New York City-based funk outfit Pre-Sexual Activities recently unveiled the music video for “Spotify Your Life,” a sardonic take on the music streaming giant. Made up of producers Andrea Monorchio and Nikolaus Schuhbeck, Pre-Sexual Activities create real music for real people.
The video, directed by Andrea, depicts a suitor gifting his paramour with an album, a cassette, and a CD, each signifying the relentless advance of technology. In each instance, a tangible object exists. In the end, he is assimilated by the omnipresent power of hi-tech, arriving with a smartphone engrossed in its screen. An overlaid message appears, “Love Was Better Before,” indicating the loss of physicality to virtual fabrication.
The visuals shift, focusing on the famous record shop, Second Hand Records, in New York. On the store floor, wearing blindfolds, Andrea and Nikolaus perform as a DJ spins their record on a turntable. As the images culminate, the store owner places an “Out of Business” sign on the window.
As potent as the video is, “Spotify Your Life” glows with low-slung funky textures blended with silky-smooth R&B savours, resulting in an enticingly soulful song. XS Noize spoke with Pre-Sexual Activities to discover more about how the video came together, their writing process, and what listeners might expect next.
How did the band get together?
Pre-Sexual Activities (PSA) is not a band but rather a production team. We have been working together on multiple projects over the years, both producing and performing. As partners, we run our own studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Your new single, “Spotify Your Life,” is one of our favourites of the summer – can you give us some insight into it?
The song ‘Spotify Your Life’ fell into our laps. It was a fast and fun writing session. We soon realized that the song could be misinterpreted as a hymn to Spotify rather than the bittersweet, sarcastic statement that we intended it to be. To avoid this, we decided to produce a video.
The video’s also great… Where was it shot? How'd you link up with the actors? What do you specifically want viewers to take away from it?
The video was shot on location in Brooklyn, NY. All actors involved are friends or came referred by friends. We worked with a very young DP, Jiancarlo Valerio, who also helped cast some talent. The song invites reflection on experiencing music today compared to yesterday. ‘Spotify Your Life’ offers different layers of interpretation - one, nostalgic, mourning the loss of the physical object (Vinyl/Cassette/CD). The other, the one we are more dialled in on, is feeding the discussion on the unsustainability of streaming platforms’ business models related to music makers globally. It could be argued that music production used to offer more value and economic potential.
Did your sound develop naturally over time, or did you push it deliberately in a specific direction?
Pre-Sexual Activities is a funk outfit. Heavy on the groove. It is what we both grew up on. In 2020 we released a collection of funk tunes on the Italian label Flipper Music. For Spotify Your Life, we mixed genres. The indie feel of the Intro/Outro is deliberately juxtaposed to classic R&B. It’s highly symbolic to us.
What’s the origin of the name Pre-Sexual Activities?
“Pre-Sexual Activities” came about one afternoon. While hanging out with friends, wordplay led us to it, and it stuck immediately, perfectly suiting our sensibilities.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music,
TV, or other media?
While we get inspired by different things, we lean heavily on the funk and R&B of the ’80s. PSA mostly gravitates around feel-good vibes. Imagine a couple of friends driving down the California coast in a Ferrari Convertible, chasing fun. No nostalgia here. We push the simple pleasures of life.
Are you performing live this year?
We do not perform live. PSA is a studio team producing original material, as well as shaping other artists’ music. Never say never, though, because we love performing and might decide to take on a stage one day.
Is this single off a forthcoming full-length album? What’s next for PSA?
‘Spotify your Life’ stands by itself. We have released the video first but are now streaming ‘Spotify Your Life’ exclusively on Bandcamp. Currently, we are writing another album for Flipper. Back to the Funk!