It started with a feeling, intimate and solitary.
And then the thought followed, “This is what a broken heart feels like.”
I opened my journal and began writing. The words flowed easily as I described the sensations in my body:
“A pressure just behind my sternum
and suddenly I can’t breathe.”
“An ache radiating in all directions
slowly rendering me numb,
as though a steady drip of Lidocaine
was running through my veins.”
I wrote to feel. I wrote to feel and to process the feelings. And when I finished writing, I discovered that I had written a poem. I called it Heartbroken and you can read the whole thing on page 30 of Brainstorms.
A few months later, I started hearing a tune and I recorded a voice memo and sent it to Justin Jagoda, my songwriting collaborator and producer. “This is our next song!”
We wrote the song in one session, playing off the emotion of the poem and adding a story in the verses. I recorded my vocals a month later and then Justin did his magic with production, background vocals, and the brilliant addition of a fiddle. The song Heartbroken quickly became our favorite and another seed was planted…what would this song look like? You know, if I was to make a music video. But of course, I wasn’t really going to make a music video; I was just having fun dreaming. That is, until Peter Dranga came into the picture.
Peter is an accomplished musician himself and has produced and directed many of his own music videos. He was looking to work with another artist, and when he listened to Heartbroken over dinner in West Hollywood, his artistic vision was perfectly in sync with what Justin and I had imagined. The momentum was building.
The production came together in one month. We filmed the video one night in downtown LA and there is no place I would have rather been on a Friday night than on that set. Watching the space transform from a graffiti-filled warehouse into the foggy mystique of Heartbroken was magical. MaryAnn Chavez and Timmy Lewis choreographed movements that were the perfect expression of the music and lyrics. We created a world for six hours that no longer exists in the physical realm, but will live forever on film.
Heartbroken may have been born from my personal place of vulnerability, but it came to life through beautiful collaboration with artists who brought the passion of their craft to the song. When I watch the completed video, I still remember the seed, the feeling that started this whole thing. But now I see the power and intensity in heartbreak, the strength that can be found in diving so deeply into myself and coming out the other side. And I think maybe that’s what being alive is all about.