nz music month 2020

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by Silke Hartung

Video Premiere: Seralynne – Woman

by Silke Hartung

Video Premiere: Seralynne – Woman

Sarah Nicholson, aka Seralynne, is a songwriter from Invercargill. Not an easy place to start a career in music from, but with the support of local media and a community of fellow artists, she manages to find success and keeps releasing. Her latest single Woman is her catchiest song to date. It was released on International Women’s Day 2020, and NZM is proud to premiere her charming DIY video a day before the official release.

We haven’t had a chat since the release of your single Dangerous in 2018. What have you been up to since?

Wow, that seems like such a long time ago now! It’s gone really fast, but also so much has happened. Last year in May I was able to release a new single called Ribbons, which I absolutely love and it means so much to me. I was lucky enough with that to have the support of More FM here in Invercargill to perform the track live acoustically for the first time which was a very special experience! I guess I’ve been a bit quiet on the music front in the past year, doing gigs where I can. I was lucky to be given the opportunity to play some of my unreleased country originals at an event, Country Loedown last August, alongside some insanely talented country artists and also played the Winton open day at the end of last year. I have been keeping busy in the studio though and working on something big that I’m pretty proud of.

How has the lockdown been treating you?

The lockdown has definitely been interesting. My partner and I sold our house and were planning to travel and move overseas, but the universe had other plans for us. At the moment I’m in an awesome wee bubble with my partner, one of my closest friends who is also a talented singer/songwriter, and her 2-year-old daughter. It definitely has its challenges while I’m working from home, but everyone is in the same boat and it has been a good opportunity to slow down and reflect on where I want to go next. I’ve started learning bass during the lockdown too, so that’s pretty cool. I’m hoping it will add a new dimension to my writing eventually as well.

Your latest single is called Woman – what inspired  the song?

I’d actually put up a post on Facebook, on my personal page asking people if I could write for them to get some demos done to add to my portfolio as a songwriter, and a lot of people reached out. I was talking to one of the women who did and is actually in this video, Chelsea, and she wanted her song to be written about empowerment through self-healing. I’ve written this song for her (it’s not recorded yet, but hopefully soon), but it also got me thinking I should probably write a song about female empowerment too!

With International Women’s Day coming up, the day the song ended up being released, I just felt like it was the right timing for this project.

Who else did you work with on the single?

I worked with my partner and producer/mix engineer Niko Heydenrych.

It’s been out for a month now and it’s great to see it outperform all your other songs on Spotify already. How did you achieve that?

I think a combination of the fact that it was released on International Women’s Day and that we are now in lockdown has probably had an impact, as people have more time to find and listen to new music.

The music community in New Zealand at the moment is hugely supportive and it’s been awesome to see the creative ways people have gone about sharing their music during this time. I also pushed the song really hard because it means so much to me, and I think a lot of the women I know, and I wanted it to have a good platform to jump from. I’ve also had the support of everyone involved in making this video share it to their networks, so that has helped hugely. I also think purposeful pop is becoming more popular as we move forward in the industry.

Can you talk us through the concept for the video?

I wanted the video to be inclusive, so my idea was to get a lot of different women to star in it, and show an aspect of their life that they feel is part of making them who they are. I wanted them to feel comfortable and confident in their setting, that’s why each woman is doing something they love.

It was also filmed with a small crew to keep this level of intimacy and make it more natural. They also chose the slogan t-shirts they wear in the video as I wanted them to be personal and fit who they are, but to also send out a message of self-love, power, and self-worth. I wanted this video to be as much about the supporting other women to grow their confidence as the song itself.

Unfortunately, before we finished filming the lockdown came into effect so we missed out on having some of the women I had originally planned in it. They have all been extremely supportive though, and I’m really excited about how it turned out in the end! The t-shirts also didn’t arrive on time, so there was some frantic shopping at Cotton On the day before we filmed, and of course the t-shirts I’d ordered arrived about two days later…

Who did you work with on the video?

I worked with Kiarne Heydenrych, who edited and produced the video and helped me bring it to life. I love his cinematic take on music videos, which is something quite different for me, and this drew me into working with him. He also had an amazing team behind him who helped with access to locations we may not have been able to use otherwise. Shane Henderson, Matthew Butler, and Bo Myburgh are all stars in their own right for helping me make this a reality with their amazing camera and lighting work on set.

Who are the wahine we meet during the video?

These women are all good friends of mine, so I was very lucky that they felt comfortable in front of the camera and wanted to be a part of the video. We have Sharla Clynes – a very talented Invercargill artist, Aliesha Park – singer/songwriter and an amazing mother, Chelsea-Dawn Bragg – model and mother, and Jade-Emma Walker – singer, business owner and mother, along with her three gorgeous girls Charlie, Layla, and Milly. I have a lot of mums in my video! It’s been so rewarding to see their confidence blossom and I’m privileged to have them as a part of my close circle.

Got any new projects we should be looking out for in the next little while?

I do! I have an album coming. It has been a long time in the making and there has been a lot of back and forward with decisions and recording, but I wanted to make an album I was proud of and I hope that people will love. I am very close to announcing the artwork, title, and release date, so watch this space! In the meantime I do really hope you enjoy the video for Woman. It has been a labour of love and I’m very thankful to everyone who has been involved so far, including you Silke, I appreciate the opportunity to chat again.