The new video from Marisa Maino is one part Marilyn Monroe love-letter, one part ‘conspiracy theory,’ and all glam. She tells us EXCLUSIVELY what inspired this stunning visual, her favorite song ‘of all time,’ and more.
The life and death of Marilyn Monroe have inspired many a musician, from Elton John to The Misfits. Pop singer Marisa Maino becomes the latest artist to offer a take on the tragic tale of Norma Jean in “Ever Young,” her throwback to the Golden Era of Hollywood (and one of its darkest scandals.) In the video, premiering here on HollywoodLife, Marisa resurrects the late Marilyn Monroe and her rumored affair with President John F. Kennedy. As Jack and Marilyn contemplate a love that could never be, Marisa’s sings about how “we could be forever yesterday /don’t know what we have until it’s gone.” It’s an incredibly powerful statement, delivered by an equally powerful voice against the surging beat of this dance banger.
“Ever Young” is a thrilling song about loving every part of living in the moment, and how nothing – including these “good old days” – lasts forever. It’s paired with a video that exemplifies Marisa’s creative mind, and it’ll be hard to see any old footage of Marilyn without hearing that synth beat. As for how she came up with the idea to pair her song with this part of Marilyn’s mythos, she tells HollywoodLife that she’s “a huge conspiracy theory gal, and I’ve always been fascinated by all the different conspiracies surrounding the Kennedys and the death of Marilyn Monroe.
“I wanted to explore a darker storyline to contrast the lightheartedness of the song, and asked the directors if we could explore a Marilyn Monroe storyline because one could say she ‘died for love.’ ” continues Marisa. “Turns out, they were also obsessed with her, so we ran with that idea. I love that the visual for ‘Ever Young’ ends with me dying because it ended up setting the stage for the next track on my album (“Boy Toy”) so well. Your love for a person has to metaphorically die before you can move on for yourself or anyone else.”
It also helped that this video allowed Marisa to live out her Seven Year Itch fantasy. “Shooting this video was an absolute blast. Alexa and Stephen are brilliant directors, and their crew is incredible,” she tells HollywoodLife. “They have amazing creative energy and created a truly perfect day. Jan (the makeup artist) brought in the crew from the set of Nashville to help with our entire cast. She pulled out all the stops. She had a wig flown in from Paris that was worth more than my car – it was honestly the most expensive thing I think I’ve ever worn.”
Speaking of luxury and opulence, Marisa tells us that they also made a replica of one of Marilyn’s dresses for the video. “It’s the sheer one with diamonds you see throughout most of the video. When I tried it on for the first time, it took my breath away (as cliche as that sounds). I actually still have it because I’m obsessed with it. I don’t know what I’ll ever do with it, but it’s fun to open my closet and see it hanging in there.”
Of course, a music video wouldn’t be much of a music video without a song. “Ever Young,” off of Marisa’s debut project STAGES OF LOVE & HEARTBREAK, both celebrates looking back fondly as the past while being a special part of Marisa’s own history. ” ‘Ever Young’ was actually my first co-write. I had just started my first semester of college and I finally felt like I had friends that understood me. I felt ready to write a nostalgic love song. I walked into the room with Greg Becker and my producer Jordan Sapp and told them I wanted to write something like ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry—which is pretty much my favorite song of all time.”
“Jordan turned around and built the base track in 15 minutes flat. I was blown away. I started singing the hook, and we went from there. We had the pre and the chorus pretty fully-flushed out the first day, and then went back later and wrote the verses. Since then, I’ve probably had over a hundred co-writes, just released my first album, and am now signing my first publishing deal. ‘Ever Young’ was the catalyst, and I’m so grateful for the magical journey it started.”
STAGES OF LOVE & HEARTBREAK is out now.