I truly have experienced what its like to be apart of a global project … and it’s bloody amazing and highlights all the good in humans and a true sense of community.

“Own Self”, is the first single from my forthcoming CD release. This song is about embracing yourself and that no matter who or what lets you down, you always have yourself.  It’s a celebration and that’s what I got when I sent the biggest shout-out via my mailing list and Facebook asking for people to submit a video of themselves dancing and singing along to my song. One by one people starting to spread the word and soon enough I had more people submitting videos than I had room to store them all. We covered every single continent (bar Antarctica) with entries from Paris, India, Utah, Singapore, Mauritius, Honduras, and all around Australia; in all sorts of locations – iconic, personal, nature; and in all sorts of environments – snow, sun, on the water.

I did my own home video on a stand-up paddle board for fun (which didn’t make the final cut – geeeessssshhhh), and also took an amazingly, creative film crew out to some of the most beautiful locations in Australia for a day of shooting.

I admit to being so excited I couldn’t’ sleep the night before filming my scenes, and ended up just staying up all night and preparing for the shoot. It does help that I had started drinking coffee again after a 10-month hiatus – I had 2 coffees by 3am the morning of the shoot. It was a 2am start and off to hair and make up on the Gold Coast brilliantly taken care of by Rebecca Anthony whom generously let me raid her shoe closet before I left her place! First location for the beautiful Fingal Head for a sunrise shoot at the lighthouse. It didn’t all go to plan here with the weather and we ended up being pushed back a few hours due to rain.

This is my fourth music video and I realised I have really stepped it up a notch to have a personal driver for the day! Ok it was a freebie, but you never discount the value of a personal driver when you’ve been awake for 48 hours and you’re wearing fake eye-lashes! Thank you, Matthias.

Killen Falls is somewhere I first experienced in full hair and make up and carrying a violin down the mud track to a waterfall. Yes I played violin by a waterfall – why not? It’s a popular tourist spot, so the visitors got more than they bargained for when they came for the falls. They got a show too. I very quickly got over my nervousness of being watched whilst dancing. Actually, on that. I have always wanted to feel so free that I could move and dance and not be concerned what anyone would think. I think the videos pouring in from around the world of people embracing and celebrating themselves gave me so much encouragement to really do this myself.

At the falls, the whole cast (ie. Me) and the crew got down to their knickers for an impromptu swim and film shoot in the falls – literally under the falls. Now, these falls were very generous today. Lots of rain and they were falling from a fair height too. It was hard to stay afloat, let alone dance, whilst all this water pressure was on my head. But true to my mermaid form, I embraced the water and totally played it up to the camera.

After that we had to start again with my hair and make up, though my make up didn’t budge underwater (how’d you do that Rebecca?), so we took a break and hung out with a pet duck, Majorie (who features in the clip), who wore a nappy, and refreshed for our forest scene.

Now forest scenes are usually done in a forest right? But being the city-slicker I am, I am new to what’s in a forest. And within 1 minute of being in the forest, I was forced into a friendship with a hungry leech. Needless to say I screamed like a banshee and went ape-crazy, until someone was able to pull it out. Have you seen how icky those things are when they slink away? Eeeewwwww… makes my skin crawl.  I loved my look in the forest that Rebecca Anthony created and so stylistically took the hat off her head and gave it me for the shoot.

Last location for the day was at Broken Head, 7-mile beach for a true mermaid shot: on the rocks as the waves crashed behind me at sunset. Picturesque, you think? The Director of Photography, Nathan Wood, and second camera-lady, Clem Bourke did such a fantastic job choosing the locations, besides the spot where the leeches were, and were so easy to work with. What an inspired team to work with and such a pleasure to be surrounded by such beautiful people for the day.

Click here to watch the “Own Self” Music Video

Song Credits: 

Music and Lyrics by Francesca de Valence (Copyright 2015)

Produced and Recorded by Paul McKercher at Airlock Studios, Brisbane, Australia

Mixed by Paul McKercher at The Grove Studio, Sydney, Australia
Mastered by Leon Zervos at 301 Studios, Sydney, Australia
Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Violin – Francesca de Valence
Drums and Congas – Tony Dean
Bass – Nathan Moore

Violin – Emma Dean

Video Credits: 

Director/ D.O.P./ Editor – Nathan Wood – www.paredoliavisuals.com
Second Camera – Clementine Bourke
Producer/ Stylist/ Caterer – Francesca de Valence
Make Up/ Hair/ Assistant Stylist – Rebecca Anthony
Gaffer/ Driver/ Leech Protector – Matthias Allenspach

AND Starring these brave “selves” (in order of appearance):

Francesca de Valence (Northern NSW locations – Fingal Heads Lighthouse, Killen Falls, Broken Head Beach, Australia)
Merrilee McCoy (Melbourne, Australia)
Kristine Dennis (Gold Coast, Australia)
Holly Evans Plumelet (Paris, France)
Emily Gardner (Utah, USA)
Katie Swan (Gold Coast, Australia)
Alison King (Emu Park, Australia)
Zabdy Perez (Brisbane, Australia)
Jaspa Clark (Brisbane, Australia)
Ian Strange (Melbourne, Australia)
Chenae Carey (Brisbane, Australia)
Hannah Hughes (Utah, USA)
The Schravemades (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Ethan Rosier (Toowoomba, Australia)
Jamie Bundy (Utah, USA)
Geoff Wilson (Mullumbimby, Australia)
Matthias Allenspach (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Laura Driver (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Jacob Rosier (Toowoomba, Australia)
Doris De Valence (Toowoomba and Brisbane, Australia)
Theon Tilling-Mavondo (Gold Coast, Australia)
Carly Wallwork  (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Chris Dennis (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Ava McKay (Brisbane, Australia)
Liana Gilbert (Killcare Beach, Australia)
Clem Bourke and Marjorie the duck (Byron Bay, Australia)
Grace McKay (Brisbane, Australia)
Ara Williamson (Brisbane, Australia)
Sam Buckingham (Utila, Honduras)
Linda Charlton (Brisbane, Australia)
Zoran and Ariu Roki Wallwork (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Scott Kirkman (Mysore, India)
Irene Bartlett (Brisbane, Australia)
Emma Dean (Mullumbimby, Australia)
Zen Tilling-Mavondo (Gold Coast, Australia)
Isabella Rosier (Toowoomba, Australia)
Tony Dean (Brisbane, Australia)
Ebony Rosier (Toowoomba, Australia)
Karl Hatton (Mauritius)
Michael Synman (Brisbane, Australia)
Laura Coall (Ipswich, Australia)