by CMT.com Staff
Breakups are hard enough without blaming yourself for everything. If that’s a message you need to hear, then you need to hear Julia Cole. On her website, the ambitious singer-songwriter writes, “If my music helps even one person feel included, empowered, or understood, then this crazy journey is all worth it.” By the way, that self-professed crazy journey includes her impressive summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in October!
Describing herself as “Shania Twain meets Diplo,” Julia Cole and her #coleteam have surpassed 900,000 views for her #sidepiecechallenge on Tik Tok. She’s just notched a million monthly listeners on Spotify, too. Check out her video for “Side Piece,” then read our Q&A below the player.
What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?
The “Side Piece” video shoot was one of my favorite days of all time. Period. Carlo’s vision and location choices absolutely MADE the experience. On top of getting to enjoy the insanely beautiful LA sunset you’ll witness in the video and the post-shoot curly fries, I got to enjoy three of my favorite people on the planet, two of whom had nothing to do with the filming. They assumed the roles of partying hype men on a Los Angeles joyride who kept our energy lively the entire day.
Dancing, singing, and attempting to be on your A-game on camera all day to the same song can be exhausting. Having support and fun energy from people who you trust and make you comfortable can be the difference between creating mediocrity and capturing true emotionally-connected art. Thank you Carlo, Emmie, and Kaz!
How does the video bring your song to life?
Carlo, director extraordinaire, made the shoot feel on an entirely new level from any shoot I’d ever done before. He’d just say “trust me,” as he picked new locations and crazy angles to shoot from, and created a reality out of the amazing vision he had in his mind.
Instead of hiring actors to explicitly act out the lyric, Carlo’s goal was to paint out the entire emotional roller coaster of the song lyric in a non-cliché, abstract communication of color, lighting, body language, eye contact, and facial expression. Expressing the journey from loneliness, realization of betrayal, and anger, to forgiveness and peaceful freedom wasn’t easy, but I loved the challenge and am so proud of how the video turned out. I hope y’all love it.
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
“Side Piece” is a message to stay empowered for anyone who’s been lied to or betrayed. It’s a merging of the importance of forgiveness for one’s own self-healing, with the sassy self-love knowing that whoever just lost your trust just lost the best part of his or her world by losing you. It’s a reminder to stay strong and confident and know that if someone lies or cheats, it’s due to their own inner flaws, not anything you did or anything wrong with you. Stay strong #ColeTeam!
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
One of the crazy things about being the editor of your own video is that there isn’t really a “first look.” You watch the entire growth and life of the shots coming together. The feeling of finally completing the hours of sifting through footage, comping, and color correcting shots, and watching the finished product is unbeatable.
Songwriters: Julia Cole, Lance Carpenter, Josh Ronen; Directed & Filmed by Carlos Alberto Orecchia; Edited by Julia Cole