On December 25, 2013, Nikki Lorenzo’s “Work That Charm” music video was released, and not only did we love everything about it, we were especially happy to see Tristan along with RJ Mitte make guest appearances in the video. We wanted to learn more about Nikki and her music, and she graciously agreed to answer some of our questions. You will also find this interview posted on the Weekly Update and Interview pages as well as on the forum. Enjoy!
Thanks for taking time to answer a few of our questions. First of all, we loved your music video “Work That Charm.” Would you tell us a little about how the concept for the video developed, the creative process behind it, and how it eventually all came together?
I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that you loved my music video! It was a ton of fun to make so to hear that anyone enjoys watching it is a huge bonus to the experience. I’m easily obsessed with old Hollywood, jazz, sensuality, speakeasies, powerful women, and vintage things, so when coming up with the concept to “Work That Charm,” I wanted to think of a video that could embody all of that, whilst creating a sort of hybrid product - meaning that it would look old but feel new with the elements added. I wanted to come up a story about a mother and a daughter, since the song was written about my mother, and I wanted to play both roles. The mother is this admirable, strong woman who owns the speakeasy we see in the video and her daughter sees her as this illumination for the world. She falls in love with how her mother’s charm sparks a happiness in people. Besides that, it feels invigorating to have that sort of supremacy; she’s smitten by how it sways and soothes everyone and looks to her mother as the woman she longs to be. She performs in the speakeasy (and later we see her in a hotel room) addressing her mother’s ways and without knowing it, has the very charm she sings to the heavens about already pouring out of her on stage. I took this concept to my friend, Marc Cleary, who ended up being the director of the video, and he saw my vision through, adding pizzazz with me on this journey to complete my first music video off my new album. We both had a ton of creative say in this project, and it was the first time I was able to help with directing and editing. I couldn’t have done it without the team I had which included Timothy Kane, Kelly Silva, and Craig Bobby Young.
Was there anything in particular that proved to be challenging or problematic when shooting this video? How much time was involved from the idea origination until the video was released on December 25?
There were definitely challenging times on this road to “Work That Charm” because we only really had about a week or two for hunting and gathering what we needed (cast, crew, wardrobe, location, props, budget, etc.) and shot it in one day. It was Oct. 15, 2013, and we had only six hours to shoot in the bar location, which made me almost go mental because there were so many things we needed to shoot and so many things we wanted to shoot. We had to be extremely picky and quick with what made the cut to be filmed that day. One really wild thing that was imperative to do was find a piano to bring on set because our bar location didn’t have one. You couldn’t possibly make this video without a piano. The night before the shoot we were running around trying to find one to rent and we had no luck, so two hours before resting our eyes for the next morning we had my neighbor give us the go-ahead to use his piano if we didn’t mind carrying it to our location. It was nuts. We needed about four guys to carry it in the shoot and then carry it back out and take it to its rightful owner once we were done with it.
Obviously, we loved seeing Tristan in the video, but it was also lovely seeing another favorite, RJ Mitte. What was it like working with them on this project, and how did the idea for their role in the video come about?
Working with both Tristan MacManus and RJ Mitte was one of the best treats I could’ve ever been given for this project. Marc (director) and I thought that the role of the mother would not have a romantic lead, nor would the daughter’s character. We wanted them to both be these independent females (not to say that having a man makes you less independent) who if surrounded by anyone, it would be these men that were just as mysterious and potent as they are. So, for the role of the mother (which I didn’t mention earlier that we named that character “Nikita”) she would have these two bodyguard-esque gentlemen that loved her so much, they would rather get their hands dirty everyday and keep hers clean, because she is this treasure of the people. She takes care of the women and keeps the men in check. Both Marc and I thought RJ and Tristan had many layers of these characters. RJ is a friend of mine and Tristan is a friend of Marc’s so we called and asked them and they politely accepted. They both did us a huge favor being involved in my music video. They’re some of the busiest people I know; I keep frantically thanking them any chance I get for being apart of this, hahaha.
Now tell us more about you and your music. Since “Work That Charm” debuted on Christmas Day, many of us have been perusing You Tube regularly. We would love to know more, and for those who might be unfamiliar with your work, please share more about yourself with us.
I have my debut album titled, “Firebox,” coming out at the end of January 2014, and it’s filled with influences of jazz, pop, and soul. I have been working on that for about a year with my dear friend/producer Eric King, and it’s a blessing that it’s finally about to hatch. I’m keeping everyone updated on where and when my album release party will be though my Facebook and Twitter. I’m just a Cuban/Spaniard/Italian girl from Miami, FL who left her family back at home to follow her dreams in the city of angels. I’m a poet, a dreamer, and the daughter of the moon. All my songs are elements of me and all that I’ve experienced. I write about love, loss, booze, self-destruction, growth, equality, demons and light. I sing to keep a heartbeat in me. I sing to keep a heartbeat in you.
What other projects do you have in the works?
I have a few projects in the works that keep me moving forward everyday that I’m deeply anxious for. I have my second music video I’m planning now and a few shows lining up. I’m also working on my poetry book/recordings that will release sometime in 2014 (fingers crossed) and a Christmas album with some dear friends of mine. There are also things that are so hush-hush at the moment; it’s too early to spill the beans.
Obviously music plays a big part in your life, but when did you first become interested in it, and are there any particular artists that have had a big influence on you and your music?
I was always interested in music so there’s no telling when it all hit me, but I suppose the earliest I remember being was four years old and singing Evita to my family. I got hooked on singing even though I wasn’t really good at it until many years later. My father was a musician, writer, and one of the best front men a band could have. My mom has always told me that I would hum full songs long before I could speak. I was fond of many artists growing up but it wasn’t until I heard Patsy Cline when I was about eleven years old that I felt the ground beneath me break. I fell through the platform of life and landed in an entirely different world. She made me want to sing with passion so that the audience could cry, love and grow with me.
We saw a little of your dancing skills in the video, and you had some great moves! How are those ballroom and Latin dance skills (a la Tristan MacManus)?
Well I don’t know if I could ever be as skilled as Tristan when it comes to dancing but I’d challenge him to a dance-off anytime - partly because who doesn’t love looking at him dance even if they lose?
Finally, is there anything you would like to add or say? You’re picking up lots of fans these days!
I would love to give a special thank you to all those lovely souls that support independent music and for supporting my music. I would also like to give a very special thank you to MacManiacs.org for giving me this opportunity to share my music.
For more information:
“Work That Charm” music video:
Teaser of Nikki’s next music video:
Nikki is very active on social media so be sure you look for her here:
YouTube Channel: Nikki Lorenzo