Savages is a song performed by Kerli released, as her first single from her third studio album, Shadow Works, on November 30, 2018. The trak is Kerli's first solo single since Spirit Animal, released in december 2016. The music video for the single was filmed in Estonia and was released on March 21, 2019.


The photo for the artwork was taken by Estonian photographer Jörgen Paabu during the Shadow Works era photoshoot. The cover portrays Kerli in the role of Tantrika, the female protagonist of the Savages music video.

Music video

This section is under construction.

The music video production, in collaboration with American filmmaker Everett Lee Sung, known professionally as IIZII, started on November 23, 2018. It was first published on Kerli's official YouTube account on March 15, 2019, but only as a private video; the official release occurred on March 21.[1] For the music video, two songs were actually used: Savages, as the main song, and Shadow Works (Outro) As of June 26, 2019, the video reached 1,4 million views. Moreover, a behind-the-scenes video was published on May 15, 2019: the video shows Kerli and her team preparing the costumes and the set objects.


As the video begins, the camera portrays Kerli being still, completely dressed in white, with a white snake around the neck; soon after, Kerli's whole figure can be seen: the snake is not on her neck, but is now twisted around a long Ahnk sceptre. As the song Shadow Works (Outro) progresses, a new, dark, scenario insinuates in the idyllic one: Tantrika, the shadow part of the female lover, is introduced. She is dressed all black, and even her hair is dark. Even though the focus returns for a while to the "white woman", Tantrika regains the attention, and the song Savages begins. The lovers are introduced at the beginning, and they are two completely different people: the woman, presumably Kerli herself, has pale skin, a white costume and white long hair; whereas, on the other side, the man has dark skin and black pants. They lay on a carpet made of white roses, and they seem to be having a romantic and sexual encounter, judging by their poses throughout the video. As the second verse begins, Oni, the shadow part of the male lover, is introduced. The viewer can see both of the "shadows" dancing individually in front of what seems a new moon. Right in the middle of the second pre-chorus, the "white woman" is being covered with a black blanket. Returning to the main characters, the man seems to abuse his lover, choking and assaulting her with violence. When the outro of the song begins, the climax of their relationship is consumed: the male protagonist, with the sword that has always been seen in the hands of his shadow Oni only, now kills the woman, in what seems a kind of sacrifice on an altar.

Savages digital storybook

On March 26, Kerli started the Savages digital storybook on her Instagram account. She said she "wanted to take [the fans] deeper into the characters and their journey this time around".[2] The storybook consisted in seven chapters, corresponding to seven triplets of Instagram post: each chapter explored different sides of the Savages story.

Symbology and meanings

Savages sceptre

Differences between the Rod of Asclepius, the Caduceus and Kerli's sceptre.

The music video for Savages is full symbolism and deeper meaning, which often refers to Kerli's personal life experience. First of all, the Ankh sceptre the "white woman" is holding throughout the video resembles the Rod of Asclepius, for its snake that is twisted around. In Greek mythology, the Rod of Asclepius, also known as the Staff of Asclepius, is a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. The symbol has continued to be used in modern times, where it is associated with medicine and health care. Theories have been proposed about the Greek origin of the symbol and its implications. The significance of the serpent has been interpreted in many ways; sometimes the shedding of skin and renewal is emphasized as symbolizing rejuvenation, while other assessments centre on the serpent as a symbol that unites and expresses the dual nature of the work of the physician, who deals with life and death, sickness and health. The Rod of Asclepius symbol is often confused with the Caduceus, symbol of commerce associated with the Greek god Hermes. The Caduceus symbol consisted of a rod with two snakes coiled around it. This rod was represented with two wings on the top and two snakes to symbolize diligence and prudence, two characteristics very necessary in trading activities. As regards Kerli's personal interpretation of the Rod of Asclepius, she decided to add an Ankh probably to remark the connection between being alive (the Ankh us an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol commonly used to represent the word for "life" and, by extension, as a symbol of life itself) and being healthy at the same time, in opposition to the "toxic" relationship represented in the video.

Secondly, the opposition between light and darkness, which is present from the beginning to the very end.


As I cough out fire
You're lighting up
And you burn me with every maybe
And I cut the chords and I break the locks
But I'm powerless in your slavery

And I curse this hell
And I hate your guts
And I swear I will pay for this craving never again

But we'll be making love like savages
I'll lick the poison from right off your kiss
Fall on rosy thorns for a taste of lethal bliss
Oh we'll be making love like savages

As I choke on flames
You light up your torch
Each of my defeats is your victory
And I walk barefoot on a field of swords
You have mastered the art of cruelty

And I curse this hell
And I hate your guts
And I swear I'll dance with the devil never again

But we'll be making love like savages
I'll lick the poison from right off your kiss
Fall on rosy thorns for a taste of lethal bliss
Oh we'll be making love like savages


Track listing

  1. Savages - 3:09

Credits and personnel


  • Brian Malouf – mixing, mastering
  • Cyrus Saidi – executive producer
  • David "Kill Dave" Dahlquist – composer, producer, programming, piano, guitar
  • Even "EvenS" Sarucco – composer
  • Kerli Kõiv – composer, vocal producer, lead vocals, background vocals, recording, programming, piano, guitar

Visual and design

  • Jörgen Paabu - photographer, design

Music video

  • Bertil Tarbe - key grip
  • Blender - catering
  • Carola Madis - producer, first assistant director
  • Cyrus Saidi - producer
  • Eventech - gear
  • Everett "IIZII" Lee Sung - director, editor
  • Freddy Saunanem - 1st AC
  • Hansel Rivero - actor ("Oni")
  • Highvoltage - gear
  • Kaja Seppel (Intersalon) - hair
  • Kasper Raidam - producer, gaffer
  • Kerli Kõiv - actress ("Tantrika"), director, costume designer, set designer, styling
  • Martin Venela - director of photography
  • Piret Kõiv - set designer
  • Poska Kohvik - catering
  • Raido Kusk - location manager
  • Uulits - catering
  • Widescreen Studios - location

Special thanks

  • Eghert Sören Nõmm
  • Jonny-Harrison Nõmmik
  • Jörgen Paabu
  • Paivi Kõiv
  • Piret Kõiv
  • Toivo Kõiv
  • Vaike Kõiv


Kerli - Savages

Kerli - Savages


  1. YouTube: KERLI - SAVAGES (official music video). OfficialKerli. March 21, 2019. Retrieved on March 22, 2019.
  2. Instagram: "Wanted to take you guys deeper into the characters and...". kerlimusic. March 25, 2019. Retrieved on June 26, 2019.
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