Today we premiere the new music video for 'Nebraska' from Lucy Rose.
Starring the one and only Danny Dyer, the piece was directed by Christopher McGill and features cameos from Ghostpoet, Rae Morris and Josef Salvat.
Dyer told The Independent: "I was honoured to be asked by the maestro that is Lucy Rose to be part of her video. When I got the treatment through I was overwhelmed. I think it's such a moving piece of work. I'm beyond proud to be part of it, I've always believed that people should be who they wanna be, regardless of race or gender. Freedom of expression is so important - I really hope that this video gets the recognition it deserves."
Q&A with Lucy Rose
Can you explain a bit about how you and Danny started talking?
I remember one day seeing on Twitter that Danny Dyer had started following me and being chuffed, I had no idea it would lead to this. I only reached out to him after I saw him put out a few tweets talking about my music and encouraging people to listen to it, which blew my mind. Firstly I had no idea how he knew of my music and secondly I couldn't believe that he loved it! So I built up the courage and sent him a private message asking if he would be interested in collaborating on a music video. This was back in August 2015 and straight away he was keen and really enthusiastic. Again, I couldn't believe it. We discussed a few options and the video closest seemed like the wrong move as we didn't have enough time to prepare. And I so glad we waited, this video has turned out better than I could have ever imagined. We discussed which song to do, I gave a few options and he chose "Nebraska" which suited me down to the ground as it's a song that I think really shows a different side to my record.
Where did the idea for the video come from?
Chris Mcgill (the director and owner of Dusthouse productions) was a school friend of my sisters and had always told me to get I touch if I fancied doing something. I didn't know if he was serious but it turned out he was. We went to the pub talked for hours about the song and meaning behind it but also the constraints of society and sometimes the way the music industry made me feel, especially when it comes down to aesthetics and fitting the mould. The odd conversation 'if we make you look great people will be more inclined to buy you music' had been wearing me down and I wanted to do something that was the opposite. Chris came up with the idea and I loved it straight away but in all honesty was absolutely bricking it sending it to Danny. How could I ask Danny to do what we were asking him to do? The miracle to this story is that almost an hour after I sent over the treatment he replied saying lets do it, I've always wanted to be a drag queen.
It's interesting that at a particularly intense time for discussion about gender identity, you've featured an actor known for traditionally macho roles - was this intentional at all and was it discussed during production?
I think most importantly we wanted to make something beautiful and emotive but also tell a story that life can be tough and it doesn't always go to plan and we all need our own form of escapism. This video to me isn't about Danny being a drag queen but a freedom of expression and a form of escapism. I'm sure there's many things we all want to do but we are worried that it means we won't fit in. Fit into the mould that society has told us to live in which is accepted. Also our actions don't always need to be justified - why does Danny's character feel that dressing up in drag will help him overcome all his problems? That really doesn't matter, but let's just accept him for who he is and not ask questions. Let everyone be who they want and don't make them justify their choices.
But of course this story is told so much better by having Danny Dyer tell it, as you would never expect in a million years he would dress up as a drag queen and perform and that's exactly why he's the perfect person to do this role.
When and where did you write Nebraska?
I actually wrote some of this song when I was on the road in America. I had read a book the year before called My Antonia by Willa Cather which is set in Nebraska and it hugely inspired me to write this song, something that's never happened to me before. But it only got finished once I got home and sat at the piano. It was weird because I never thought it would end up on the album so I kind of didn't finish finish it but one day when I was playing around with the song in the live room of the studio, Rich Cooper (the producer) asked me what I was playing and insisted we record it and out came Nebraska.
What are you hoping for in terms of a reaction from this video?
I'm hoping it'll make someone feel something when they watch it, I hope it comforts someone and I hope it shows that no-one is who you expect them to be. Danny has taken a huge risk making this video and I'm eternally grateful to him for believing in me and this song when no-one else did, which allowed us to make this wonderful video. Long cut short, I hope people love it!
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies