Last year was most certainly JoJo’s year. After enduring some major struggles and being musically held hostage by Blackground Records, she made a groundbreaking comeback with the release of her “tringle,” and last month, we were totally in love with the new tracks on her EP #LoveJoJo2. It’s looking as though 2016 is going to be the year of the JoJo too, because after watching the video for “Save My Soul” released today, we’ve got some major heart eyes.
The dreamy video features the singer roaming around a dry, desert landscape at sunset. The song is beautiful, but so is the message behind it — a tribute to her late father, Joel Levesque, who would have been 61 today. “‘Save My Soul’ is about addiction. Of all kinds,” JoJo said in a statement. “I wanted to convey the feeling of powerlessness I’ve felt in my life in an uncomplicated way and show a range of what it might look like for others who’ve been there.”
The video was filmed about a month before JoJo lost her father to addiction. “His death honestly felt like it came out of nowhere. . . and yet I had been mourning him for years. . . if that makes any sense,” JoJo said in the statement, which she also posted to her Instagram. “I know all too well from seeing it around me that the fight is not easy. It’s every day. All consuming. I’m not mad at my dad. I love him and I’m sad. He is my greatest heartbreak. This song, which had always been personal to me, takes on even deeper meaning now.”
As if that’s not beautiful enough, it was directed by Zelda Williams. Yep, that Zelda Williams — actress, mental health advocate, and daughter of the late, great Robin Williams. Not only are the two great friends, but they both have witnessed the harrowing issue of addiction firsthand. In fact, Zelda and JoJo have been talking about working together for years — a decade, to be exact. Said Zelda in the statement:
Filming the video was an emotional process in itself, JoJo explained. “A group of us young, crazy, creatives drove out to the magical desert of Joshua Tree and got naked — most of us emotionally, and a few literally,” she said in the statement. “It was a safe space to be vulnerable and free from judgment and the need to be/ look/ act ‘perfect’.”
At several points throughout the song, a yellow couch appears, solemnly in the dark desert. It’s symbolism, Zelda explained in the statement. “That couch looks like an island in the middle of the desert for a reason, because I know how isolating it can be to try to express yourself,” she said. “Showing emotions in a world that seems averse to them can be scary. . . for everyone who doesn’t understand, there are others out there who will, others who may be comforted to know they’re not the only ones. Everyone’s got a story, whether you’ve heard it or not. I’m grateful Jo let me help her tell hers. Hopefully, it’s only the first of many, many more to come.”
Check out the raw, emotional video below. We can’t wait to see what else Zelda and JoJo create together, because this is pure magic.
(Image via YouTube.)