Los Angeles based music group, Terry Light, have recently released their debut single, “Lately,” and independent filmmaker, Kailee McGee directed the clip for it. McGee loved the single so much that she included it in her film “The Person I Am When No One Is Looking,” and “deepened the meaning of Light’s song, highlighted its intensity, and foregrounded its indisputable cinematic qualities.”
Light released the last four minutes of the single and music video, including the part of the film that’s scored by the song. The video features McGee performing a dance on the Los Angeles streets. Light spoke with us about the music video and single, working with filmmaker and friend, Kailee McGee, on the video and her film, along with writing music and their fun music favorites.
How did the collaboration with Kailee McGee come about, and how do you guys feel about having your music in her film “The Person I Am When No One Is Looking”?
Kailee is one of my good buds, and the recording of “Lately” was wrapping up around the time she was in pre-production for her film. She heard it and was really moved by it, and the lyrics just happened to tie in to her story, so she asked if she could use it. Without knowing what it was really going to be, we agreed to it trusting her talents and taste, and it paid off in a big way. She made a beautiful piece of art and used the song in a really special way within her story.
Speaking of music, how do you guys craft your songs; do the lyrics come first or the music, or simply organically?
It’s usually a little phrase or melody that starts an idea while I’m jamming on the guitar or keyboard, for “Lately” it was the first verse just suddenly popping in to my head when I was messing around with that progression, and the rest fell in to place pretty quickly. I usually come to the crew having the structure of the song pretty much totally mapped out, and from there it’s just getting the arrangement and production to a place that feels right.
What was it like working on the music video with Kailee?
We really didn’t have anything to do with the music video, Kailee was the brains of it all, but clearly interpreted the song in such a cool way. It just worked out that it happened to be this perfect little story for the song. When we saw the film, that section felt like it could be a great music video in it’s own right, so we’re lucky that she agreed to let us use it in the condensed form on that front.
Was the idea behind the theme of the video a group effort, or somebody else’s and you guys just went for it?
The film is a very personal story to Kailee, part real life / part fiction, so maybe the song being introduced to her made it a group collaboration in an abstract meta way, but it was really just friends being inspired by each other’s art, and Kailee having the talent to pull of a pretty high wire act of a short film. Mark Hadley produced “Lately”, and Kailee got him to do the score for “The Person..” after hearing it, Mark had me come in for some background vocals for the score which provided a nice continuity to lead us in to the scene with “Lately”, so there was definitely some collaboration on that front.