Rime Salmi is a singer-songwriter whose music is full of the energy she exudes. Channeling the fusion between her Moroccan origin and Canadian upbringing, the result is catchy afro-beat full of joyful melodies, powerful vocals, sprinkled with mesmerizing Arabic sounds. Her latest, Gaslight, a collaboration with Hollywood native, Matt Nye, is an amalgamation of these elements along with her passion to expose the psychology behind manipulation in relationships.
The song explores the complexities of a toxic relationship, and a victim being pulled between their partner’s manipulation and the reality their friend is trying to make them see. An emotive piano line and haunting Ney (Arabic flute) are accompanied by an intricate beat. Matt’s clever, ferocious storytelling verses contrast with Rime’s passionate, pleading refrains.
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Speaking about her inspiration, Rime says, “I have a good friend who is in a relationship that has been very toxic for a long time. I’ve been there to support her, every time she left, every time she almost left, but she chose to go back to him, time after time. At some point, it became toxic for me and I had to let it go. This song is a cry for help, a painful outrage. It’s all the things I wish she would see, and see in herself, her strength and beauty, and all the things I wish I could say to him. It’s also an attempt to let it go and let it be. A form of closure, a way of accepting my helplessness, for now at least.”
Matt takes on the role of the toxic person, while Rime’s position is a friend that’s trying to help their friend get out. The song exposes the tactics of a manipulator: playing on his partner’s insecurities, threatening self-harm, distancing her from her friends, putting her down, and convincing her of her own weakness. He also reveals his own insecurities and abandonment issues and at times succeeds in making us sympathize with him.