Behind The Slay: "Death & Peonies"

The Queen: Alysia Russo

The Queen: Alysia Russo

The song "Death & Peonies" is about loss and the war we tend to wage with ourselves in the decision to "let go." It might also be my favorite track off of REX (but shhh don't tell the other kids, I think they're great too.)

When brainstorming the concept for this video, I had a specific vision in mind. Usually, I rarely know the reason behind why I gravitate toward a particular visual at the moment of conception, and the same rang true this time around. It wasn't until the morning of the shoot when I sat down with my toast, pictured the video while listening to the song, that I realized the meaning behind it - This video was about the passing of my Nana, and her transition into the heaven I built for her in my mind. Cue all the tears into my toast. :.(

Yep, this is Nana. 

Yep, this is Nana. 

For context, my Nana was a pretty fierce lady. Dancer, baker, business woman, mother, you name it: there was nothing she couldn't do. 

One of my favorite fun facts about my Nana: she was a pioneer of aerobic training. She began teaching classes in the 70s under the name Ginger Snaps (her nickname was "Ginger," so +100 genius points), but in the 80s, she started ISAT, the International School of Aerobic Training, with my grandpa. Together they traveled the globe certifying instructors on how to do the aerobic fitness thing without wrecking the body or causing injury. It's a pretty rad part of the family history. 

Last year, my beautiful, vibrant Nana passed away and ever since, it's been a rollercoaster trying to come to terms with the empty space in my heart. Filming this video made me realize how much I miss her still. 

So, as an ode to Nana, I brought in the quintessential, modern-day 80s queen (and LAGF Manager) Alysia Russo and dreamboat DP, Shan Liljestrand for an evening of sick lighting and fitness. The end result: a killer video that makes me cry every time I watch it. 

Watch "Death & Peonies" Here. 

 
L.A. GirlfriendMusic, Video, REX