Maryze and Amanda Louise Macchia Collaborate on 'Soft', an All-Pink Dreamworld
Pink Things’ fav, Maryze, has teamed up with Paris-based director Amanda Louise Macchia for the release of her first-ever music video for Soft (produced by Jordan Esau). This video marks a stunning visual debut for the artist, teaming up with Paris-based Macchia whose resume includes R&B star Kelsey Lu, as well as brands Louboutin and Givenchy. The director brings her fashion background and artful lens to the visual, experimenting with analogue-inspired grains and framing in film's classic 4:3 aspect ratio. The result is an elegant collaboration complementing Maryze’s “stormy-sweet” musical style.
We were lucky enough to interview both Amanda Louise Macchia and Maryze on their gorgeous collaboration.
Pink Things: Hi Amanda! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions about your work with Maryze on her new single Soft. For those who don’t know much about you, can you tell me about yourself?
Amanda Louise Macchia: I’m an Italian-Canadian video artist currently based in Paris, and previously in New York City. Between the cities I’ve lived, I’ve worked on many fashion films, music videos, and video art installations, often experimenting with mixing analogue and digital formats and their stylistic elements.
Maryze: Hi! Soft is the first track from my debut EP Like Moons that came out earlier this year. A line from it actually inspired the album title! It was produced by talented artist and friend Jordan Esau in Vancouver.
I wrote the song about my partner of six years. We have by far the healthiest and most communicative relationship I've ever been in. It focuses on embracing vulnerability and allowing yourself to fully be with someone, both physically and on a deeper spiritual level. For a long time I felt disassociated from my body, and my partner helped me feel like it belonged to me again. It's rare for me to write love songs, it usually comes across pretty angsty, but it's important to let yourself feel the nice stuff too. Sometimes we don't think we deserve it.
Pink Things: How did you come to meet and work with Maryze? We love her here at Pink Things!
Amanda Louise Macchia: Maryze reached out to me through Instagram, after seeing some of my work on the platform.
Pink Things: I know that in the past you’ve worked with fashion brands like Louboutin. Why work in music now? How is the experience different? Do you have a preference?
Amanda Louise Macchia: I’ve been working in both creative and production roles on music videos for a long time now, in addition to commercial and editorial fashion films and documentaries. Each project is different, but working with musicians is always a unique vehicle for exploring new ways of translating the sonic experience into a visual one.
Pink Things: What is it like translating a visual medium into a visual medium vs. translating an audio medium into a visual medium?
Maryze: This was my first time making visuals for a song! Which is strange because usually when I'm writing, I'm envisioning some kind of imagery to accompany the music. I enjoyed having to dive into the song again to remember what it meant to me when I wrote it and trying to evoke those feelings visually.
Amanda Louise Macchia: Fashion, music, and video are all their own distinct art forms, but my work is often about finding both new and referential ways to complement and contrast them.
Pink Things: So, tell me about the process of making this film with Maryze. Walk us through it.
Amanda Louise Macchia: Marzye came to me with with her song Soft and a general direction for what she wanted to achieve visually. I proposed the dreamlike and stylistic elements that you see in the video. It’s cinematic, experimenting with analogue-inspired grains and framed in film’s native 4:3 aspect ratio. Our ideas on this project complimented each other’s as we had many common visual interests to begin with.
Pink Things: Maryze, when you were planning the video with Amanda, was there anything in particular that you were envisioning or inspired by?
Maryze: We both wanted to create a dreamlike, cinematic mood with a kind of vintage romance to it. I was really inspired by the aesthetic of her past work, with its grainy analogue-style and fashion lens. Amanda's idea to film in slow motion amplified the dreaminess. I was also inspired by Instagram makeup looks to play with pearls on my face and shimmering body glitter to make things a bit surreal.
Pink Things: What was it like filming the video in Toronto?
Maryze: We filmed on one of the Toronto Islands! I had never been, but Amanda grew up there so she knew where to go. It took some getting used to filming and singing to the camera with a lot of people watching, but it was a good experience getting out of my comfort zone! At one point the gauzy fabric we used flew away far out into the water and a kind stranger swam out to grab it for us.
Pink Things: The color pink is prominent in the video in flowers, fabric, and Maryze’s pants. Can you speak to its use? How about how you translated Maryze’s audio song in to visuals?
Amanda Louise Macchia: Maryze handled a lot of the art direction on this project, but I had the idea to have the recurring fabric that you see throughout the video, distorting the view from the lens. In one sense it is a metaphorical barrier of hesitation that is felt and heard in Maryze’s song lyrically and musically, and in another sense it is a purely aesthetic element.
Pink Things: I think that the video is the visual embodiment of the word “soft”. The whole thing is hazy and dream-like and feminine, clearly with intent. Have you always correlated pink with soft? Can you talk about that?
Amanda Louise Macchia: I made a lot of conscious choices on this video to create visuals of softness. I did this through the choice of lens and by distorting the lens with the fabric that I mentioned and other materials. I went for a literal visual representation of the song title, and left out any irony.
Pink Things: Can you tell me about your relationship to the colour pink? Personally and professionally?
Amanda Louise Macchia: The colour pink also plays into the idea of softness on this video, as it’s an extra-spectral colour, meaning it’s a blend of a colour (in this case red) and a grayscale colour (in this case white).
Maryze: The colour pink kinda echoes the sentiment of the song. There's a softness to it that sometimes gets seen as weakness, just as women can be perceived as weak when we embrace our femininity or sensitivity. But to me, I think there's so much strength in being soft. By choosing to embrace whatever side of ourselves we want.
Pink Things: I know you’re busy, so we’ll keep it short and sweet by ending with one more question. What’s next for you?
Amanda Louise Macchia: I’m currently in Paris creating more fashion film and music video content.
Maryze: I'll be playing POP Montreal on Sept 27 at Casa del Popolo, and releasing a spooky collab with Mouth Breather around Halloween! There may also be another music video in the works with Pink Things' very own Malaika Astorga (one of my favourite artists ever)... so keep an eye out for that!
2019 has been a year of firsts for Montreal-based Maryze. Releasing her debut bilingual EP Like Moons in the spring to acclaim from the likes of Earmilk and CBC/Radio-Canada, the artist was then featured on Apple Music, Spotify, and Bandcamp, and embarked on a month-long tour across the U.S. and Canada. Maryze’s fast rise has taken Montreal by storm earning her big spots at the international POP Montreal and Hot Tramp Festival.
Amanda Louise Macchia