Remember the days of going to a bar and chatting up whoever’s drinking beside you? If you listen closely enough, sometimes those conversations can lead to a life lesson. Hailey Whitters and her co-writer Lori McKenna capture one such experience, along with many other sweet moments, in Whitters’ newest video, “Janice at the Hotel Bar.”
An Iowa native who’s been earning her keep in Nashville as a talented songwriter and promising performer, Whitters is also one of CMT’s Next Women of Country. Take a look at “Janice at the Hotel Bar,” then read our interview below the player.
What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?
What stands out most immediately was the health precautions we took to ensure everyone’s safety. Given that we had to shoot during quarantine, everyone was wearing masks, getting temperature checks… when I wasn’t on camera, I was wearing a face shield. It was strange, but necessary to keep everyone safe.
How does the video bring your song to life?
I think it’s really powerful seeing the contrast between “young” Janice and “older” Janice… being able to see real pictures and moments of a family living a simple life on a farm. The video is as rich visually as it is lyrically — which is exactly what we aimed to achieve with this video.
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
My wish is that they are able to slow down and appreciate the small moments that make life sweet. Even today with the current state of our world and our country, I hope they are able to use this song and this video as a small symbol of hope and as a gentle reminder to make the most of the time we are given.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
Seeing the video for the first time was emotional… I was emotional while shooting, just seeing Janice mouth the words back to me, but getting to see it in its entirety really just took the whole song and sentiment full circle.
Songwriters: Hailey Whitters, Lori McKenna; Director: Erica Silverman in partnership with Creative Director Harper Smith