You could say the music video for London musician Connor Morand’s latest single, Everything Is Gold, is well travelled — especially since it was filmed in 20 countries around the world.
The story begins in 2012, when Morand took his first major step into a music career with an album titled Matter of Fiction.
That was followed last summer with five songs for a proposed EP, but those recordings were largely scrapped when the singer decided to take his music in a new direction.
One of those songs, however, Everything Is Gold, endured and was recently released as a single.
“It’s very vocal driven. Everything Is Gold is a relationship song,” Morand said with a caveat that it isn’t necessarily about a specific person, but rather “it’s just having that connection of feeling lost and lonely and then finding someone or something that makes life gold.”
The song is happy and upbeat, and it best fits into what he describes as alternative pop, as opposed to the “cut-and-dry pop song” currently heard on the radio.
With an overseas tour planned, the 23 year old said he came up with the ideal opportunity to create a video that shared his musical experiences.
Morand spent 147 days roaming the globe between September and February playing formal gigs in Wales, England, The Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Italy. However, he physically set foot in 20 countries, often busking or playing informal shows wherever the opportunity presented itself.
One of those concerts took place in one of the most unlikely places a young man from Canada could imagine.
Morand was visiting Morocco when he found himself spending a night in “a glorified blanket fort” right in the Sahara desert, joining a group of travellers around a fire under the stars.
“There was something so romantic about that, about playing music in a random place,” he said. “I played for 45 minutes, a good mix of stuff people knew and stuff they didn’t, that being my own music. So if you want to formalize it, I played the Sahara desert.”
When it came to shooting the video — which as the video says, features “Four continents. Sixty Locations,” — he filmed it on his Android phone.
Some of the scenes he shot himself, but while in Europe and a large part of Morocco, Israel and Jordan, a friend joined him and took over the camera.
But the biggest component of the project (the video contains 60 different shots) was the ordinary people who volunteered to be a part of it.
Morand’s pitch was a simple one. He would walk up to people, introduce himself, explain he was from Canada, and was shooting an around-the-world music video, then ask if they had 10 seconds to spare.
“People are generally good in this world. It wasn’t something I realized — I already knew it — but it was a big affirmation,” he said. “Honestly, 95 percent of people would say, ‘yeah, sure.’ It’s a nice feeling to know you’re creating something that is worth people’s time.”
Morand also had many experiences during his tour that were memorable for reasons outside of music.
He recalls the time a complete stranger invited him to a family funeral in Morocco, his experience floating in Israel’s famous Dead Sea, and then there was his excursion to North Korea.
During a guided tour of the border between North and South Korea, he visited a building with a particularly unique boardroom table inside.
“The great thing is that table is actually part of the border line. On the left side you have the south . . . on the right side, the north,” Morand said. “You are allowed on the north side for about five minutes. Not very long, but technically you can say you visited North Korea. It was a fascinating experience.”
(Sean Meyer, Our London)