Valerie Lighthart is an artist out of the United States and after having made a name for herself with the releases of “Places” & “V.A.L.” in 2018 and 2019, respectively, the alternative pop musician out of Wisconsin has returned with a music video for her latest single, “Love & Money“.
Featuring the vocals of Latin artist Solana, “Love & Money” originally came out back April, where the single saw Valerie use the audible portion to explore idolisation and vilification of vanity, yearning for love, and self-interest. Visually, Valerie has created a safe space wherein women could express those traits euphorically, harkening back to the circles that witches danced around naked in the early American wilderness. Worshipping evil ideals, loving themselves wildly, and exuding power.
“I yearned to create a gilded realm to escape inside,” Valerie explains on the creation of the single. “I sought and found safe spaces to unpack the difficult feelings I had about womanhood, femininity, sexuality, and autonomy.”
“As a young teenager, a dance class I took with my older sister helped me begin to unravel the complicated web of internalized misogyny I learned.” — Valerie Lighthart on the inspiration of her latest single.
That aforementioned notion taught Valerie to connect to her body in a new way and learn to embrace her thoughts and desires in a group of supportive femmes. “We would spin in circles, laughing and talking,” she adds. “We showered love on each other, and the tone of acceptance, body positivity, and optimism was freeing.” Through this joyful space, Valerie grew the stability of identity to unpack her ideas on femininity, and analyse the shame that had it in a stranglehold. “Women and femmes don’t have a monopoly on shame,” she continues, “but I felt empowered to think about what I knew best: feminine performance in relation to a hyper-sexed and shame-based culture.”
Having taken inspiration from the 18th century within her set design, Valerie’s music video opens up the stage to include femme folks who’s artistic flair, drive, force, and ownership of their autonomy she deeply admires.
Whilst celebrating this ambition in “Love & Money”, Valarie also explores why these materialistic and capitalist desires are even important, by creating this over-the-top alter-ego. “I think it’s fun to ask questions from a first-person perspective,” guest vocalist Solana explains, “[and] through this song, I was able to do a bit of soul searching and exploration of the femme experience in our society, the roles we’re encouraged to assume, and the spectrum of desires and goals we have and why we have them.”
Ultimately this project is about shining light on multi-dimensionality as an intrinsic part of femme nature.