The Director Explains: Rosie Carney - 'Awake Me' (Video)

Director Charlie Joe Doherty  speaks to us about the ideas behind Rosie Carney's cinematic music video for her powerful single, 'Awake Me'.

Rosie Carney' has an instinct for pairing natural, breathtaking lyrical imagery with beautiful sonic textures and turning pain and vulnerability into incredible feats of strength and survival.  'Awake Me’ is perhaps her most soul-baring track yet, deeply personal, yet deeply cathartic. It is hard not to  be in awe of her splendour.

Charlie Joe Doherty Explains:
Where was the video for 'Awake Me' filmed?

The video was filmed in an abandoned hotel close to home. I’m always on the look out for unique places & I love to find old dilapidated locations to film. They offer an insight into previous lives & times & especially in this video it offered an eerie feel which complimented the video’s dimensions. Rooms had been severely worn yet you could still recognise its original character from over 30 years ago. Old wallpapers & fixtures allow for such interesting scene set-ups & there's always something interesting going on in the frame… located in this massive hotel with just a small crew inside of it. It felt like something from “The Shining” as we walked the cold, empty corridors of the hotel so it kept us always alert & open to new spaces & ideas to film with.

How does the video compliment the song?
I remember when Rosie asked me to do a video for the song within the first 10 minutes I think we had already the entire idea in place for it. The songs message just chimed so many different images in my head that when it came to generating the vision for it it all came flowing very naturally. Creatively, it is always nice when that happens so I feel that in the space & time we had to create this video we did our best job as we could to compliment 'Awake Me' & give it a new live of its own & I think Isabelle’s performance really helped to portray that vision. She did a fantastic job!!

Any behind the scenes stories?
The only story that I can think of actually came at the end of filming when we had everything wrapped up. The manager of the hotel who looked after the place & who gave us access to it said that over the Christmas period he was down at the back end of the hotel near the empty swimming pool which features in the video. He said he was about to lock up the door which led to the pool & the next thing he felt a force from the other side… he said the door flung open & set him flying forward!! He ran for the hills & thought it appropriate to tell us the story shortly after we had finished up filming so it made for some interesting viewing when I got to look over the footage to see if any abnormal activity appeared in frame!!

Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
The main crux of the video is following the paths of depression & finding solace if only momentary in oneself. The video is a representation of an illness that can seem altogether empowering & we wanted to create a somewhat dreamscape world for our actress to live in to convey the clouded mindset when faced with hardships. There's a sense that there is a longing for escape yet we’re still enticed in the straggle hold of depression. It is suffering, it is so many things that grip our worlds in daily living that we have to cope with. I feel that the ending scenes when we see Isabelle within nature it serves as a sanctuary for her. I wanted to create a world as if the viewer was looking through a snow globe & for the brief time it lasted we could watch the snow glisten & fall & that was the place I wanted to take our protagonist too …. A somewhat carefree, child-like place for her to relieve her soul within.

What is the message the video is trying to convey?
The message in the video is really open to interpretation, but it really is supposed to symbolise the message in the song which is self help and the process of healing. In the video we see Isabelle trapped in an old, abandoned, damp and dark place which is really supposed to symbolise her mind. She lives in dark discomfort. At the end of the song we see her escaping and rejoicing after finding, what could only be momentary, freedom.

Interview Feature by Karla Harris

For Rosie to be getting on with her career she has had to overcome insurmountable odds. Having struggled with depression and anorexia half her life, music has guided her through it. In a year where discussion about mental health both in the music industry and in broader society has come a long way in removing the stigma and providing insight into sufferers, Rosie is determined to help others by being vocal about her own experiences through her music and her blog. You can find her blog here: