New York based artist, songwriter and producer Skyler Cocco shines a spotlight to her own harmful reaction during an argument in her latest single with accompanying for elegant pop earworm , “The Drive”. The self taught multi-instrumentalist is known for her whimsical synth pop and catchy storytelling, Cocco confronts her own reflection swirling in cotton candy colored illumination in her self directed music video for “The Drive”.
We recently spoke with Cocco about releasing music during the global pandemic, the intriguing story behind the song and the experience of a video shoot for “The Drive” during covid 19 times.
Almost a full year of quarantine, the bumpy ride of twists and turns has led society to struggle to create or have structure in their days, Cocco felt her creative juices fade away during a period of time,; “I’ve had my ups and downs over quarantine and was struggling at the beginning. I felt completely uninspired and had no creative energy, but I eventually eased myself back into writing music.”
In the midst of these strange times, a music contest by alternative pop band MUNA lit up the spark of inspiration for her current single. “Splice’s The Inbox: MUNA competition definitely helped nudge me to get into the studio and create something. I wouldn’t have made “The Drive” if I hadn’t heard about that competition back in May.”
What the general public thought was going to be 2 to 3 months in quarantine became close to a full year with no end in sight. Cocco pushed back her schedule of music releases but shortly realized she had to proceed with her music plans. Cocco explains how the uncertainty of this year has encouraged her to put out music; “I think music is a necessary escape from the uncertainty we are all facing today. When things were just starting to shut down I postponed a lot of my release plans, but as the pandemic turned into months and, now, most of this year, I felt that releasing new music could be just what we need right now — a little bit of joy to distract from our troubles for a moment.“
The scenic music video for “The Drive” takes you to various isolated outdoor locations as Cocco wanders about as the recent argument with her lover lingers in her mind. The video was shot this past summer with Covid-19 precautions in place during filming. Cocco describes the experience filming the clip. “Filming the video was a blast, despite Covid limiting the locations where we could film as safely as possible. We filmed the music video in August of this year around the tristate area. I decided not to shoot the video in a studio and planned the shots to all be filmed outside. I am the only subject in the video so most days it was only the director of photography and myself on set, socially distanced and far away from any bystanders.”
The clip has a zen like quality woven into its video concept, conveying the quietness left after a huge storm has rolled into town leaving chaos and destruction in it’s wake. Just like dealing with the aftermath of a erratic storm, Cocco walks away from a fight with her significant other, pausing the unspoken malicious words rushing out of her mouth. The much needed cooling period begins with a drive to collect her thoughts. “I wanted to depict the moments after a fight where you’re alone with your thoughts. In each scene I am by myself, driving down empty roads, wandering through flower fields and empty streets, contemplating when I’ll decide to return home. The video is meant to be a lens that looks into these intimate moments of self reflection.”
Cocco’s favorite moment of the video shoot was adding the trippy light effects to the video scenes, “On the second day of shooting Nino (director of photography) brought a crystal and placed it over the camera lens to get those colorful/kaleidoscope looking shots. When we first played back what we shot with the crystal we were blown away. It added so much magic to those scenes and are some of my favorite shots.”
We can’t predict what the rest of the year will look like but we can guarantee once you have a listen to Cocco’s unusual pop music, you will be hooked for more, fortunately for her listeners, Cocco won’t have you waiting for too long. “I’m planning to put out more singles and will compile them as an EP to be released in 2021. I’m definitely looking to shoot some more music videos for a few of the singles as well. I’m hoping that touring and playing live makes a comeback when it’s safe to do so, I would love to play “The Drive” live for the first time!”
Photo Credit: Dylan Mannarino