JoJo's long-awaited comeback continues, this time with the release of a heart-wrenching music video for her song "Save My Soul," inspired by her late father's struggle with addiction and directed by none other than the late Robin Williams's daughter, Zelda Williams. "'Save My Soul,' is about addiction," the 24-year-old singer, who memorably rose to fame in the early aughts with her hit single "Leave (Get Out)," wrote in an Instagram post.
"I wanted to convey the feeling of powerlessness I've felt in my life in an uncomplicated way and show a range of what it might look like for others who've been there. Working with one of my best friends, Zelda Williams, was a highlight of my 2015." She added, "Because of the content of the song and the way it touched us both, 'Save My Soul' felt like a natural place for us to collaborate."
“Save My Soul” is about addiction. Of all kinds. I wanted to convey the feeling of powerlessness I've felt in my life in an uncomplicated way and show a range of what it might look like for others who've been there. Working with one of my best friends, Zelda Williams (director of SMS), was a highlight of my 2015. We'd been talking about working together for like 10 years! Because of the content of the song and the way it touched us both, “Save My Soul” felt like the natural place for us to finally collaborate. A group of us young, crazy, creatives drove out to the magical desert of Joshua Tree and got naked - most of us emotionally, and a few literally. It was a safe space to be vulnerable and free from judgment and the need to be/ look/ act "perfect". Everyone who participated connected to the song and brought their truth to the table. We filmed this video about a month before my father lost his decades long battle with addiction. His death honestly felt like it came out of nowhere…and yet I had been mourning him for years…if that makes any sense. I know all too well from seeing it around me that the fight is not easy. It's every day. All consuming. I'm not mad at my dad. I love him and I'm sad. He is my greatest heartbreak. This song, which had always been personal to me, takes on even deeper meaning now. "I try to run but it hurts every time I try... Lord I try and I can't say no." Makes me think of the universal struggle of seeking victory over the feeling of powerlessness to a situation, a lover, a drug. Losing my father at the end of last year and knowing the propensity for addiction of all kinds that runs deep in my blood from both sides makes it next-level important for me to LIVE - not just be alive, but THRIVE in his honor. I can do this. And so can you. If you're struggling, believe the only way OUT is THROUGH. Keep going. Love, Jo. P.S. Thank you to the beautiful crazies who dedicated their time and energy to come together and make this video possible. It wouldn't have happened without you.
The nearly four-minute clip, shot in Joshua Tree, Calif., features the singer traversing the desert at sunset, interspersed with vignettes of what are presumably addicts sprawled out on a yellow couch. "That couch looks like an island in the middle of the desert for a reason, because I know how isolating it can be to try to express yourself," Williams wrote on her Tumblr.
"Showing emotions in a world that seems averse to them can be scary, and more often than not it feels as though you’re the only person on the planet going thru it! But I promise you, for everyone who doesn’t understand, there are others out there who will, others who may be comforted to know they’re not the only ones. Everyone’s got a story, whether you’ve heard it or not. I’m grateful Jo let me help her tell hers. Hopefully, it’s only the first of many, many more to come."
Watch the emotional rollercoaster of a video below.