By: Lauren Royer
By now you’re probably tired of hearing about everyone’s goals, resolutions, and all that ‘new me’ shit. It’s hella respectable to strive to transform yourself into a beautiful butterfly though! You just don’t need to wait until the year ends to start working on that, it should come at a time when you really want it- otherwise those statements you make on your socials don’t mean shit.
Take inspiration from ZELLi’s latest music video that just dropped today, “Solid”. This is a beautiful and powerful message told by dual songs strategically combined into one visual experience. Her lyrics speak to that moment where you realize you’re worth more than what is current and switch to a little Destiny’s Child fueled confidence. Rebirth can be messy and dark af. For those of us that understand how difficult it can be to feel like waves are constantly crashing on us, this will encourage you to swim.
So let’s dive into this project (directed by AK Romero) further by talking to ZELLi about her inspiration and the deeper meaning behind it, her connection with the collaborators that played a crucial role, and what her journey has been like so far.
What was the overall vision for “Solid” as a music video?
The visual for “Solid” is to represent the rebirth of myself and as an artist. During the last couple of years, I went through so many setbacks but I never let any of those changes stop my journey. I’m still here, “Solid.” A lot of people really tried to screw me over and even doubted my talents. I wanted to make sure the video had intense themes of power and AK Romero was able to really step in and come up with all of the concepts to execute my idea.
What inspired the all gold errythang body paint? Is there a deeper significance?
AK Romero came up with the idea of having me painted in gold so I could look like a statue which executes the solid theme. The makeup really came out great and even better on camera. His girlfriend Francesca who is a professional makeup artist really took her time to bring this idea to life.
How did you come to collaborate with Feezable the Germ? What about AK Romero?
Feezable the Germ and I knew each other for a couple of years but only in passing and we reconnected when I began the recording process for my EP. He had mentioned being interested in working with me and I immediately sent him the track. He really came through on the song and killed it! As for AK Romero, I wasn’t too familiar with many directors out here considering that most of them were booked as well. My good friend Donte Peace referred me to AK Romero and we immediately clicked. Being able to work with someone who is just as creative or more is very refreshing. I’m used to being stressed all the time because I mostly do everything by myself but AK Romero did a lot of work on his end to make sure that all I had to do was show up to each scene.
Talk about the transition between the candle lit/darker visuals to the more beat heavy confident gold goddess. It almost seems like the rebirth or an awakening really occurs between the two parts of the songs.
Yes you are spot on! My song “Sacrifice” is actually the intro to my EP and I thought it would be dope to have it be the intro to the video as well. With Sacrifice being a part of the video, I feel like it really executes the re-birthing of myself. We did the candlelight and transparent shots for Sacrifice because I am very vulnerable in the song. I talk about people letting me down and losing a best friend of 12 years to my music career. I want the viewers to get a feel for where I was (still am sometimes) and to get a sense of how artists feel sometimes. As much as we enjoy our art, we are lonely most of the time and have to sacrifice a lot of people in our lives to be successful. I feel like if I didn’t include Sacrifice, Solid would still be a great visual, but the come up wouldn’t be as powerful.