Video Premiere: Sanni Est – ‘Brain Damage’ (Aloner Remix)

Sanni Est, the alter-ego of multimedia artist, DJ, actress, music maker, videographer, trans•feminist activist and political refugee Sanni Marie Cabral da Silva Neto, combines forces with young techno producer Aloner and talented director Kobe Darko to create the hyper-immersive audio-visual experience of ‘Brain Damage’ (Aloner Remix). “The 133bpm soundtrack of ‘Brain Damage’ infects the performers with Choreomania. A plague that once stormed through 14th-century Roman empire manifests itself in the present day. The performers, in their uncontrollable state of dance, are rendered brain dead through the DJ’s virulent beat – which drives this unending dance.” Explains Darko, “This film slices through the rapid movements of ritualistic performance, Sama and experimental dance. By using the pounding techno-electronic sounds, the performers put forward the narrative of the doctor and the plagued.

“The beginning of this fruitful collaboration dates from back in 2015 when Aloner somehow found my SoundCloud and proposed to do a remix of one of my lousy attempts at producing techno. We became friends and he even stayed at my place in one of his Berlin visits. Sometime later I wrote Brain Damage while partying in the Hammer Halle at Sisyphos and produced it together with main collaborator Akaroid. The original version was very me – messy, dark and playful. But I knew the track had the potential to be faster, harder and darker – Berghain style – so I wanted to invite someone else to make a remix. Aloner was the first name that popped in my head when I thought of it. His industrial sounds never ceased to amaze me – even thoughI’m extremely selective when it comes to hard techno – and so I was immediately in love with his remix.”

“Fast forward to 2017 when I met Kobe Darko while interviewing him for my Empower short documentary ‘Beautiful Lies’. I fell in love with his creative energy, generosity and talent immediately! I remember him saying that his taste and style (which he defined as ‘ghetto gothic’) have been historically predominantly white and had the chance to feel a little bit of how torn between two cultures he felt, to which I identified a lot as a Brazilian trans*woman living in Germany since 2007. This is the kind of people I vibrate with the most, so I showed him Aloner’s remix, gave him one or two instructions of what I wanted for a music video and asked if he was into it. He said yes immediately, about which I’m over the moon – and the results were mind-blowing!” – Sanni Est

Kobe Darko by Mischel Warenits

Sanni Est is a Brazilian transgender woman who moved to Berlin in 2007, at the age of 18. Once in Germany she soon started to undergo hormone replacement therapy and undertook all other measures for a complete sex reassignment. She has lived fully as a woman since 2012. Sanni creates raw, biographical art, ranging from documentary filmmaking on queer bpoc subjects; songwriting about her personal experiences as an immigrant in Germany, and using her trans* body as a tool of expression to provoke the viewer and confront them with their internalised racism and sexism(s). As a percussionist and dancer of African-Brazilian rhythms, she merges ritualistic drums with unusual vocals and experimental synthesizers.

Following her sex reassignment surgery, Sanni Est began again to focus on art, and not only in music but also in modelling, acting, DJing, organizing parties for the queer community and lately also as a visual artist, producing, filming and editing short documentaries about other queer, non-binary, bpoc artists in her series Empower Shorts – all the while working part-time as part of the core team of “Diversity Box”, a project by the Archiv der Jugendkulturen, where she helps plan, organize and lead workshops on gender, diversity and sexuality for teenagers in schools of Germany.

Artist: Sanni Est @sanniest
Remixer: Aloner @aeonyuonmiller
Director/Film by: Kobe Darko (@k.obes)
Raffaelo Donnaloia (Me’taraph) (@metaraph_)
Auryn Reeve (a_uryn)
And Appearances by: Boy Zero (@boy0zero)
Styling: Filmmakers Own / Raffaelo Donnaloia