From New York to Los Angeles, the intriguing artist and singer-songwriter Clayton Brandt wears his heart on his sleeve for his latest emotional single and music video, "That's When You Saw Me."
Coming from a family of musicians, Clayton Brandt was primarily inspired by his grandfather Alan Brandt, a lyricist who wrote various jazz standards. Enamored with each melody and lyric that coincided, Clayton Brandt packed his bags and took off to LA, where he now resides and is continuously evolving.
Releasing his latest single and music video, "That's When You Saw Me," Clayton Brandt takes on the heavy and heartfelt emotions of a relationship and places himself back in the good old days. Through poetic lyricism and brilliant cinematography, the entire visual and sonic experience allows listeners to feel something deep inside.
Listening to the single "That's When You Saw Me," we're met with Clayton Brandt's soothing vocal stylings and the accompanying acoustic guitar. While the drums enter the song alongside a jazzy bassline, Clayton Brandt begins singing his vulnerable story of picturesque nights with a loved one that might never return. Through the folk/jazz instrumentals, the song exudes nothing but excellence as it makes its way to the unconventional outro and graces our speakers with the sounds of tender jazz.
Peaking at the music video for "That's When You Saw Me," we see various scenes of Clayton Brandt offering an emotional and passionate performance in several locations. What catches our eye are the solo shots of Brandt pondering in California's desert while the lights fade to black and various colored projectors begin to gleam with female silhouettes moving fluidly. As the video ends with Clayton Brandt's head in his hands while alone in his bedroom, we can feel all the emotion and vulnerability, he fused into this experience.
Allow Clayton Brandt to stop you dead in your tracks with his latest heartfelt single, "That's When You Saw Me," and the song's accompanying music video, now available to view on YouTube.
We're highly impressed with the entire experience you've created through your single and music video, "That's When You Saw Me." What inspired the single itself?
I have always been fascinated by the experience of human relationships. There are layers to getting to know someone, whether it be a partner or a friend. We have our initial preconceptions of who we think they are, who we want them to be, and where we think the relationship will go. It isn't until we remove ourselves from those projections that we can truly see someone for who they are. "That's When You Saw Me" is very much inspired by this, by what it feels like to be seen by someone for the first time and to be loved, not judged, through that moment in the relationship.
Do you usually offer such jazzy and unique instrumental arrangements, similar to your single "That's When You Saw Me?" Do you strive to pay homage to your grandfather through your sound?
I think I will continue to have a level of jazz influence when it comes to my songwriting. It has been so ingrained in me from such a young age that to not engage with it in some capacity, whether it just be chord voices or vocal style, would feel inauthentic. I have so much respect for my grandfather that I always feel his presence when I write. Whenever there is a moment of doubt or lack of inspiration in the process, I listen to his records. It's a way of asking him what he might do without being able to have a conversation in real-time. In that way, I am always paying homage to him as he has and always will be an integral part of my writing process.
Do you have a personal favorite lyric?
I have a particular affinity for the closing lines of the second verse. "A heron glides through the breeze to the cypress trees and I swear it sings a prayer." It's a visual that has stuck with me for quite a while and I'm happy that I was able to paint that picture for the listener so they could at least peripherally share in that moment.
What did you want your audience to experience and feel after watching your music video for "That's When You Saw Me?"
The music video is very much tied to the inspiration behind "That's When You Saw Me." We wanted to create something that felt organic and unadulterated. Each moment in the video is shown exactly as it was captured and we made an effort to minimize the work done in post. There is an inherent vulnerability in the way that it was shot and my hope is that the audience feels as if they have a window into a sequence of private moments. They are seeing the character as he is and is a participant in his journey over the course of the video.
Seeing as there are various scenes within your video for "That's When You Saw Me," how long was the entire shooting process? Is there anyone you'd like to mention that helped in the creation of your video?
The entire video was shot over the course of a 2 week period. My good friend Dominik Czaczyk shot and directed the project and he and I spent a number of days in pre-production mapping out how we were going to tackle the shot list and build the physical set for the desert scenes. The desert scene was the most difficult to plan because we had a one-day window to build, set, shoot and dismantle the flats. We are incredibly fortunate to be part of such a supportive community. Our friend group really pulled through and offered all hands on deck in order to make it happen. I am forever grateful to them and am excited to see what we create next.