Marz Leon’s eye for striking imagery goes hand in hand with her music. From her Instagram account to her cover art, it’s evident that she pays special attention to curating a strong visual element, and she keeps that going today. For her latest video, “W H I T E L I O N Z,” she steps into the background but keeps things captivating with a little help from Hodgy Beats, who stars in the clip. Marz directed and filmed the video herself.

Watch above, and see what the Los Angeles-based singer had to say about it below.

What does this video mean to you?
Growing up being made fun of and put down for being “different” brought a lot of pain and strength to my life. Writing this song is how I wanted to express that to the world who has been and is going through the same thing as I did. This video is very emotional for me and sometimes hard to look at fully.

I’d say it holds a deep connection to me on many levels. From what I talk about in my song to how well the video matched the emotion for it. How I filmed this video was to display the same emotions but through another’s point of view. Hodge was so perfect.

How did Hodgy get involved?
He reached out to me over Twitter months ago just on some cool vibes and around that time I had just finished writing up my treatment for the video. Suddenly that light bulb above my head sparked one day we were talking. That’s when I realized he would be the perfect look and role. So I said, “It doesn’t hurt to ask.” I wanted a male close to my look and body type so it would be me in another body/soul opposite to my sex. He was that match.

Overall, your music career kind of runs alongside a strong visual identity that you already seem to have established. How do you balance a visual identity with a musical one, or is it all just kind of natural for you?
Everything is natural when it comes to my craft. From writing, to video concepts, to acting in the videos. If my music does not connect to my visuals, I am not displaying what I wanted the world to feel naturally by just viewing it in their perspective. Everything has to have a balance, or then you are just going to be mad crazy and overthink.

Can you tell us one story from the set of the video shoot?
Man, that day was amazing.

I have a lot of stories I could share about that day from the conversations, to seeing a black bear pass our car, to sharing moments in that forest.

I had just finished styling H in the wardrobe, looked at him and went over the concept/story line. I never once told him how to act or be in the role. Besides, “You’re a loner battling people bullying you but once you receive your samurai sword through the enchanted mirror—which I made by hand along with his crown—you will understand your true worth in life and how powerful of a human you really are.”

The minute I yelled action, he was in full character. He blew my mind away. I was watching him through the lens express such perfect emotion. He almost made me cry when he put the gun in his mouth. That’s why even now, that video means so much to me. He didn’t hold back, and he displayed how talented of an artist he is. He was so natural and I admire that.

His eyes tell a story, his facial expressions matched the songs emotions, everything was effortless and so inspiring. It was like watching myself in another body. This was a moment I cherish. I am happy I chose him. No one could have made me feel the way he did with his craft. Such an amazing individual and artist. Blessed.

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