may make us feel powerless. No matter how helpless someone feels, it’s important to remember that everyone has power within them to stand up for what is right and to stand up for themselves.

You can read the full artist-on-artist interview between Siiickbrain and Maggie Lindemann in Alternative Press’ debut Power Issue: Women Rising here.