When it comes to her artistry, there’s no beating around the bush with Jennifer Tefft. She is all in when it comes to her music, and perhaps never more dedicated than right now. Tefft just released her latest single “Better Days,” along with its accompanying music video. Anthemic in nature, the song aims to add a little hope to your day. It’s one that’s very personal to Tefft, who has had her fair share of challenges thrown at her over the course of her life.
Left with no choice but to endure these hardships, she has rolled up her sleeves and worked as hard as she could to surpass these challenges. Proud to be a breast cancer survivor, Tefft is now eager to refocus her attention on her music, with “Better Days” emphasizing her ability to combine intense rhythms with melancholic textures, and a haunting vocal style.
The music video for “Better Days” features dancer and choreographer Emphis performing evocative and powerful choreography, meant to represent the song’s sadness and vulnerability. With such a dynamic, compelling new video, the clip for “Better Days” made for the perfect focus of our latest Behind The Video interview. We chatted with Tefft, along with director and producer Dimitar Drew and Emphis about the video’s concept, the process of making videos, and their views on how music videos have changed over the years.
Any mishaps on set?
Dimitar Drew & Emphis: “See video of drone crash (laughs). We hiked to this beautiful hill/meadow to capture the main joy of the concept. We had our adventures through lakes and tiny broken bridges. Also on one shot, I was mesmerized so much that I had an accident with a drone crash in a tree. We still had an amazing and very, very windy memory of this place!”
Do you prefer writing a video around the theme of a song or just going on a warehouse and banging out a live performance?
Jennifer Tefft: “I tend to prefer concept videos with some live performance mixed in. I think a storyline in the video really draws the viewer/listener in.”
How important are music videos in terms of increased exposure?
Tefft: “It seems like they have become extremely important. Everyone just expects you to have a video for every song.”
How important of a role does social media play for sharing videos and increasing exposure?
Tefft: “Social media is everything these days. I find people are much more likely to watch a video as opposed to just listening to an audio link. We are such a visual society. Social media has made it so easy to share videos and reach new audiences. It also helps to extend the life of the release, rolling out the video a few days after the song is released gives people another reason to come back and engage again.”
How much more effective or beneficial is creating a music video now compared to 20 or 30 years ago?
Tefft: “Well it definitely is easier and more affordable for sure. There are so many programs and apps that can help you create videos, but there is no substitute for stellar footage.”
Are the benefits worth the costs and effort involved?
Tefft: “I definitely think so. Videos really give people another point of entry to your music. People are more likely to check out a song if there is a video attached to it.”
Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally-made/directed video?
Tefft: “I definitely think so. But I really think, no matter how you do it, DIY or with a video pro, you really need to concentrate on lighting and good shots. Editing can do a lot, but it can’t fix crappy footage.”
Does the video for “Better Days” have a concept and, if so, can you elaborate on it?
Drew: “The concept was truly an emotional experience for directing this video, both for me as a director and as well as for my closest partner and wife and her choreography. The music video was built more or less on the true story of the artist Jennifer itself. I believe that most people as well as me relate to the story of getting to the point of rock bottom and bringing yourself back on level, stepping on your feet again. Due to this fact of raw truth and realism we actually had moments of tears on the current set of production.”
Did the video have a budget and where you able to stick with it?
Tefft: “Oh definitely! Being an indie artist, budget is always one of the biggest factors. Dimitar delivered an awesome video to me for the exact price he quoted me… truly amazing!”
How much of your new video was self-made?
Tefft: “I depended completely on Dimitar and Emphis for this one (smiles).”