The Artist Explains: Jay Pray - 'Smile' (Video)

Jay Pray speaks to us about the ideas behind his touching visuals for warm and colourful synth pop single, 'Smile'.

Born and raised in rural Connecticut, Jay Pray is the project of Justin P. Romanos. 'Smile' is taken from his self-titled debut album produced by Brandon Bost at Electric Lady Studio debuting "a lush landscape of electro synth-pop tones, both sultry and full of sunshine, with every detail perfectly crafted into place".

The video for 'Smile' was directed and edited by the talented Joe Staehly, who used a clever mixture of modern (RED Epic Dragon) and classic (Super 8 film) to create an emotionally devastating clip full of arresting beauty.

Jay Pray Explains:
Where was the video for 'Smile' filmed?
The video was filmed in parts of Pennsylvania and in New Mexico during the Hot Air Ballon Festival!

How does the video compliment the song?
Thats weird - I'm not sure - I come from a different perspective because I wrote the song - but had nothing to do with the story of the video. So it was really interesting for me to see the different interpretation of the song. But overall I think the song and video compliment each other very well - to the point where I cant listen to the song with out at least thinking about the video. I'm really happy with the director's take on it - it made the song itself more impactful.

Any behind the scenes stories?
I honestly wasn't on set for very much - I was very hands off for this shoot. I left it up to the director and him and his company took care of everything. I'm only in one shot haha. But you can watch a behind the scene video the company made here -

Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
The whole video is just a beautiful portrait of of a couple that has been together since they were teens. The wife is walking through images of their past while projecting them onto various objects that had significant meaning to her. It all culminates at the end when its revealed her husband has alzheimer's and she is projecting various videos of their past and it seems that - if only for a second - he has some recollection of their past.

What is the message the video is trying to convey?
The message I think the video is trying to convey is that of love - that is able to live beyond the hardships. Even when someone is overcome with a terrible disease - you can somehow break through the barriers - no matter how difficult - to convey that feeling.

Interview feature by Karla Harris