Perfume Genius shares first fan-directed music video for ‘Without You’

The directors were selected from a fan submission contest

Perfume Genius has shared the first of three fan-directed music videos for his song, ‘Without You’, taken from his fifth studio album ‘Set My Heart on Fire Immediately’.

The artist – real name Michael Hadreas – released the album in May, alongside a competition announcement asking fans to submit music video ideas for ‘Without You’. Three fans were selected as directors, and each received up to $1,000 for the making of the video and another $1,000 to be donated to a charity of their choice.

Fans Liz Lian, Samantha Mitchell and Kristin Massa were selected to direct their own visual interpretation of the song. The first video, directed by Lian, premiered today (July 29). Mitchell’s clip will be released on August 4 and Massa’s will drop on August 11.


In a statement, Lian said ‘Without You’ “reassures me that moments of comfort and clarity are just as certain to appear as confusing, lonely moments are”.

“It reminds me to be patient and to turn toward conflict within myself and view it as a beautiful, imperfect metamorphosis, rather than hide from it,” she said.

“This music video is about the exploration and discovery of self through the natural world. I aim to depict the unfamiliar, abstract, and jumbled parts of ourselves through elements of surrealism and magical realism. Narratives of self-discovery in media often center around coming-of-age stories of young white people as they enter adulthood. But self-discovery and reinvention occur throughout our lifetimes. Seeds of change sown within us can blossom into exciting, life-altering experiences when we least expect it.”

Lian continued, praising actress Annie Tezuka for her performance in the clip.


“Annie Tezuka, who stars in this video, did a beautiful job embodying this experience. I wanted to shine a particular light on the experience of women who, as they age, are increasingly seen as they are in relation to others – mothers, wives, grandmothers – and for this video to be a tribute to the complexities and constant change within all of us, especially those women.”

Lian has nominated The ACLU of Southern California as her charity of choice. The organisation defends the fundamental rights of individuals who are struggling to claim protection from the Bill of Rights.

Hadreas recently performed ‘On The Floor’ on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The track is also taken from ‘Set My Heart On Fire Immediately’, which earned a four-star review from NME.

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