Life on the road must be so cool. You see the world, you perform for hundreds if not thousands of smiling faces, and you get paid along the way — but what fans may not realize is how lonely and blurry the experience can become. Sure, the crowd loves you, but they’re gone as soon as they come. A tight schedule keeps you from any real sightseeing or much cultural interaction, and at the end of every day, you go to bed alone.
Loved ones drift into distant memory, and when you get home, they may not feel the same. Singer Justin Jesso‘s dreams came true when he got onstage with Kygo to perform their collaboration “Stargazing” live for the first time. Soon, he was with Kygo on tour, but only then did he begin to feel the hard truth of the traveler’s life. His latest single, “Getting Closer,” from his 2018 EP Let It Be Me, tackles this loneliness and longing for love with a video that shares real footage of his time spent on tour.
“It was an easy concept to come up with because it is literally my life,” Jesso tells Billboard Dance. “Since it is my actual footage from my phone over the past year, it is unique to me. It is my story; nothing Is fabricated. It is what I went through both physically and emotionally this past year, touring the world, singing a song about someone I loved and wasn’t with.”
The video was directed Kyle Cogan, whose credits include Lost Kings’ “When We Were Young” and A Perfect Circle’s “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish,” among others. He says the personal nature of the project made the emotional connection of the visual of the utmost importance.
“In today’s world, much of our lives live in our phones,” Cogan says. “It’s an extension of us. In a way, it’s how we perceive the world and even how we remember it. ‘Getting Closer’ takes a virtual trip down memory lane of an amazing year for Justin. In the video, his phone glitches out and consumes a room with memories of an amazing tour and a soured relationship. We gathered all of Justin’s videos from his incredible journey, and we re-created moments of what that relationship may have been like. We created custom glitch art animations using real footage and projection mapped it to the furniture in a custom built room. His schedule was crazy busy, and we had a small window to work with. Justin and I came up with the concept in a few days, the team built the set and animated/mapped the visuals the night before the shoot. It was an extremely tight turn around, but the production crew at Simian.la and the projection wizards at FutureLighting absolutely killed it.”
Whether or not you’re a touring musician, the music video for “Getting Closer” is something to which we can all relate. Check it out a day before its wide release below, exclusively on Billboard Dance.