Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's 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.
Josephina, 21, still needs reminders that she's a "dope girl," to borrow a phrase from her new single. The Virginia native is still cautious about her career, perhaps a product of her upbringing, which happened alongside the algae bloom of social media. She first gained attention on the platform Vine. It was a platform, but, Josephina tells Refinery29, Vine wasn't as intimidating as other platforms.
"YouTube had just become really big with covers," she recalls. "I would sit and watch them all the time. I would record my own, but I was too afraid to post them."
Vine had a limit, though: You could only post six second videos. "I was like, 'Girl, if you can't post a six second video —like, no one's even going to see it. Just post it," she says, laughing. That post led to a "reVine," which later turned into followers and her own career.
This kind of self-encouragement lives on in "Dope Girl." "Dope Girl" is an ode to a night that goes so wrong it's right. At the beginning of the song, Josephina notes that her phone is dead and she's lost her keys. (This is something that actually happened to Josephina the day she wrote the song.)
"Should've stayed in," Josephina sighs. But, no. The night is still young, and Josephina's found a friend who has a fully charged phone — he'll get the Uber, and the show goes on. The song's anthemic chorus repeats: "Even on my worst days, I'm on my best days." Despite the miniature horrors of the night, things are pretty fabulous.
This nicely applies to Josephina's own career, which she's pursued despite a few roadblocks — the first one being her own insecurity. She didn't want to post on Vine, but she did. Then, she moved to Los Angeles. "I didn't really know LA was really the place for music," she confesses. "I didn't know it like that. I'd never thought in my mind, Oh, I'm gonna move to LA and do this whole thing." At her first songwriting session, she says, she almost let her co-producers take the reins entirely. "They were like, 'Okay, we should write this Taylor Swift-y kinda song. Talk about his blue eyes, blah blah blah.' And I was going along with it, [but] two lines in, I was like, can you change it up?" She walked out of that session astounded that she could actually write pop songs on her own.
"I never knew I could write a song until [that day]," she says, sounding bewildered. "It was like the most liberating feeling I ever had in my entire life. I never kept a journal or anything like that — it felt like having a journal for the first time."
The "Dope Girl" music video feels like the most luscious journal entry. Josephina lounges in an entirely pink home, her hair in matching pink curlers. She steams her face in the kitchen, where a set of half-eaten pancakes languishes. (The kitchen also features a plate of sparkly painted lemons.) She picks up a shoe and pretends to make a phone call. Directed by photographer Ekaterina Belinskaya, the video encompasses the most glamorous version of your worst stay-at-home-under-the-covers days.
"We wanted to focus on it being a chill thing," Josephina describes. "Like, 'I could turn my luck up,' that's the whole thing. [We wanted it to be] me getting ready throughout the day, just doing stuff around my house. In my pink palace." Even at her most casual, hair in curlers getting ready for the day, Josephina reminds us, she lives in a palace.
Watch the full music video, below.