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Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's new home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
It's time to meet Betty Who — again. You probably already know the singer thanks to hits like "Mama Say" and "Human Touch," but her latest single, "Ignore Me," marks her first independent release since she was just 19 years old. Having left her previous record label, the Australian singer has a whole new chapter ahead of her, which starts right here on Refinery29 with the exclusive music video for "Ignore Me."
Filmed in just one take, the music video is a double entendre of sorts. While listeners can apply the lyrics to their relationships, the words are really about Betty Who's experience leaving her record label and striking out on her own. The song is powerful, smart, and immediately catchy — the perfect way to kick off her new era of music. Well, that and the final leg of her Party In The Valley tour, which starts in Los Angeles on February 24.
Ahead we spoke to Betty Who about this independence, the music video, and how important it is for women to advocate for themselves.
This is your first independent music release in some time, what does that independence mean to you?
"It means I finally feel completely connected and invested in every aspect of the release. It means I’m finally making all my own decisions and trusting my gut again. It’s so exciting."
Did your approach to songwriting or making music change in this new era?
"I think I just became really excited and passionate again. Sometimes you fall into the mundane of it all, the everyday minutia, and it’s hard to see the big picture. This experience flew me up to 10,000 feet and all of a sudden I started to really look forward to making new music."
What are you hoping for from this new start?
"My only real goal is to trust myself implicitly and to create art that fulfills and follows this vision I’ve had since I was a little girl. My hope is to feel proud of myself and be satisfied with the work I did."
How important is it for women in the music industry to advocate for themselves in these types of relationships with their labels, especially in light of Time's Up?
"It’s incredibly important. So many young, passionate and talented artists are being taken advantage of every single day, men and women alike. But I would also love to see more female executives in the music industry. We are vastly underrepresented."
How much preparation did it take for the "Ignore Me" music video in terms of learning the choreography and all the moving parts?
"The actual experience of putting the video together was actually pretty stressful as you can imagine. A one shot video has a lot of moving parts to it so to make it perfect, so many people had to work incredibly hard all at the same time. It was so fun though, and more rewarding than almost any video I’ve ever done. The choreography was also a little different than what I usually do so it took me a little longer to learn it."
How many takes did you need? Were there any funny moments?
"We only got three full takes!! That was the scary part! By the time we finally got all the way through we had something like 20 or 30 minutes left to shoot the video! But the last take we took was perfect so we still made it happen."
Who is the man with you in the video?
"Navid Charkhi! I held my first audition for a video ever, we had like 15 boys come in and learn the beginning of the dance, I felt like I was in an episode of MTV’s Making the Video. The second Navid walked in the door my choreographer leaned over to me and whispered “That’s gonna be your guy, just watch.” We have such great chemistry it was really fun to work with him."
What are you hoping your fans take from this song and video and its message?
"There is so much symbolism and heart in this video, I hope my fans can feel how much of myself I put into it."
What have you learned from this experience?
"That one shot videos are hard!! And that I have an incredible team of people around me who are so gifted and worked so hard to make my crazy dream come true. I am the luckiest girl in the world."
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