The curse of dating a musician is he or she might write a less-than-flattering song about you, but in the universe of Theo Katzman‘s latest video for “Hard For You” the Brooklyn-based performer whose sound is best described as a blend of indie and soul takes the threat just a step further, imaging a world where the uber-sucessful musician stalks his ex through the inescapable landscape of ever-present advertisements.
“The song was inspired by the idea of my girlfriend leaving me for a guy who makes more money, who seems more professional, who has his life together more than I do,” explained Katzman, who was formerly part of the dance-oriented band My Dear Disco. “In the song, I explain how, while this other guy may have his job and his money, I’m the guy with the soul. I’m the guy with the music.”
“I have a lot of musician friends who have been working really hard and are finally getting some traction in their careers,” explained director Liann Kaye, who also directs videos for her older sister, Charlene Kaye. “I’m starting to see people on music blogs, in festivals and even in ad campaigns. One day I was riding the subway, when I looked up and saw one of my friends from college on a billboard! It was crazy, and for the next month, I’d take the train to work and see him every day. Around the same time, I was listening to Theo’s song and brainstorming narratives about exes when it popped into my head, “How hard would it be if you had to look at your ex-boyfriend on that billboard every single day?”
The friend Kaye refers to is Glee‘s Darren Criss, who attended the University of Michigan with the Kaye sisters and Katzman. Fans will catch a cheeky reference to Criss’ clothing retailer ad in the video, along with many other iconic advertisements including Katzman slapping on a wife beater and flexing in that Badoo ad, to recreating Manhattan Mini Storage, to only wearing a sheet for a faux Vanity Fair cover. Katzman proves himself not just as a musician, but as a comedian to boot.
“I think the video communicates a common jealous reaction to a serious breakup in a fun, lighthearted way,” explains Katzman. “In that respect, hopefully some fans will find it cathartic.” The video is also a departure from previous video efforts from Katzman, whose last single, “Brooklyn” took a more laid-back approach (yet still clocked 32 thousand views and counting on YouTube.)
Fans can catch Katzman at two upcoming shows — Thursday, November 15 at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, and Thursday, Dec 6th at The Mint in Los Angeles, sharing the bill at both shows will fellow singer/songwriter Joey Dosik.