After spending a majority of her teen years playing Emma Ross on long-running Disney Channel series Jessie and Bunk’d, Peyton List gets to show more of her creativity in her new music video for “Don’t Cry,” premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Aug. 23).
List conceptualized and creative directed the slow-churning, electro-pop cut’s visual by bringing a nostalgic, pastel aesthetic to California’s Joshua Tree desert. List, 21, stars as a shaky-yet-confident housewife character that rocks multicolored wigs, bold lips and retro-chic ensembles. Meanwhile, the chorus’ lyrics of “I don’t cry, no, I don’t cry like I used to” take on a new meaning as the starlet stares at glittery tears streaming down her face in her Too Faced hand mirror.
“It was my first time taking on the role of creative director for a music video and leading a set to create and follow my own vision,” Peyton tells Billboard of her new visual. “It was nice to tell my own story in a very dramatized, ’50s housewife that has gone stir crazy.” It’s meant to be tongue in cheek, she adds. “I’ve never released a music video for my own music, so this being my first one makes it very special to me. I loved getting to come up with the concept and creative direct behind the scenes. Having a visual and telling a dramatized story behind the song was both freeing and fun.”
List says bringing the colorful characters in “Don’t Cry,” which features the rapper Cannon, are another part of her art, but it’s only now that her fans are getting to feast their eyes on a fully realized product.
“This is just a creative side that I think I’ve shared with my family and friends, or time to time on Instagram, but it has always been there for me,” she explains. “I’ve had a mood board for the longest time that I’m constantly adding to of images I’ve been inspired by and wanting to make; this sort of over-the-top, colorful world that I daydream about that I would need an incredible team around me to create. I thought this couldn’t be a better time.”
When not filming, the star says she’s been recording new music with friends, including “writing like crazy this summer” with social-media socialite and best friend Neriah Fisher, with hopes to put out some of those records as her next musical step.
Check out “Don’t Cry” below: