The term DIY gets thrown around all the time. But few live and breathe it like Conway.
The Los Angeles-based musician (real name: Kassia Conway) has made her way up the underground music ranks, playing in a slew of alt-rock bands over the years until finally breaking off on her own. Now the striking blonde (think Gwen Stefani in the early stages of her career if she skipped the whole ska thing) has a debut LP in the works and a single that turns sarcasm into a catchy three-and-a-half minute anthem.
If you haven't heard "Big Talk" yet, that's actually a good thing--because we've got the premiere of the music video, and it's an even better introduction to the musician. For one thing, it was entirely shot by Conway herself on her iPhone--taking do-it-yourself to the next level. "The idea behind the video was to show who I am on any given day--which could be a lot of people, depending on the day," she says, adding, "It was inspired partly by the frustration at failed video attempts that I felt did not accurately represent me, and partly by the challenge of making something real and cool with no money when no one is looking."
We'd say she manages to nail both the real and cool components, with a video that is as much a product of the ADD generation as it is the Instagram generation. There are empty rooms, pills, dogs, sheets, staircases, and some serious street art. "The shoot began in my shower with my laptop mounted on a music stand. Then I took it to a car wash on my block where the guys with nice cars hang out—and eventually to some areas in downtown L.A. that have amazing animal murals painted on the side of buildings," Conway says, noting that it took three weeks total to produce because she was actively editing the footage as she was shooting more of it. "I've never made a video before, so my shoot schedule was based on my barometer for boredom. As soon as I was bored—I shot something else or tried a new idea. I did that until I couldn't stand looking at my own face without cringing."
That shouldn't be a problem for viewers; if anything, you'll want to watch the video for "Big Talk" several times in a row. And maybe what makes it so watchable is just how honest it is. As the musician points out, "It's playful, expressive, un-showered, inexpensive good time—even when the rest of the world isn't."
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS