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Behind the Video: Macy Gray on Her Political, DIY Clip for “Everybody”

Macy Gray’s Big has been out since late March, but as the nation gears up for the 2008 elections, the singer decided to make a DIY video for her political call-to-action track “Everybody.” The clip is an homage to the famous opening to Don’t Look Back, in which Bob Dylan holds up cards spelling out the lyrics to “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (INXS memorably borrowed this motif for their “Mediate” video). In the spirit of empowerment and participation, Common, will.i.am and actress Lauren London have already posted their own “Everybody”-inspired clips online. Rock Daily talked to Gray while she relaxed with her family after rehearsals for her tour, which began yesterday in Orlando, Florida, and found out which presidential candidate she has deemed “the sexiest man alive”:
• On how she came up with the video’s concept: “We wanted to do something that wouldn’t cost any money, so we went to Third Street promenade in Santa Monica by the beach. We bought an easel and we had interns make the signs. We stood in front of the store and had the playback on a boombox. And then we just shot it. It probably cost like $20. Everybody else in the shot were just people who were there walking by. People just started volunteering. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a video set.
• On the song and video’s message: “‘Everybody’ is a song about how if we’re ever gonna get progress, or if it is possible to win the war, it’s gonna take more than fighting. If you want progress for your country, everybody has to be part of it. So the message is whatever you believe in or whatever your cause is or whatever you can do to make the world a better place, you should do it. It’s like a wake-up call, because I think everybody has a strong idea of how things should be and how things could be but maybe only two percent of the people actually do something about it. It’s not like you have to actually go to Africa or march on Washington. It’s more about the small things — like conserving energy, or you don’t have to support the war, but support the troops. Just stuff you can do every day to get where you want to be as a country and as a people.”
• On her pick for our next president: “I love Barack Obama. I think he should be the sexiest man alive. I think he’s beautiful and I love what he has to say. I love his ideas. I also like Bill Richardson. He seems like he has a lot of common sense. And then of course Hillary really just has a lot of power and a lot of personality. It’s gonna be tough but right now I like those three the best — but I love Obama.”


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