Val Astaire is an artist that has been heating up our chilly days around here. The buzzworthy up-and-comer has thousands, if not more, Spotify plays to his name and now he shares with us the sultry video for “Kiss.” Artistically done and skillfully crafted “Kiss” is one of our favorite videos of the year. We had the chance to catch up with Val Astaire as he gives the insight of the makings of the incredible film.
Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically?
This song is an open letter to mental health. It’s penned to that voice in my head that suppresses those moments where I feel empowered. When I feel like I have a reason to look up it gives me ten reasons to keep my head down. It’s not a healthy way to live and this song was written in response to that.
A big reason I wanted this song to be accompanied by a video is that, beings this song is much darker than any of my previously released material I really felt like I needed to drive the point home. I think if I’m going to do something out of my element, it has to be out of my element through and through. Otherwise I was afraid it’d get lost in translation.
What was the inspiration behind this video(visuals, storyline, etc.)?
The inspiration behind it was to portray this MadMax Fury Road kind of feel. I wanted to shoot in a desolate location whether it’d be a junk yard or the desert, somewhere where I could be the king of nothing. It was important to me that it was shot in black and white, I’m not sure why it’s just how I had always envisioned it so that was crucial.
The story is both versions of myself. My creative side feels very relax and tranquil while working. Whether I’m painting, writing, drawing or making music – there’s a calm that comes over me that I don’t get to feel all the time. The other side is neurotic, anxious, unsure, and somewhat negative in a sense I guess. Not that I think I’m much of a negative person outward but the thoughts can be. I wanted the chains to be a visual representation of mental health. When I’m being creative, those chains are still there but I choose to wear them like an accessory. They inspire my art in a way if that makes sense? Where as the contrary treats them like a burden, using them to lash out which in turn is only making them tighter and more uncomfortable. It’s all about perspective. How we wear the chains.
What was the process of making this video?
Making this video was pretty special. I’ve worked with James Morano for years on several projects and it’s become a really fantastic relationship creatively. We gel so well together and he’s utterly genius at taking a talking point and expanding it to an entire visual field. As I said, I wanted that “king of nothing” vibe and so James and I took a trip to 29Palms California, just east of Joshua Tree and started scouting some seriously barren areas. James wound up coming across this location about 5 miles off of any main road. It was surreal. It was all I had envisioned and more. We got out and almost immediately began filming.
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