Lucy and La Mer’s new single ‘Better Than I Was Before’ is exactly what the world needs this Autumn. The LA based artist blends influences such as Sam Smith and Ariana Grande with a melodic style that is all her own. The result is a shot of pure Californian sunshine. Its catchy guitar licks and dance synths are determined to get you moving. They will succeed. Clubs may be closed right now, but when the chorus beat kicks in people will be dancing in their bedrooms the world over.
Lucy and La Mer is here to make you feel good. And what could be more important that that?
In her fantastic new video to accompany the single, Lucy turns to boxing to overcome her problems and face her ex (played by TiK Tok’s Moony Maroon.) Part training montage, part open air gig, all feel good pop classic, ‘Better Than I was Before’ is an uplifting and invigorating ode to getting your self confidence back. (Plus, eagle-eyed viewers should look out for the bi flag hanging proudly in the background!)
Ahead of the video’s world exclusive premiere at Unicorn Magazine, we spoke to the indie pop star and LGBTQ+ activist about the inspiration behind the track, and the importance of creating positivity in these dark times.
The video looks like it was a lot of fun to shoot- potentially quite exhausting too! Where did the idea of a boxing match come from?
During my Philippines tour in January 2020, I started taking Muay Thai classes on my days off. lt empowered me and challenged me in ways that I’ve never experienced. When I came back to Los Angeles, I started training with martial arts choreographer/actor Daniel Velasco. We continued with Zoom sessions throughout the covid lockdowns. Then, when Director Ericka de Alexander and I met to discuss a new video, she loved the idea of a boxing motif and wrote the script around the idea of a fight scene.
Were there any particular challenges filming in these post-corona restriction times?
Filming during this summer came with many challenges. We had a minimal crew, and even the makeup artist, set designer, fight choreographer and director doubled as actors to keep the amount of people on set small and essential. Everyone provided a negative Covid test before filming and was required to wear a mask at all times on set, which made it very difficult to communicate. It was also over 100 degrees Fahrenheit both days. We took every precaution we could, but there was still a weight on everyone’s shoulders. It’s a whole new world right now.
It’s a really invigorating and joyful moment when the video switches locations from the intense boxing match to the open air gig in the desert. Where was that filmed?
Our director, Ericka, describes that scene as “Lucy’s safe space” and it’s incredibly accurate to my real life safe-haven. That field is actually just outside my parent’s home in the California desert. It’s where I grew up and walked the dirt roads to the school bus. The idea in the video is that I need to be alone post-breakup. I need to comfort myself, and realize I am capable on my own, and then I can come back swinging. For me personally, it was perfect because I usually do stay at my folks after a rough breakup. You’ve got to go back to your roots sometimes to recharge and get that outside perspective.
BTIWB has a positive and inspiring message at its core.
Is it important to you that you give people positivity and uplifting beats after what has been (globally) such a challenging year?
Absolutely. I feel like we can all use something with an uplifting beat and positive message. I read that Netflix has had an influx of views on older movies and sitcoms (aka things we’ve already seen or used to watch) because everyone is seeking something familiar, light, and predictable. We’re all struggling in different ways through this, but I think there’s always room for positivity and space to look at the bigger picture.
We’re each going to come out of this more experienced, and hopefully, more compassionate for those around us. I hope everyone can look inward as well and see how we’ve each changed since the beginning of this year. And I’d like to challenge everyone to focus on the good changes, and be more compassionate towards themselves as well.
For me personally, training for the music video and being active physically really helped my mental health during this time. Like a lot of people, I felt isolated and was living alone. Having a project to work towards and various fitness goals kept me from falling into depression.
What was the inspiration when writing the track? What were you (and co-writer Cliff Magreta) hoping people would feel listening to it?
Cliff and I wrote this song the day we met. We wanted to create something uptempo and fun, something people could dance to. We’re also both Dua Lipa fans and loved the idea of a disco beat. I had also just been through a breakup the week before. When I started the lyrics, it was a reflection of how I wanted to overcome the sadness and feel stronger in my new beginning. Cliff is a seasoned producer and really filled out the song with feel-good vibes.
Do you have any tips or tricks for regaining self-confidence after getting dumped?
Give yourself a break. You just got dumped. Give yourself some love and compassion. And time! You’ve probably been giving your partner most your time and energy, and now it’s time to focus on YOU and treat yourself like the person you’d want to date. For me, kickboxing helped me channel all my anxious thoughts into strength. And when you’re ducking from a punch, you really don’t have time to be daydreaming about what could’ve been if you were still with your ex. Give yourself space to be YOU and get more curious about your own interests.
I have to ask…Are there any exes of yours that you’d like to go toe-to-toe with in a boxing ring?
NOPE! Haha. I am literally SO grateful for all of my exes. Even the ones that still get under my skin sometimes. Even the toxic ones, too. I’ve learned a lot about myself through dating: my pet peeves, my love language, my capacity to give, my faults, red flags. I’ve become a much more confident, independent person through my romantic relationships. If it wasn’t for all the disagreements and hard conversations, I wouldn’t have the boundaries and communication skills that I have now. I wouldn’t have all this new space and ability to love even bigger and better. And I’m definitely better than I was before.
“Better Than I Was Before” is available everywhere now.
(Photography by Benjamin Ford)
Lucy & La Mer
She / Her | Los Angeles, USA | Singer / songwriter
Singer, Songwriter, Snuggler. Lucy & La Mer is a folk pop musician who you’ll find embracing the sweet hot sidewalks of LA.
Lucy was interviewed by Joe Von Malachowski