Did you always intend to turn “The Last Song” into a music video?
No, I hadn’t really thought about doing a music video. When I gave “The Last Song” out for free, in that first week it had almost 5,000 downloads. People really seemed to latch onto it, and it started getting radio play with this radio DJ in Dallas, Kidd Kraddick. It actually got enough radio play to put it on the Top 200 radio show, and it actually hit 148 a few weeks ago, which is really cool.
So I was like, “Man, people really relate to this song,” and so I called my buddy who did my music video for “She Runs” about a year ago. These two directors, my two friends Jonathan Combs and Joe Childress, I called them up and said, “I want to do a music video, I don’t have any money.” [laughs] Which they’re familiar with that, 'cause I didn’t have any money for the “She Runs” video. So, they started brainstorming and said that they wanted to do another video for me. They had a great concept, but they’re like, “This is going to take some money to do it.”
We decided to do a Kickstarter page where people could donate in return for different rewards like Twitter mentions and YouTube shout outs. And we raised the whole budget. I was so excited. We raised the $8,000 in less than 30 days.
I saw that you hit your goal before the donation period was up. Was it overwhelming to have so many people contribute to this project?
It really was. This whole American Idol journey and the past six months of my life has felt like the craziest roller coaster ever. There’s so many extreme highs, but that usually creates for some pretty tough falls. The hard thing is, when you’re in front of a much larger audience, you tend to hear all sorts of different feedback; some is really positive and some is really negative. It’s hard, and you feel a lot more vulnerable. But when I see the outpouring of support for the music video and so many people who just really believed in what I was doing, enough so to give their own money to the project, that really humbled me. That was really great.
Was the video mainly the directors’ concept, or was it more of a collaborative effort?
That was mainly the directors’ vision. They thought of that whole concept. When it comes to creativity, I’m great when it comes to songwriting, but when it comes to anything else, especially visual stuff, I have to default to somebody else. They came up with that whole concept, which I thought was beautiful. I thought, “If we can pull this off to make it look the way they want it to look, it’s going to add a whole new level of depth to the song.”