Ahead of premiering the music video of Fiat Five Hunner, we caught up with Amy and Sean De Francesco (writer/director) to chat industry advice, LGBTQ+ and everything Fiat Five Hunner…
What are your backgrounds in the industries you’re working in?
AMY: I’ve been kicking about and doing stuff as Amy Lou around the Scottish music scene since 2013 , mostly solo acoustic stuff but in 2018 , Amy Lou kind of blew up in the best way possible and have a very quick glow up , we released our debut single “Chania” and this got a lot of really good attention and really good ground to walk on , to release something a little bit more eccentric.
SEAN: I have played in bands since my early teens. Through doing so I picked up some skills along the way, out of necessity at first. When my band needed recordings, I learned how to record; when we needed a video, I started making videos. The latter has now formed a massive part of my life, as besides studying and playing in my own band (Moonlight Zoo) I spend all my time making films and taking photographs for bands.
What is ‘Fiat Five Hunner’ about for those who haven’t yet heard the song?
AMY: Fiat Five Hunner is really about a relationship breakdown and how it can build you or break you – the way the song trails off it more on the break side of things. The song is lyrically one of my favourites and most personal I’ve ever written, and it talks about letting your livelihood and mental health be affected by a break up. It’s a song originally written acoustically but when we recorded the single we turned it on its head and had a lot a fun with it – and made it into this 80s wet and choppy chorus laden anthem.
What inspired the music video and how did the concept come about?
AMY: The initial concept idea came from a conversation between Jakob (our guitarist) and I on the drive back home from Glasgow after a gig and he mentioned he’d love to somehow involve a drag queen in a music video – at the time we were prepping the release of our first single Chania and the concept didn’t fit the song like how it did and clicked with Fiat Five Hunner. Then, all we gave to Sean Defrancesco, the man behind the madness, was to “involve a drag queen and a Fiat 500” and it turned into what it has. Originally, we were in contact with a few queens across Scotland about getting involved with the video, but in the end the only person we could imagine in the role was our Jakob because who else can rock a pink frock like he can?
SEAN: When Amy and I first started discussing the video, Amy described this scene she had in mind to me – she imagined a drag queen walking into an old man’s pub, and the reaction it would provoke. This scene really sparked the idea for the whole video, and I set about building a story around it. For me, that one scene in itself was like a representation of what I considered Amy to represent as an artist – she’s bold, uncompromising, and doesn’t care what other people think.
For the performance shots I thought it would be funny to parody all the hip-hop and R ‘n’ B videos where you see these rappers and gangster types performing in front of flash cars, by having Amy in a pink suit performing in front of a Fiat 500. As well as being a big prop I also wanted the car to play an active role in the story, which is what I love so much about its first appearance when its’ headlights blind the young thugs as Amy comes to the rescue of Lady Jay (drag queen). I had initially planned to have it come to the rescue again at the end, but then I decided the kiss would be a much more effective ending to the story. It really plays on the idea that bullies often only act tough to cover up their own insecurities, and I thought it was a triumphant victory to show Lady Jay disarming the bullies with a show of affection, and winning by the fact that they, unlike Lady Jay, were not comfortable with their sexuality.
The video depicts violence towards the LGBTQ+ community, are there any hopes for this video to call out this behaviour in Scotland?
AMY: Personally, growing up as an openly gay woman I’ve always had a bit of stick for my sexuality and that’s why I adore this video concept from something I’ve struggled with for so long and one of the reasons I started writing songs to turn into this is a beautiful growth. I think we’re lucky in Scotland as a country is one of the most supportive open-minded countries but by no means are we where we should be and if this video somehow meets the screen of someone who is struggling with their sexuality or identity and are getting a bit of stick and empowers them – then I suppose I’ve done my job.
SEAN: I think it is important to have diverse representation of different characters and all walks of life within music videos, just like any other form of media. If anything, I hope the story might make people think twice about discriminating against someone because of how they choose to live their life.
For those who want to pursue a career as a musician or writer/director, what advice would you give them?
AMY: Be nice to EVERYONE. Go out there and meet people at gig and support the people you meet – if they’ve got a cool thing going on, then shout about it and they will shout about you to. I think a lot of people view the music industry as a competition and that is the complete worst mind set to have as it will get you nowhere.
SEAN: There are loads of bands in Scotland, and these days if they want to get their music out there or be taken seriously, they need videos. So, there are loads of opportunities and demand for music videos, not to mention the innumerable other interesting things you can point a camera at. One common misconception is the idea that you need to have loads of fancy expensive equipment to make films/music videos, and although it is true film equipment can be very expensive, it is by no means a necessity to have a camera that costs over four figures to make a good film. Every phone has a video camera now, and the story is what matters. If you want to make films, go and make them.
The music video for Fiat Five Hunner premiers online at NinetyFour Magazine on 27/02!!
More from Amy:
Instagram – @not_you_amy_lou
Facebook – @notyouamylou
Twitter – @not_you_amy_lou
More from Sean:
Instagram – @seandefrancesco
Website – www.seandefrancesco.com