Julian Lamadrid released “Cigarette” (via Arista Records) on Feb. 7, and he re-lit the track’s momentum with an accompanying music video on Tuesday morning (March 24) that can be watched for the first time at tmrw.
Lamadrid referenced Hedi Slimane’s photography as well as the films Slimane made during his time with Saint Laurent for inspiration.
“I was obsessed with every aspect of his collections and marketing,” he tells tmrw. “The garments, the style, the models and of course the black and white imagery was just so beautiful and elegant. So when making this film, it was just so obvious since the beginning that it would be shot that way—as an homage. Black and white is able to lend a timeless quality that is often absent in colour photography.”
Timeless is an appropriate word for the “Cigarette” video. Passionate performance shots are spliced with moody scenes involving Lamadrid opposite his love interest. “You got me begging on my knees if I could only bum a cigarette,” he sings desperately.
“The song is, at its core, a quite simple love song,” Lamadrid says. “One of acceptance and longing. Personally, despite its many critiques and drawbacks, the cigarette still represents sex, music and rock ‘n’ roll. It is a symbol and action of rebellion that I shall forever admire (especially in an age where smoking cigarettes is a dying art). Within the song, I use them as a metaphor for acceptance and style, as a means to an end. The goal is to go home with somebody, and bumming a cigarette off them might get you one step closer.”
Lamadrid nods toward the performance shots as his favorite scenes to shoot.
“We booked out a studio in deep Brooklyn for about four hours and just did take after take of non-stop passion,” he says. “A few days before the shoot, I texted my friend (who is the frontman of New York’s most exciting up and coming band Telescreens) and asked if he was down to come help. Within minutes, we got a band together and just went mental for the shoot. It was incredibly therapeutic to just leave it all out take after take.”
By the video’s end, Lamadrid looks at peace while smoking with the young woman draped comfortably across his lap. It worked. He gave it his all, and it paid off.
The “Cigarette” visual acts as a metaphor for what direction Lamadrid is going.
“I think it all links back to finally feeling confident enough to take risks with my art,” he says. “Since the beginning of this journey, I made a promise to myself to always create the art that interests me and not to be concerned by what the public or the record label desires. This song is a step in that direction of freedom and undisturbed expression.”