Previously interviewed by Beyond the Stage (BTS), Jessy got to talk with us again about her newest music video for her single “Lie.” Despite its juxtaposition to the month of love, the song was released at the beginning of February.
The music video was directed and filmed by her boyfriend Etienne Bowler and was released just a day later. It plays on the color of the month with Jessy dawning a red lip and red outfits while driving around the desert in a red convertible Chevy. It definitely provides a different way to see the colors red this month.
Watch the music video below.
Jessy shared with BTS some information about the creation of the story plot and filming behind the scenes.
Read her interview below.
BTS: Did you come up with the video plot? What inspired it?
Yes! The plot actually came from a dream I had (I tend to have nightmares on a regular basis), so we pulled from that. Etienne and I put the storyline together and wrote it all out. I also love spooky things. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, so this story was really up my alley. I also liked the idea of not being afraid, but more so I’m the one to be afraid of!
It ties into how I felt about putting this song out. There were so many scary emotions and feelings for me to face, as anyone would who has been cheated on and lied to in a long-term relationship, but conquering these fears and taking control of my story was extremely liberating and empowering!
BTS: What was the vibe you were going for?
I was going for a twist of modern with pulls from early decades. I absolutely love vintage-style everything, and I had a ton of vintage clothes, so that worked really well. I wanted to pull off an eerie “everything is fine while going about my day” feel while hinting at a dark truth.
BTS: Did you have to do a lot of prep for the video or was it almost a little spontaneous?
We planned a lot and did a ton of prep work for It, but there were certainly some spontaneous parts. For example, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the red car we used until the morning of, we didn’t know which road we were going to shoot the driving scene on, we didn’t know which market we were going to use or if there would even be one that would work, and we hadn’t seen the Airbnb in person. It was a bit stressful at times not knowing our exact shoot locations, especially while fighting for sunlight, and hoping to get as much shot in that magic hour window before sundown.
Etienne had never directed or filmed a music video before, so he did a ton of research and learned incredibly quickly how to make a professional video. It also was filmed entirely on an iPhone in 4K, so he had to figure out which shutter speed and frame rate to film at and what those even were! We got a gimbal which stabilizes the phone while filming, and it worked out pretty nicely!
BTS: What are some of the spots you filmed at? How did you choose them?
We filmed at an Airbnb in Joshua Tree because we wanted a secluded area with dirt and open space, and that is exactly how Joshua Tree is. Also, the Airbnb hosts were so incredible! We were able to speak with them beforehand about filming and even struck a deal to get a free night in exchange for some photos of me in their beautiful b&b.
The second location was a long road. We were searching for something that was lightly trafficked and didn’t have any buildings along it. We chose the one we did, just by seeing it off the side of the freeway on our way to Joshua Tree and pulling over to It. Honestly, it was a pretty lucky find!
The third and last location was a small market. We chose this market because it was pretty secluded and really close to the Airbnb, so it was easy to go at 5:30 a.m. and catch it empty!
BTS: Is there a specific scene/vibe you enjoy the most?
I loved all of the scenes in this video, but if I had to choose, I would say the gardening scene! Between the outfit and hair, it was my favorite look plus shooting on this patch of dirt was exciting knowing it was gonna be the plot twist of the video that would lead to the drone shot at the end, revealing it was actually a grave! It was the perfect mix of happy and eerie.
BTS: What does behind the scenes look like? Who’s involved? How much stuff do you bring?
This music video was definitely different. Because of Covid and also the fact that I am an independent artist, I didn’t have a team. Etienne was the only person with me! The two of us wrote a music video treatment that definitely felt like a reach and didn’t totally seem achievable, but we’re ambitious. We did a large amount of prep work and planning and then we went for it!
I packed each outfit in a separate bag with each of their accessories and shoes and anything I would need for it, so it was easy to pull them out and change quickly. We brought a couple of lights, stands, a fog machine, a drone, a dead body (made from milk cartons and water bottles), and some props. We used a lot of camera and microphone stands with duct tape to hold up reflectors for lighting and other things. It’s what I call the Yolo 3,000 technique.
Do you do all your own fashion/makeup/hair?
Yes! The styling was very fun for me because I’m a fashion addict. Again, because I don’t have a label, I was going out of pocket so no big spending! I did what I always do and pulled from my closet, went to a ton of thrift stores, and got a couple of sale items. I did my own makeup, which was tricky because I am not very makeup savvy. Whenever I follow a makeup tutorial online it NEVER comes out like the girl in the video, so I stuck to a very simple but bold look with just a concealer where I needed it, bronzer, blush, mascara, winged eyeliner, and a bold red lip. I recycled this makeup look throughout all of the outfits except for the wedding scene in which I traded the red lip for a blush pink color. As for my hair, I looked up some ’50s hairstyles that had that classic front curl and practiced in my bathroom mirror the night before shoot day. I clipped up a front curl for a couple of the looks, and I also did just regular curls for some of the others.
How long did it take for the video to be fully edited? Was there a lot of footage to go through?
Etienne edited the music video, and it took him about 30+ hours over the course of a few days. He got an editing program and learned it as he went. There was a significant amount of footage to go through, but we organized it into scene folders and while we were filming we had a shot list to make sure we got everything we needed, while not ending up with a ton of extra footage. It was such a fun experience and I can’t wait to do it all over again on my next single! 😉
Is there someone you would love to work with on your videos in the future?
Honestly, working with Etienne was incredible. He was extremely encouraging the entire time (this is so important cause it feels very vulnerable singing and performing into the camera), and he did such an amazing job getting interesting cuts and cool angles and making sure we got the shot we needed every time. I really couldn’t have asked for a better director and videographer. The video shoot went so incredibly smooth and quick (the whole thing was shot in about a day).
That being said, I would love to work with Melina Matsoukas. I have always loved her videos, and I admire her so much. She is such an incredible director and makes these insanely good music videos. Working with her would definitely be a dream!
Jessy is one to watch in 2021 as she continues to create new music and videos. We can’t wait to hear from her about the single she teased!
Stream “Lie” here.
Read her “Get to Know” here.
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