The artists speaks with model Cayley King about her video for ‘Sonny’ and the perils of romance
Lisa Remar drives a convertible, pursuing a stumbling man in tighty whities and socks. Her dreamy vocals drift over the scene, “I just want you back.” Directed by Jamie Emmerman and Nikita Merrin, the video for the artist’s song “Sonny” captures the conflicting, contradictory nature of love: she is in mourning over a lost relationship but angry enough to break into her ex’s house and possibly run him down. Remar is joined by her former roommate, the model Cayley King, to reminisce and discuss her new album, Still Good, the perils of intimacy, and why a baseball bat is her weapon of choice.
Cayley King: Girl! Congrats on releasing your music, I know it’s been a long time coming for you. How does it feel to finally have put yourself and your work out there?
Lisa Remar: It has been a long time coming, and you out of all people would know because we actually used to live together, and I’m sure I subjected you to a lot of secondhand stress, so I’m sorry about that. Thank you so much for talking me off the cliff so many times—I love you. But holy shit! It feels really good especially because I feel like people are actually listening to my music!
Cayley: I only talked you down a few times! Other than that I enjoyed living with you and that time in my life was very special to me. Speaking of times of our lives, bring me back to the time in your life when you wrote ‘Sonny.’
Lisa: Oh my god, me too. You’re going to get me all emotional. But yes, exceptional segue into when I wrote ‘Sonny.’ This song took me the longest to complete on the record because it was like four different songs that I sort of morphed into one in the span of maybe seven to eight months. To be completely honest it started off as a song about my grandmother that quickly turned into a song about a past romantic relationship. We were constantly arguing, and by the time we knew it, we had passed the point of no return—but I was so desperate for it to salvage itself. I thought I was willing to compromise parts of myself that now I can definitely say that I would never sacrifice. I just really wanted things to go back to the way they used to be between us, you know?
Cayley: It’s definitely interesting how much of yourself and your values you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of love, and I believe that’s something that can be understood by so many people. We grow and learn lessons from that type of broken love though. What emotions do you feel when you listen to the song now?
Lisa: Those relationships sort of feel like you’re throwing yourself into Graviton and when it spits you out, you’re like, ‘Why did I just do that to myself?’ I guess it was thrilling, and I guess I learned to never do that again! When I listen to the song I mostly feel relief because I’m really proud of how it came out. I did a lot of production on it, and it took a lot of trial and error, just hours of staring at a computer for it to get to where it’s at right now!
Cayley: It seems like an intricate process. Speaking of process, tell me your thought process behind the music video? Why a bat as the weapon and not something else?
Lisa: I love your pivots they’re so good! As far as the video goes, Jamie Emmerman and Nikita Merrin co-directed this one. I remember when we were discussing the choice of weapon, we hated the idea of using a gun. We also wanted it to be an object that could only be used to hurt someone once you’re really close to them to evoke a sense of intimacy between the two characters. It was so much fun swinging a bat around it was actually pretty funny. I was trying to keep my shit together the whole time I’d say. If not the whole time then 85% of the time.
Cayley: I really enjoyed the video and it was funny to me because I know you and just seeing you prance around with a nice wooden baseball bat made me giggle. So what’s next for you, Lisa?
Lisa: Jamie and Nikita definitely have a twisted sense of humor—which I really fucking appreciate—and I really enjoyed sort of being a vessel for that. Not to mention the vision, aesthetic, style, and concept were really aligned with mine and always have been. I believe by the time this interview comes out my EP would be available for everyone to stream, and what comes next, I suppose, is just for me to keep making music and hopefully eventually performing my songs and getting to meet the people who’ve been listening to my songs.
Cayley: How has music influenced your life? What type of music did you grow up listening to with your parents?
Lisa: Music has influenced everything in my life. That’s sort of a crazy question for me because it’s always been a part of my life and it is a part of who I am and how I navigate in this world. Where I am right now, the past, the present, and how I’m manifesting my future. Music has dictated literally everything in my life, and in so many different ways. My mom listens to a lot of the Beatles and my dad wasn’t really around. Honestly, I don’t really remember what my parents used to listen to. But I clearly recall three CDs growing up that I listened to religiously. The first one was On the Six by Jennifer Lopez, second was Charm Bracelet by Mariah Carey, third was Songs in a Minor by Alicia Keys.
How would you say music has influenced your life? I know this is you interviewing me but I’m genuinely curious.
Cayley: Go off with the Mariah and J. Lo vibes! To answer your question to my question, I feel that music influences your friends and who you interact with. You can bond with people through music, mourn through music, dancing through music, laugh, cry, sob, all of it.
Video stars Lisa Remar and Jack Reynolds. Video editor Jaqueline Donahue. Stylist Kristi Kruser. Colorists Joseph Bicknell and Company3.