Last week, 12-year-old Eva Patterson shot the music video for her first song, Summer Road Trip, in Stratford.
At least one Stratford 12-year-old is making sure she gets the most out of summer.
With the recent release of her first song, Summer Road Trip, and the upcoming debut of its music video, Eva Patterson is urging other kids her age to get out and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.
“The weather was really horrible when I started writing it in March, so I thought, ‘what if I made a song for the summer that would almost encourage me to think more positively about the weather.’ So I started writing about the summertime, and it actually improved my mood a little bit,” said Patterson, who was challenged to write the lyrics for Summer Road Trip by her music and music production teacher, Nathan McKay.
“… I think the message for the song is to just have fun in the summer. I feel like a lot of kids these days. Their summers can be boring because they don’t have many friends to hang out with. I’ve experienced that many times because I go to a school in Woodstock … so, I thought this would be a good lesson for other kids.”
Once Patterson had the lyrics and vision for her song down on paper, McKay, who teaches both the creative and production sides of music to a number of students this summer as part of an education program he launched in memory of his late father, helped her find and develop a pop house track that fit the young producer’s vision for the song, and brought in local rapper Nat Saturn to contribute a verse.
“I’d seen Eva start writing songs when she was eight,” McKay said. “We actually have four or five songs that have one verse or a chorus that aren’t finished. So part of what I do is show people how to finish their songs because what good are they just sitting on a hard drive?
“Often times, people work well when you set deadlines, so I said, ‘It’s a summer song – you turn 12 on June 1 – (so) let’s put this out for your birthday.”
And that’s exactly what they did, complete with a launch party for family and friends on her birthday, when the song was released on Spotify (open.spotify.com/album/1V5AncEIYfaQI9ls4QoLLq).
But McKay had more planned for Patterson’s first single, so the pair met with the women who would ultimately agree to come on board as art director and director of videography for a Summer Road Trip music video – Claire Scott and Kris Kleist.
“We’re also artists in town,” Kleist said, “and how we work is very collaboratively, so we really focus on finding other artists who want to work with us on projects. … So we had that initial meeting with Eva and (McKay) to see what the message was and where they’re coming from.
“To have a song that is so genuine and pure and inspiring, it even inspired us as to how we could make something visual to reflect her song. … So we asked ourselves, how can we depict a summer road trip with a 12-year-old without a car?”
So Scott, Kleist, and McKay set to work reaching out to local business owners, musicians and even a few of Patterson’s friends and family for everything from props and shooting locations to people who would star in the video alongside Patterson.
Ultimately, the four settled on a story line centred around the debut performance of Summer Road Trip and Patterson and her friends’ two-day road trip around Stratford promoting the concert and having some fun along the way.
“The who story line is Eva paints this banner – which I painted – and (McKay) and her have obviously made this song,” Scott explained. “So she’s like, ‘I’m going to paint this banner and turn it into a poster, and I’m going to go and hand out all these posters because I’m going to have a huge show tonight.’
“… So the whole adventure is going around town to tell people about the show, and then we hosted a huge concert at York Lane Art Collective, where we filled the space. We had glow sticks, we did a dance circle … and then the banner she paints is the backdrop for when she’s singing.”
Over the course of the two-day shoot last week, Patterson and her creative team filmed on location all over town, including in Upper Queen’s Park, along Lake Victoria, and even in her grandmother’s pool. The video also features some cameos by a number of Stratford residents, a few of which were completely unintentional but worked in the video nonetheless.
“When we were planning the music video, I didn’t think it was going to be as crazy and fun as it was,” Patterson said. “I thought that it would need a lot of planning, which it did, but I felt like what I thought and what I experienced were similar and different at the same time because, in the moment, everyone was just focused on having fun, getting the right shot and all that, so it was really a fun experience.”
Though the music video for Summer Road Trip is still in the editing phase, Patterson, McKay, Scott and Kleist hope to release it by the end of summer or early fall.