The idea of the artist and their muse is a time-worn concept in music, typically portrayed as the shaggy-haired musician writing a love (or lust) song about a woman on his guitar. But what happens when the artist and the muse are interchangeable? When the artists serve as each others' muse and are the antithesis to the hypermasculine stereotype? These concepts, along with gender identities, love, success and just enough lust are explored on rising artist Rae Isla's premier music video, "Just Because," now on rotation via MTV Latin America.
Earmilk had the pleasure of catching up with the unsigned artist and learning more about the process behind "Just Because", which was produced completely independent of any label support, as well as videos' central relationship.
EARMILK: Why do you think women are often forced to choose between love and success?
RAE ISLA: I think women having to choose between love and success derives from society's expectation for women to take care of children. Men are encouraged to have both bountiful careers and families, while women are thought of as "bad parents" for wanting both. It goes beyond family – women with or without kids have to work extremely hard to have their opinions respected, in life and the workplace. As a musician that means in the studio, in a band, under contract from a label, etc. You begin to feel that you don't have time for love and that until you've "proven yourself," you aren't allowed to be happy.
EM: Can you tell us more about the process behind the video? Where was it filmed?
RI: The video was shot in this very quirky designer home in The Hamptons. The house had a lot of interesting features like a huge bear pelt with the head still attached, a cherry red grand piano, and mirrors on all of the living room walls so you were forced to stare at your infinite reflection. It was like a hunter met a Manhattan designer and they decorated a house together. The video was a true indie project – funded, produced, and directed by me and my creative partner Guadalupe Giordano. Filmmaker Nathalie Basoski shot and edited it, she's amazing. The entire team was really talented, and actually by chance were all female/LGBTQ.
EM: So I saw "Just Because" just came out via MTV Latin America. How are you feeling about that?
RI: It's just crazy. The fact that the video is not only online, but also on TVs all around Latin America, blows my mind. MTV is such a huge milestone for any artist, and even more so for an unsigned artist like me. I've always dreamed of touring in Mexico and other Latin American countries, so knowing that the video is out there feels like one step towards that dream.
EM: How much of the music video reflects your real-life relationship with your partner, Guada?
RI: I think the music video reflects the early stages of our relationship. We actually just got married at city hall, so we've come a long way. I've grown so much since the song was written, and since Guada and I first met. We have a beautiful partnership and we work together on projects, shows, and are very involved in each others' careers. Being with her has shown me that two people can be in love and chase the dream together. Everyone deserves success and everyone deserves love.
Directed by: Rae Isla & Guadalupe Giordano
Cinematography: Nathalie Basoski
Edited by: Nathalie Basoski
Assistant Director: Samantha Franco
Hair & MUA: Viktoria Yourman
Stylist: Ziggy Mack-Johnson
Production Assistants: Lucas Stewart, Nikki Freyermuth, Leila Yermekkaliyeva