The Artist Explains: Yvonne McDonnell - 'I'm Not This Layer Of Skin' (Video)
London based singer-songwriter Yvonne McDonnell’speaks to us about the ideas behind her inspiring music video for single, ‘I’m Not This Layer Of Skin’ which encourages women of all ages to learn that substance doesn’t solely rest on appearance. 'I'm Not This Layer Of Skin' features on Yvonne's empowering new EP 'Not Her Own' out now via Reality Is Over.
Yvonne McDonnell Explains:
Where was the video filmed?
It was filmed at Last Shot Studios in Shepherds Bush
How does the video compliment the song?
So the video was meant to portray the message of the song; that there is more to us than what we look like. It may be an obvious statement, but growing up in western society I have personally felt an immense pressure to look/ not look a certain way, particularly when I was younger. There are so many unwritten rules attached to people’s bodies that I just had an overwhelming desire to say something about it. Therefore the video is a bunch of women portraying their talents/substance such as sports, music, writing, as well as portraying their human side with every day activities, such as brushing teeth/hair etc. It would have been quite difficult to portray that without the song, so I think they complement each other really well.
Any behind the scenes stories?
It was all a bit random really! We had all sorts of props on set that eventually weren’t used due to time constraints. The women turned up and we kind of just asked them what do you want to do? We had a general plan, but really we just wanted them to do what they felt comfortable doing. Luckily it went well and I think the relaxed atmosphere and authenticity really paid off in the end. Davide Marchesi from 316 Queens productions directed it and he is an absolute genius behind the camera, which is why I wanted to work with him specifically, so I’m not surprised at all that it worked…
Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
We wanted to keep it as simple as possible, which is why we chose a white backdrop to literally just shoot the women being who they are. We made the activities as authentic as possible, for example Charlotte Algar was filmed reading the poem The Lady of Shalott, and she actually writes (beautiful) music inspired by classic poets. The whole song was inspired by that poem, particularly the line "she has a lovely face," so it was good to link them two aspects. Also, Laura Maidment practices yoga, Mickey Carroll is a photographer etc. It was important for me to keep it genuine in order to convey the message properly. It is quite a serious message, but the day was so much fun and the cast are so lovely that the ending had to be quite light hearted to really capture the spirit of the whole experience.
What is the message the video is trying to convey
Ultimately it is trying to convey that real beauty lies within us. It is trying to steer us away from the notion that we should look a certain way and instead we should concentrate on our substance and our minds. I really think the amount we focus on our aesthetics as a society can be so damaging and I think music and art is such a great platform for confronting these kind of issues in an effective way.
Interview feature by Karla Harris