Friday, November 16

Alumna’s music video addresses codependency through self-expression


Alumna Veronica Bianqui wrote her single, "Victim," as a means of expressing herself as she recovered from a state of emotional codependence. All of the proceeds for the single, which was released in September, will be donated to the Harm Reduction Coalition in memory of Bianqui's sister, who died in July following a long period of drug addiction. (Chengcheng Zhang/Daily Bruin)

Alumna Veronica Bianqui wrote her single, "Victim," as a means of expressing herself as she recovered from a state of emotional codependence. All of the proceeds for the single, which was released in September, will be donated to the Harm Reduction Coalition in memory of Bianqui's sister, who died in July following a long period of drug addiction. (Chengcheng Zhang/Daily Bruin)


The music video for Veronica Bianqui’s garage-pop single “Victim” takes place entirely in an apartment living room.

The video features Bianqui and her band in front of several different-colored sets built specifically for the video inside of the directors’ apartment. They are designed to mimic the personal journey that inspired the message of the song.

Bianqui, a 2011 UCLA alumna, wrote her song “Victim” more than two years ago as a response to her battle against her emotional codependency with others. After releasing the song as a single in September, Bianqui released the music video for “Victim” on Thursday.

“It’s essentially about overcoming feeling like you’re a victim to the world and other people,” she said. “It’s having the freedom to feel.”

Bianqui said she often used to put others’ needs in front of her own even if doing so came at a cost to herself. The song came together as she discovered how to express herself without becoming lost in the emotional states of others. She said the song’s melodic flow reflects the freedom she found.

The video was also designed with freedom of self-expression in mind. Kevin Kearney and Mary Brown, who produced and directed the video together, created the video with a pop art aesthetic to capture Bianqui’s feeling of liberation. Brown, who created the set in its entirety, said she wanted to portray the ’60s theme that Bianqui’s album art and music often incorporates, so she used primary colors and dated props. The video features an old television, disco ball and other pieces that call attention to the ’60s theme.

The video’s opening scene is set in a white room, but as the song continues, yellow, red and blue sets are introduced. Kearney said the primary-colored sets follow the bare white one to represent Bianqui’s progression from a closed-off state to a more emotionally independent state.

“I feel that it’s supposed to be uplifting in a sense,” he said. “We wanted to relate that feeling through visuals.”

Bianqui said the song took on extra personal meaning before she released it in September. In July, Bianqui’s sister Marlene Bianqui died after living with a drug addiction for about 10 years. Veronica Bianqui decided to donate all of the proceeds from her single to the Harm Reduction Coalition, which helps people with drug addictions avoid passing on diseases via unclean equipment by supplying them with sterilized needles.

The song and video’s dedication to Bianqui’s sister struck a chord with Brown while she worked on the production. Brown said she lost her sister this year as well, so working on Bianqui’s music video helped her process her own emotions that resulted from the loss of her sister.

“I put all of my creative energy through my grief into this too,” Brown said.

Bianqui said she hopes the video will raise awareness about the two issues it tackles.

“Freedom to speak up and communicate if something bothers you or you like something is to not be afraid to share your feelings,” she said. “But sometimes, especially if you’re a codependent kind of person, it takes work to reach that freedom.”

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Countryman is the 2018-2019 Music | Arts editor. He was previously an A&E reporter. He is a second-year communication student.


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