NeonPPL Talk About Inspiring ‘BeYOUTiful’ Music Video [Exclusive]
NeonPPL hope you'll care more about what they're saying than who they are. The anonymous collective just shared a vulnerable new music video for the uplifting "BeYOUtiful," a song that that softly encourages listeners to just "be you."
The new vid — seen first during this Taste of Country exclusive — focuses on seven people of various genders, ethnicities and ages as they literally or metaphorically let their hair down. A couple are clearly nervous to remove their makeup for the camera, something one member of the group says was spontaneous.
"It was pretty refreshing to just bring people in and have them just be themselves for a couple of minutes. No real directive. No role to play. And whatever happened was their true self, because that is the message of the song," the anonymous NeonPPL member says via email.
Inspiring quotes and thick swipes of white paint interrupt the sequence of clips. There are no performers or musicians on camera. Joy Williams, Danielle Bradbery and Lindsay Ell are credited as vocalists, but they're not fronting the group in official way, instead appearing as guest artists. Many more guest artists will appear when an EP is released.
"Our next single has another prominent country artist on it. But I've said too much already," the NeonPPL member tells Taste of Country.
Below is the remainder of a short email interview between Taste of Country and the member. Each member of the collective is busy with his or her own career in the music business, making this something of a side project. If you're thinking that the anonymous nature of the project precludes them from touring, think again.
The presentation of this song and music video is very subtle. It feels more like an invitation than a demonstrative act to gain attention. As a group, how do you find balance between pushing an important message or idea and preaching?
Honestly, we aren’t chasing any sort of balance. We have created a message that we are excited to share and comfortable to create. So we sat in a room and created the concept and then made the song/video. And regarding “gaining attention," you hit it on the head there. We all have attention in our other careers. The purpose of this project was to put the attention on the story, not the storytellers.
The on-screen actors’ performances in the "BeYOUtiful" music video are very candid and real. If anyone involved had a personal or emotional response to the song or scenes, can you share?
I think for us all to see the people taking part in the video at their most vulnerable, was inspiring to us and motivates us to keep pushing forward with this message.
Billboard debuted the song on Feb. 22 and one of the founders said the goal is to achieve a conversation. What has that conversation been like over the last few weeks?
We don’t really get to hear a lot of the conversations happening, and that is part of the beauty of this whole project. People can’t share back with us their feelings on the music, because no one knows who we are.
Where do you see progress being made on the topic of self-acceptance?
I think self-acceptance is obviously a very personal thing. If we are able to reach and encourage even just one person, I think we will have done what we set out to do.
The anonymous nature of NeonPPL seemingly makes touring impossible on any scale. Is there a way to present a version of a live performance and plans to do so?
Or can we tour in 20 places at the same time because you don’t know exactly who the NeonPPL are? The Blue Man Group can be in 3 cities at once. The Jabbawockeez could be anyone? Can’t NeonPPL spread a message without an identity?
I think everyone will to a certain degree wonder who NeonPPL is. My instinct after hearing “BeYOUtiful” and watching the video is that it’s a female-heavy collaboration that will speak first to a female audience. Are there songs or videos coming that will challenge that idea? And if you’d like to speak to the demographic makeup of the group feel free but I understand if that violates the anonymous nature of the project.
The wonderful part of the this project is that we haven’t targeted anyone specifically. We hope that people will find songs that resonate with them and hopefully inspire them as well. And maybe it’ll make someone feel a little better about themselves. I think songs hit us as music fans in lots of different ways. Some in ways the artist never even planned. We hope that’s happening with our music. Female. Male. Young. Old.
What’s your late night Taco Bell drive through order?
Well, there are a lot of NeonPPL. So, the safest bet would just be to order the old school 20 crunchy tacos. And a few burritos. And maybe a couple veggie options. If everyone in the group ordered their specific Taco Bell order at 1AM, we’d be there forever.
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