Sofia Mills Confronts Ghosts of Relationships Past In First Ever Music Video
It’s one thing to make a video with your friends and post it online, and tons of fun no doubt. But it’s a wholly different experience to arrive on a set with crew and cast buzzing around, hair and makeup ready to get to work, and wardrobe options that seemingly walked right out of your dream closet. For Sofia Mills’ latest project with First On SoundCloud, she got the opportunity to make her first ever music video—and it was an experience that didn’t disappoint.
The day was filled with excitement, some stress (as you would expect), and lots and lots of fake blood. “Life of the Party” the song and “Life of the Party” the video exist in two unique but parallel worlds, a vision Mills explicitly wanted to convey in the visual representation of her fantastic single. In both versions, though, Mills emerges as a glowing star for the unsure and quiet, the kids who are just waiting for the right moment to tell their story.
“I wanted the video concept to be a little bit different from the concept of the song,” Mills explains to First On SoundCloud. “The song is about mental decline, being in pain. I thought it would be an interesting way to show it if we did it with special effects, to show a physical decline.”
Much to Mills’ wish, the video, brilliantly directed by Christina Xing, finds the songwriter at a party, a good looking partner at her side, and at the center of the dancefloor as her own music fills the speakers. What’s not to love? A lot, it turns out. The evening takes a turn during a soft slow dance as Sofia realizes her nose is bleeding, and her partner smears it away just a bit too aggressively—the sort of moment that makes you wonder what's going on behind those smoldering eyes.
Things continue to escalate, with Sofia putting on a convincing performance, at first riddled with anxiety, and then trying to smile through it all. “I like the scene where I’m upstairs looking in the mirror and I realize what my face looks like. I wouldn’t say blood tasted really good [laughs].” Despite how much fun she had in capturing the moment, she plays it perfectly. It’s the sort of moment when you know something has gone horribly wrong, but you try to play it down, in fear of the repercussions of admitting how bad the situation is.
“Life of the Party is a song about being in a relationship with somebody with a savior complex. It’s about someone who thrives at the same time as you decline.” The video takes this concept to its extreme, and it’s in this dramatic reinterpretation that Mills’ single shines and evinces the power of her concept.
At the beginning of the song, over gently strummed guitar chords, Mills sings, “I don’t wanna be the life of the party/ I don’t wanna be the funny one/ I don’t wanna be the call when you’re lonely/ Don’t have time to come undone.” It’s a powerful sentiment, but one that grows stronger in the context of the end of the song, when she begins to realize the emotional ringer she’s been through. There’s a shift of tone, subtle but powerful, as she begins to confront the torture she’s been through: “But you feel like a Jesus Christ/ Like you saved my life/ Like I’m better/ Like I’m some sort of sacrifice/ Spending all of their time with a savior.”
Despite the turmoil Mills goes through in the song, she managed to have an amazing time shooting the video, in watching her story come to life with the help of an amazing team. “This is my first time shooting a music video, so it’s been incredibly interesting,” she said to FOSC.
“We lost a few hours because I was freaking out—anxiety happens people—which is very on brand for me, but everyone here has been so patient and amazing to work with. Christina was so great through it all. Everyone really brought their own ideas to the table and everyone was so helpful.”
It’s a minor miracle for an artist to watch a song come to life in a way representative of but unique to the original creation. For that, Sofia Mills will always remember the process of making the music video for “Life of the Party.”
When Mills was asked if she had any advice for aspiring stars, it wasn’t related to the art of music videos itself, but is useful nevertheless: “If you have a panic attack on set, if you have two panic attacks on set, if you even have three panic attacks on set, don’t go home. Stay there. I did, and here I am!”
Watch ‘Life of the Party’ below!
Sign-up to be first to receive the latest project updates from the class of 2021.