Why did you decide to record your take on the song?
I really liked the song when it came out, so I was inspired to do my own version of the song and make an age-appropriate version so more of my friends, my subscribers and the kids in my age group could enjoy the music as I had.
What did you learn about the process of creating the video?
There is a lot of preparation that actually had to take place before shooting, from recording the song first in the studio, to deciding on a theme and the look of the video and then to find all the right costumes down to the shoes! There is a lot of starting and stopping during shooting too right in the middle of a take, or the song is broken up into pieces so you have to work hard to keep the emotion and vibe consistent throughout while still having fun! So I had to focus a bit more and keep the same energy level up in each little take, but I was also able to have a blast and play a bit more with the emotion behind every take for once, the music starts playing, and it just moves you!
What has surprised you the most about the reaction it's gotten?
I think what really confused me is so many people not really understanding that I was a young kid simply inspired by a song I had heard, as most of the nation was, and wanted to do my own interpretation of it as an artist. All singers do covers and find their own voice through a song that moves them in one way or another. They put their own style and spin on it. Isn’t this the point of doing a cover? Other artists, like Ed Sheridan, had done versions of the same song, so I was surprised at how much effort people put into commenting negatively on my version as if I was out to do anything else but express myself artistically.
How has it motivated you to continue your online presence?
What motivates me does not come from outside influences or people's opinions, positive or negative. What moves me as a creative, whether it be singing, acting, or whatever I choose to explore at the moment comes from within myself always, and I want to share this with as many people as possible. Social media outlets definitely allow me to reach a bigger audience. I can’t help but express this creativity in any way I am able to and of course as an artist, we do hope to move and affect people around us, but this is never the motivating factor.
What tips do you have for responding to cyberbullying?
I would never stop myself from expressing my creativity or do something for the sake of thinking it will please more people. All I do comes from such an honest place within myself, so I would encourage others to think the same way and have the courage to be authentically themselves, not a copycat of an image others feel “cool”. Worrying about others “liking me” or “approving” of the way I express my art does not make it art so then what is the point? Always be a leader and always express your individuality for this is what makes us all special. “DO YOU” and maybe this will end up being the next trend! And if not, this is not what matters. I just do my thing and if others connect to what I do, all the better!