Gavin Haley puts his truest self forward in the blind date duet visual for “The Way I Am” with Ella Vos, premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Dec. 4).
In a visual that pits the two L.A. singer-songwriters against a bevy of bad dates, the soulful slow-burn single shines in a different light with a more loose, playful concept. The pair are joined by actors Olivia Rouyre and Luke Korns, who portray a cast of laughably questionable suitors including an overly-dedicated Shakespearean actor and an otherworldly goth type named Starrshine-Moonfire. It’s a stark tonal contrast to the song’s open-hearted confessional, and yet the exaggerated odd-couple pairings only emphasize the need to stay true to yourself.
“The song itself is pretty personal and we’ve done a few serious, more narrative, and aesthetically-driven videos, so I really just wanted to have a blast with this one,” Haley tells Billboard. “It felt like the kind of song that could, conceptually, have a chill, light-hearted visual.”
The joy in creating the video comes through during the highlight moment when the hapless Haley and Vos reveal their inner selves to meet in ’80s-leaning, neon-toting, heavy metal bliss. Though it takes some time for the sparks to fly, the visual puts a positive spin on the song’s theme of being yourself and finding a partner that accepts it, perhaps best proven by the “real life success stories” testimonial reel at the end.
The track comes from Haley’s debut EP The Long Game, which arrived in October via Red Bull Records.
Check out the visual for “The Way I Am” below.