We all know the story of “Cinderella,” but rising artist Raihanna Estrada is putting her own spin on the famous fairy tale. Take a look at her new video for “Cinderella,” then read an exclusive interview below the player.
What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?
I had this idea in my head for years since I wrote “Cinderella.” So when the day came to shoot it I was beyond happy and feeling excited. Oceanna Colgan and I did this whole video by ourselves with my concept, styling and life story and her camera, creativity and editing skills.
We decided to take a trip to Dallas, Texas to visit since we both have family there but also film the trailer scene for “Cinderella.” My Aunt Reba lives in Hillsboro, Texas, and her neighbor Stephen was kind enough to let us use his 1984 Avion trailer, which was the exact vibe I was dreaming of for the video.
Once we started filming, we didn’t have much time because we had to drive back to Nashville through the night. But I knew this character so well because it’s just me. So being able to go into that happy sad emotion was easy to do. I knew I had to bring it in order to get my story across. The emotions were very real.
We shot the last scene in a beautiful red 1979 Firebird Trans Am Pontiac in Nashville the second week of January. Thank you to Jim and Daniel at Streetside Classics. It was 40 degrees outside when we were filming. But we didn’t care! We were so excited to be able to have the Pontiac to complete this story. I kept saying, “Cinderella actually got into her Pontiac!” My car was always very important to me because it was my safe space to blast music, cry and have freedom to leave whenever I wanted.
How does the video bring your song to life?
Oceanna captured me exactly how I want to be seen as an artist. I felt so thankful and comfortable to get that real on camera with her. The gown of blue was important to me because Cinderella puts this dress on trying to be someone else for one night. We all have those moments where you want to escape from yourself. She packs up her things, which to me is her emotional baggage because that is how she’s able to function.
I shared my story with a couple tribute photos of my parents Bob & Sharon Narae Estrada. I wore his Charlie 1 Horse cowboy hat in the video and a sweatshirt with a squirrel because that’s what my mom called me. They both passed away when I was 19 years old. Growing up seeing them together and watching Disney I always thought things would work out.
My family didn’t talk about death since I was so young, so I never thought I’d lose them. When I did, it ripped the rug out quickly from under me. But I still didn’t want to let it destroy the bright light I had. So I kept fighting and pushing. And that’s what Cinderella is. She’s a fighter even though she’s lost looking for love and home. This video reminds us that there really are two sides to the coin. It ain’t all happy but it ain’t all sad either. It’s dancing in between.
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
I hope that fans find themselves in this mess of a princess that I see. It’s a story about a girl who lives the other side of the fairy tale: that you don’t always get what you want. But even though she goes through dark times she never loses her hopeful heart. I feel like a lot of girls can relate to this story. I hope that people take away something positive because that’s what I did with my big loss. I turned it into chasing my dreams head on. It also taught me to love hard because people won’t always be around.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
When Oceanna sent me the first cut of the video I sat in awe. When I saw the opening scene it made such an impact because those were the types of films my parents enjoyed. The Technicolor era. I couldn’t believe that I was finally seeing this whole dream vision come together on the screen.
I teared up, immediately called her back on Facetime with my jaw dropped and smiling. I felt proud of us. I knew that we had done something special. Something I hope will be relatable to many. Because it’s important, especially in today’s society, to note that life isn’t always a perfect fairy tale. But you can make it whatever you want if you just believe through the dark times.
Songwriter: Raihanna Estrada; Director: Oceanna Colgan