Bella Poarch has announced her debut EP Dolls and shared the title track from it, along with a star-studded video featuring guest appearances by Grimes, Madison Beer, euphoria‘s Chloe Cherry and more. Watch it below alongside the rising star as he tells us about battling Grimes and the upcoming album’s “powerful messages” in the video.
Poarch, who is the third most followed person on TikTok, launched her music career last year with debut single ‘Build A Bitch’ — which has since gone platinum. “Dolls” was inspired by that track, she said NME, but was given a “happier” sound “with a chaotic vibe”. “It’s about taking back the power and the satisfaction of being able to fight back,” she explained.
“Baby dolls don’t kill / provoke us or we will / drive you downhill‘ she sings on the infectious new track. “Might be pretty but we’re still / Bitter as much as we’re sweet / Knife hidden under the covers.”
The video for Dolls continues the story Poarch began with Build A Bitch, in which she was assembled on a conveyor belt in a filthy factory before going rogue and destroying the machinery that created her. Now free in Dolls, she faces the aftermath of her actions as pink jumpsuit-clad soldiers and a shadowy figure trying to stop her and her fellow escapees from wreaking more havoc.
“After making Build A Bitch, I knew I wanted to do a sequel,” she said. “Filming both music videos was like making movies, so I’m grateful my fans loved the first one. The music video for ‘Dolls’ continues the journey of finding the man in charge of the factories and on this journey I’m meeting new friends along the way.”
In a prominent scene in the video, Grimes takes on Poarch in a fight with glowing red eyes. However, when the fight is over, the light goes out in the pop iconoclast’s eyes. “That’s her moment of realization,” Poarch said. “Realization of what she was really a part of. The realization that she was controlling, taking advantage, and fighting on the wrong side of the battle all along. The deeper meaning is that we don’t always have to win the fight.”
She added: “It was fun and kind of scary [shooting those scenes], honestly. Grimes and I had to do combat training and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve done in a long time.”
Filming the video may have felt like a movie for Poarch, and viewers will find cinematic magic in it, too. In developing the vision, the 25-year-old pop star took inspiration from some of her childhood favorites to give it that feel. “I grew up watching a lot of anime and Tim Burton movies,” she explained. “I love mixing the dark aesthetic with the cute pastel tones. I’m also a big fan of [the Zack Snyder psychological fantasy film] sucker Punchso I named the robotic arm [I have in the video] ‘Sucker Punch’.”
“Dolls” is the first taste of Poarch’s wider EP – her first, more polished offering to her fans. The record will arrive August 12 via Warner Records and will carry “powerful messages,” according to the star. “I want people to feel empowered and confident when they hear my EP,” she said. “It carries strong messages while sounding fun, dark and sweet. Every song has its own unique way of saying, ‘I’m a bad bitch, so don’t mess with me’.”
After “Build A Bitch” was released a little over a year ago, the relative newcomer also reflected on her journey so far. “I’m still learning new things every day and I think the biggest thing I’ve learned about myself is that I’m a perfectionist,” she shared. “I’m very selective about what I want as an artist and I’ll never rush to get things done.”
Poarch also shared how she would like the world to see her as an artist, describing herself as someone who “takes risk and is able to adapt and change.” “I’m a mix of quiet and unassuming, but I could also be loud and outspoken,” she said. “Through my music, I can include so many things I love like anime and my favorite movies, but music allows me to express my feelings and opinions about a lot of things that I can’t say.”