The music video for Lizzo's "Faded" dropped last Friday. A few months ago, I was invited by Lizzo to be a part of the shoot. On set she told me, "Basically we have this really cool circular camera that Kron built, and we're going to have people individually stand in the middle and do singular shots. It's going to spin around you. While that's happening get toasty, because we're going to play spin the bottle. It's going to be hot!"
Here is a look at that fateful evening with commentary from director Ryan "Kron" Thompson, producer Sam Spafford, and a few of the local musicians who were involved in the shoot. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the "Faded" music video and the friendships that make it so special.
Caroline Smith: When I pulled up to the studio for the music video, Lizzo, Sophia, and Quinn pushed me back in my car and directed me to the liquor store. Before you know it, Lizzo is flirting with the man giving out free samples and we take down about half of a bottle of wine before leaving the store. The video was a blast to make and it felt like just another one of those nights spent with Lizzo that you'll never forget.
Phillip Morris: Lizzo is pretty much like a little sister to me. She is a Taurus, and left handed exactly like my little sister is. Me, her, and Sean Anonymous all live together, so that's super tight -- rap house extraordinaire.
Ryan "Kron" Thompson: Lizzo and I would see each other now and then, but never got introduced. I was over at my friend Sean's house and finally met her, and I brought the idea of doing her video up.
Sam Spafford: "Daddy" is the godfather of the Twin Cities' rap and music scene as far as booking. He more or less put the word in Lizzo's ear that she should fuck with Ryan, and was one of the first people to put The Chalice on stage with Turquoise Jeep.
Sophia Eris: I remember Ryan coming out to California with us and shooting scenes with Macaulay Culkin in the desert in October, then flying out to Paris with us, and collecting more footage in Minneapolis as the months went by. Watching the video feels like seeing one big scrapbook, and I'm happy it's been getting such good feedback! The group shot was full of close friends in Minneapolis that mesh and have good energy. It was a fun night full of love and support. I think everyone even got to know each other a bit more, if you know what I mean...
Kron: It all started in the Mojave Desert with Macaulay Culkin and bearded bikers and Har Mar Superstar. There was always this theme that it was the end of the world. We built everything off of that, and kept shooting everything over three months and creating moments. It's about the end of the world and living it up while you're in your twenties.
Spafford: One thing that's been easy to do with Ryan is to find local support and people willing to contribute in Minneapolis. We've come to rely on the talented Twin Cities video production scene, and the fans of these artists are what also drive the videos, because people are willing to be characters and get involved. It's really the generosity of the artists' fans and friends that make such great concepts.
Lizzo: The make-out scenes in "Faded" included some of my closest friends. It was a showcase of beauty, weirdness, and love -- all thrown into a game of spin the bottle. We had too much fun on set, with pizza, beer and whiskey on deck as well.
Smith: When I met Lizzo, it was like two worlds colliding in space. We turn each other up until everyone else around us is annoyed. But we keep pushing it anyways because we're in our own little world where Beyonce is ruler and nothing is off limits. Because both of us are women in entertainment, I love getting to share experiences with someone who understands and can either rejoice with me or vent with me. And as for everyone else in the video, they are some of my favorite people.[page]
Jeremy Nutzman: I met Lizzo at South by Southwest years ago, the year that GAYNGS was a thing. I was so tired that I wanted to cry. We couldn't find a hotel anywhere and I ended up sleeping on top of a van. At the video shoot, I had one good time. I got drunk, and my highlight was making out.
Morris: I asked Lizzo if I should bring a wig to the video shoot and she said it probably wouldn't hurt, so I did. Turned out to be a good idea because she styled the wig and pretty much had me looking like Lei Wu-Long from the video game Tekken. It was really fun Letting Lizzo kick my ass. It's funny how so many friends of ours have seen the video so far but quite a few of them don't know that it's me in it, or it took them a few watches to figure it out.
Eris: Lizzo and I met at the Red Stag Block Party in 2011. That night we did karaoke of "Bootylicious" together and have been best buds ever since. Her friendship is meaningful to me because we understand each other whole heartedly, and we have a strong mutual support system between us. I'm so proud of her and am lucky to have met someone that inspires me to become better at my own personal strengths. Traveling and playing shows with each other has been quite the adventure, and every experience has made us grow not just as a team, but as individuals immensely. If I had to embark on this journey with anyone, I'm very glad it has been her.
Lizzo will perform at the Mid West Music Fest on April 24-26 and Soundset on May 25.GIMME NOISE'S GREATEST HITS
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