Republic Records needed a lyric video for Julia Michaels first single Issues, ideally shot and delivered within 10 days of the brief, as the single had already been released.
Thankfully the brief from Julia and her label was quite open to interpretation, "either live action, animation or still photos of couples of all kinds (white, black, asian, latino, jewish, muslim, straight, gay, mixed race couples, etc.) in real life relationship situations (kissing hugging, arguing, grocery shopping, etc.).” Director Pedro Chaves came to us with the outline, and the idea to connect the characters and moments by creating a constant linear motion, almost as if you were sliding through the page of a storyboard or comic book.
We shot predominantly over one day in London, at a multitude of locations (with the addition of capturing three separate (and very early) summer sunrises at Primrose Hill), before taking the footage back to our edit suite in Tunbridge Wells, cutting the content and remotely sharing between Pedro in Ghent, Brussels and Republic Records in New York, USA.
Julia Michaels has written for, and collaborated with, major artists such as Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Gwen Stefani, Zedd, Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, Kygo, Years & Years, Zara Larsson and Britney Spears. According to Michaels, many big name artists fought for the song Issues, but she kept the song for herself as she knew it was the perfect debut single.
As “Issues” achieved stratospheric success, she quietly assembled what would become the “mini-album,” writing and producing alongside frequent collaborators such as Mattman & Robin [Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Hailee Steinfeld], Justin Tranter [Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez], and more in L.A. In addition to “Issues,” the follow-up single “Uh Huh”—which earned early praise from Time, V Magazine, and many others—paved the way for the release of Nervous System. Slipping from acoustic guitar into a rush of electronic production and a chantable chorus, the track captures a fleeting and fiery moment.
“It’s about wanting the person you want to make the move,” she explains. “He hasn’t yet, so you’re like, ‘Shit, should I just do it myself?’ You don’t know how he feels though. It’s this weird tension. When that move does happen, it’s the most magical and pure feeling in the world. That’s something we can all relate to.”
Director: Pedro Chaves
DP, Editor: Marcus Bird
Colourist: Alexandre Nerzic
Producer: Tim Willrich
1st AD: Audelia Rowe
Extras - Gabriele Kutkeviciute, Svenja Sclossarek, Jordon Draggon, James, Richard Dee Roberts, Jessica Pryanka Lutchoomun Sultoo, Benjamin Byrne, Dean Stephen Coach, Timothy Styles, Dannii Barnes, Hyerim Kim, Andrea Mentlikowski.