by Alison Bonaguro
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Singer-songwriter Valerie June says that she wrote “Call Me a Fool” because she wanted people to know they could go ahead and dream, even if the rest of the world considered them fools. “Have you ever been a fool for a dream? It might have been a little dream like a kiss from a lover or a big one like the dream of peace that Dr. King, John Lennon, and so many others have had for humanity,” June told CMT.com of her bluesy new country song. “No matter how big or how small your dream may be, keep believing, and let the world call you a fool!”
The video for her “Call Me a Fool” was directed by Sam Cannon. Cannon told us that she loved collaborating with June, because she brings joy and honesty to everything she creates. “Early on in the process of creating this video, we spoke about what it means to be a fearless dreamer; to unabashedly fall into your fantasies and how liberating unleashing your imagination can be,” Cannon said. “Based on those conversations, I knew I wanted to create a video in which Valerie starts in the real world, but then takes us on a journey into her dream realm. It feels especially poignant now, when we are all stuck at home looking for any form of escape. Which is why we decided to film Valerie in a country home, where she could start in these familiar domestic vignettes but then open portals into her own imagination.”
June, formerly one half of the soul band Bella Sun, is now living her own dream, and certainly nobody is going to call her a fool. After growing up near Jackson, Tennessee as the oldest of five kids, she’s been on a musical journey ever since. “With this record, it finally became clear why I have this dream of making music. It’s not for earthly reasons of wanting to be awarded or to win anybody’s love — it’s because dreaming keeps me inquisitive and keeps me on that path of learning what I have to share with the world,” she shared. “When we allow ourselves to dream like we did when we were kids, it ignites the light that we all have within us and helps us to have a sort of magic about the way we live.”
Back in 2009, when June was featured on MTV’s $5 Cover, she shared some of the struggles she’d faced as a woman trying to make music for a living. The result of that coverage led to June’s 2010 country-bluegrass EP, Valerie June and the Tennessee Express. “I had to leave home to be able to stand on my own and be responsible and grow up,” June told MTV at the time.
Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.