Featured - Video, Music
Jul 8, 2024

Music Crush Monday: Bonnie McKee

Bonnie McKee is a stupendous songwriter and singer in her own right as well. Her latest track ‘Forever 21’ is an 80’s fever dance dream we can’t get enough of.

Image Cover Still: Bonnie McKee YouTube

‘Forever 21’ is immediately hitting our playlist for the week on repeat. The song is so spectacualr and Bonnie seems to fly under the radar as a singer when she really, truly, shouldn’t. her songwriting skills are responsible for some of Katy Perry’s biggest hits. Yes, if you didn’t know this is the woman whose been penning some of your favorite songs for a very long time. This beautiful exerpt below, was written by Bonnie McKee and can be found on her Youtube.

‘Forever 21 is a tragedy disguised as a bright and sparkly bop. Written in the twilight of my drinking days, it was my satirical coping mechanism, and a cathartic outlet exploring my shame around being an alcoholic hot mess. I was grappling with the idea of abandoning my party girl identity, flirting with the notion that the party might finally be over, and reveling in my last sloppy hurrah. I love writing and directing narrative driven videos, and I really enjoy the challenge of telling a story with no dialogue. I knew we needed to figure out how to portray an entire emotional arc with picture alone, so it was important that we found a setting with well known traditions and societal etiquette for my character to obliterate- and what better setting than a wedding? The high stakes, the classic faux pas, and the booze fueled emotional landmines that come with a big expensive once in a lifetime party was the perfect backdrop for a comedic domino effect of epic failures. We’ve all either witnessed or been the culprit of wedding disasters, and coincidentally, my co-director David Richardson (Bombastic, Jenny’s Got A Boyfriend, Wasted Youth, Easy, Stars In Your Heart) got his start directing wedding videos in Hawaii, so we were both excited to throw a tacky 80’s wedding and watch it unravel. David and I speak the same aesthetic and comedic language, and all of my favorite music videos have come to life with him. I wanted to find a way to capture both the elation of a carefree bender and the wreckage that’s left in it’s wake, so casting a wedding party and guests who could match my freak was important. I basically invited all my friends to an 80’s themed party with the promise of a free meal and a good time, and they did not disappoint. In fact, the cast of this video IS the magic! Molly Tarlov turned up the drama and embodied hysterical bridezilla to perfection, Corey Walls brought a lovable unexpected charm to our doofus groom, Eden Wilson’s uppity maid of honor served razor sharp side eye with a blood curdling smile, Joshuah Arizmendi was the funniest feel good wing man, Barni Rothman was a delightfully wacky mother of the bride, my perfectly perturbed bridesmaids Lola Blanc and Rachel West politely through gritted teeth, the unhinged groomsman, Kayan Palmer, L.J. Kapas, and Job Piston had me in absolute stitches, the wedding band, Bonavega, Sad Alex, Sara Keden, and Andy Harry, who are all incredible artists in real life and, turns out, can also act, and even the rest of the wedding guests, most of whom are talented musicians and not actors by trade, hammed it up and delivered creative improvisation that absolutely elevated this video and made a shoestring production feel like a real life movie! All of these beautiful faces and hilarious performances are incredible artists in their own right who generously lent their time and talent for a long day under hot lights, all for the price of a plate of Bucca De Beppo. Shout out to our stellar director of Photography, Gabe Kimpson and his incredible crew who lit us all to the gods and perfectly captured the mood, and a very special thanks to my co-producer Alex Schindler, and our skeleton crew of magical art department elves Hale May, Taylor Kahan, Spencer Moore, Vanessa Delosantos, and John Schmidt, who tirelessly turned an empty banquet hall into a tropical wedding set in a matter of hours. Thank you to Hollywood Womens Center for lending their beautiful space and accommodating our crew of misfits for the day! I co-wrote this song with Kelly Sheehan (Hot City, Kylie Minogue, Beyonce, Rita Ora), Vaughn Oliver (Sleepwalker, Kim Petras, Katy Perry, Oliver) and Oliver Goldstein (Hot City, Foster The People, Chromeo, Oliver), and it was mixed and mastered by my favorite, Clint Gibbs, who is endlessly patient with me and always gets it right. Also special thanks to David Morup (Dave The Doctor) for making the perfectly cheesy wedding video theme song! I am so grateful to have such mind blowingly talent collaborators in my corner, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to create with my friends. I love you all, thank you for your contributions!’ – xo Bonnie