HANFORD — Local musician JJ Brown has a present for his Valentine’s Day sweetheart — the city of Hanford.
On Thursday, Hanford native Brown will release his newest single, “More Lovin’ All Around” Thursday, culminating in a free release party and concert at 8 p.m. at the School House Restaurant and Tavern in Sanger.
The music video, directed by Joshua Cordero of Remscape, was shot at various locations downtown and features members of the community — hundreds of them.
“That’s what I like about the video. As an artist, it’s cool to write a great song that everybody likes to sing because it’s a catchy song, but at the same time, it’s more fun to create a song and a video that you film in your hometown with a bunch of people in a community that you care about. It couldn’t have turned out better,” Brown said.
With plans already in place to eventually release the song on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other online media outlets, Brown wanted to film his performance last summer at the Thursday Night Marketplace for a music video to coincide with the release.
The video will be available on YouTube and on Brown’s Facebook’s page at www.facebook.com/jjbrownmusic.
The project quickly grew from the simple filming of that live performance into something bigger, incorporating more of Hanford’s downtown area and its community.
“I really, really liked the song. I thought it had a unique sound to it and it was very catchy and I thought we could really run with it and do more. I wanted to utilize the architecture in downtown Hanford,” Cordero said. “It started as something simple, but I just kept pitching more and more stuff to him that he liked. Once I got going, I just couldn’t stop.”
“Then it turned into filming in front of the Fox Theatre and walking around in the crowd at the market, which just happened to be on Halloween so everyone was in costumes. It was just epic,” Brown said.
Other filming locations in the video include the steps of the Civic Auditorium and Brown riding Hanford’s historic carousel with his family.
In the video’s scenes where Brown walks through the crowd at the Halloween-themed farmer’s market, many locals can be seen “photobombing,” or popping into the frame unexpectedly.
“All of that was authentic. It was one of those things where if you really want to embarrass yourself, have a friend carry a speaker blasting a song with you singing it in front of like 2,000 people. It’s pretty embarrassing,” Brown joked. “But there’s no other way of doing it.”
The energy created by the impromptu photo-bombs and community involvement is exactly what Cordero was looking for.
“It’s a song about community and everyone loving on everyone, so we wanted to stress inclusiveness as much as possible. I think what makes it so special is those moments of spontaneity. You can’t plan for that kind of thing,” Cordero said.
“[In the video] there’s a guy eating a taco and he gives me a thumbs up. I don’t know who that guy is but I love it,” Brown said. “I hope he sees himself in the video.”
Brown will perform on Wednesday, March 20 at the Country in the Tower event in Fresno alongside the Eli Young Band and Dylan Schneider.
The musician will also be performing at the first-ever Night in the Country music festival in downtown Hanford on Friday, April 26. The all-country music festival will also feature performances by The Arnie Newman Country Club Band and 82 Deluxe.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/jjbrownmusic.