Welcome to NORA’s Little World. The London based Norwegian artist has released her first single and music video, “Humans”. The song aims to unite listeners and promote equality. According to NORA, “‘Humans’ is about equality, diversity, the struggle of the society’s views about who we should be, and all the boxes we all get put in so easily.” It’s a powerful message that seems to be particularly poignant in a world where the headlines are full of murders, prejudice, and other unspeakable things. Art has always been a refuge for a tortured soul — a way to cope with the cruelties of life, and NORA’s track serves to bring comfort to the darkness.
“’Humans’ is a statement about how different we all are and how similar we all are. Diversity and equality, the way our society puts us in boxes and the struggles of just being yourself, flaws and all. That we are all equally worth, no matter age, sex, sexuality or race.” From NORA’s own description, one might not expect “Humans” to be so dark and brooding. The track and its video both conjure up images of darkness and suffering. At times, “Humans” feels uncomfortable to watch, but that is a testament to its effectiveness.
To watch the visuals on mute, there is nothing disturbing about them, but when they are set to NORA’s ambient and pulsing dark-driven track, “Humans” is an intense video that provokes the mind to humanity’s struggle to reach utopia. Performers of different backgrounds, sexual orientations and races are shown against the bleak blackness, shrouded in both shadow and mystery. “Humans” does not tell their stories, choosing merely to show them existing, and it is because you’re not meant to know their stories. They’re just like the people you encounter in your daily life: the transgender man who wants to use the bathroom in which he feels most comfortable, the Syrian refugee fleeing her home, or the single mother who has to work two jobs to take care of her family due to a wage gap. After watching “Humans”, you wouldn’t judge the varying people in the video. They’re all human. Why is it so hard for humanity to be nonjudgemental in reality?
There is an inspired control to Nora’s vocals and production. “Humans” begins to come to life after the first chorus. I trust that the song honors NORA’s vision to her creation, even though the build up to the bridge was so epic that the resulting stripped back vocals feel like a bit of a let down. It would’ve been optimistically inspiring for the track and its visual to reach the perfect world NORA is striving to bring to humanity, even if it would have been cliched. Nonetheless, NORA stays in the darkness, celebrating her diversity and uniqueness. The lights may not be on, but her talent glows in the dark.