The Artist Explains: Daniel Shaw - 'Used To Be'

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Singer-songwriter Daniel Shaw speaks to us about his intimate visuals for moving single, ‘Used to Be’ , which deals with flashbacks of a significant relationship and moving on from an ex partner.

How did you decide on the video treatment/visual for the ‘Used To Be’ music video
I felt like the video clip for my previous single ‘Don’t Leave me Now’ was great but lacked a real storyline. So that was a huge motivation for me to really sit down with my video producer and come together with a real storyline and specific scenes and shots which related to the lyrics well. 

How does the video connect with the song? 
For the majority of the music video I am walking as I sing. I start from the door of the girl I love and I walk as far away as I can throughout the music video until I finally come to a stop. I then turn to look back and fighting against myself I decide to go back to the girls house and end my plan of no longer seeing her. It’s a real mental struggle throughout the song, and the video shows this really well through my constant fight to keep moving forwards and push away the girl I know I can’t be with. Flashbacks of our most intimate moments are shown as I get more and more desperate to silence the thoughts in my head. And in the bridge of the song I continue to sing normally while everyone around me is in reverse, illustrating me making an effort to be out of touch from the present moment. 

Any unforeseen behind the scenes/making-of stories you can share? 
Yes! The day before we decided to film, I had to somehow learn the bridge backwards so that we could do the reverse effect and have me still sing perfectly in time. I just listened to the reversed version of the bridge and wrote down what I thought I heard. On the day we filmed, we tried what I had practiced but it wasn’t all lining up and it proved to be much harder than we thought. So we sat in the car for a good half an hour brainstorming how I had to pronounce certain words backwards and attempting to line up my vocals in the most effective way possible. Finally, we decided to just try it multiple times and thankfully we had perfect takes! 

Could you tell us more about the ideas/themes used? 
Sure! I started this video off with the room sound on and in the intimate setting of a lounge room with an upright piano. The piano was dusty and full of cob-webs, showing how I hadn’t written a song for quite some time or let out any of my emotions. From the moment I sit down I let out a sigh and begin to play and let out everything I am feeling. This opening scene really creates a relatable and intimate starting point. Also, the way I continue to walk throughout the music video really compliments the rhythm and movement of the song itself, almost like it is reflecting how my mind continues to run overtime. 

What do you hope people take away from watching the video? 
I think the main message to take away from this video is that being stuck in the past is a very unhealthy place to be. The message I took away from this song I wrote is that I had to move on from whatever I thought I had with this girl and push past all the pain. It is necessary to feel whatever you need to feel but then to move forwards with your life, otherwise you will find yourself at a crossroad and you will head right back to where you were trying to run away from.

Interview feature by Karla Harris