Jessica Lowndes Gets Real About Her Emotional New Album: “It’s About Recognizing Your Patterns And Having The Strength To Pull Yourself Out Of Them, Too.”

Jessica LowndesPhoto Credit: Amanda Mae
Jessica Lowndes embarked on a big project to kick star her year. The 90210 actress began releasing a collection of songs/videos from her visual album Elemental in May. Together, all videos create a short film, which is her directorial debut (and which she also stars in). She will be rolling out videos over the next few months and the visual album will be released in its entirety in September.

Elemental sets out to showcase the journey we all go on: from being in love, to having your heart broken to finding new love again, and all the ups and downs along the way. It’s conveyed using natural disasters and elements as metaphors, the inner turmoil and inner joy that comes from heartache and finding new love. Lowndes has self-released over 20 original songs and her single, Silicone in Stereo, reached #11 on the Billboard Charts in both the U.S. and Canada. Her duet “Alive,” which she performed with her co-star and Broadway sensation Jeremy Jordan for the film Mix Up in the Mediterranean cracked the top 15 on iTunes last year. She also co-wrote/performed the hit song “Paradise” from her film “Over the Moon in Love” which hit #1 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts. Here, she shares the impetus for her album, and why heartbreak — while painful — really does allow for creating beautiful art.

Jessica LowndesPhoto Credit: Amanda Mae

Tell us more about you visual album?

The Elemental visual album sets out to showcase the journey we all go on: from being in love, to having your heart broken, to finding new love again, and all of the ups and downs that we experience along the way. This is conveyed through the use of natural disasters and elements as metaphors expressing the inner turmoil and also inner joy that comes from heartache and from finding new love. Each music video focuses on a different element. The elements serve as both a metaphor and a device where the idea is expressed that something can have a light and a dark side to it. One example is how the ocean can be both turbulent and violent while also having the ability to be a source of calm and comfort. This is reflective of the complex cocktail of emotions that we often feel when dealing with complicated matters of the heart. The theme and arc of the visual album represent the internal conflict, metamorphosis and growth that we experience when we find the strength to walk away from the people, habits and choices that can take our life in the wrong direction if we are not careful. It touches on themes such as moving on from the memories of the past, the spiritual process of changing yourself to become the person you know you can be, and reconnecting with your inner child by addressing the wounded elements deep within, in order to find healing. The journey ends on a celebratory note concluding that when we have the courage to walk away from anything that’s not serving us, the universe will bring us something even more wonderful. I kept seeing the story play out as I would listen to the songs and the idea of incorporating the elementals and telling one cohesive story.

You can see I am in this perpetual liminal state between dreaming and consciousness from the story’s very beginning. I wanted to show this closeness between the space of ‘reality’ and ‘dream’, almost an ‘interchangeability’ between the two. I wanted to tell a story that showed visuals that amplify the feeling of confusion and conflicting states we often experience when dealing with complicated matters of the heart. Because they originate in the subconscious mind, dreams can reveal our deepest needs, fears and desires. I guess it’s also a different dimension where I am experiencing this different world and having the “same” or even more “heightened sensations” and visual pleasures that I felt when I was in the real world. A sensory experience. 

Why did you decide to make this your directorial debut?

I’m extremely passionate about writing and music so I thought why not combine them in a cool way that nobody has seen before. I wanted to write and direct a short film to showcase myself as a director which ultimately got me a directing deal! Directing has always been a dream of mine so I am beyond excited to hone in on that skill even more in the coming months! I had never seen a visual album that told one cohesive story before especially one that played with the elements so I had no other choice but to create it. To put my heart and soul into this Elemental project and to incorporate all of my passions into one, just felt right! The perfect directorial debut.

Jessica LowndesPhoto Credit: Amanda Mae

What was your inspiration for the video for Bitter End?

Beyond the songs and the emotion it evokes, I really wanted to show how sometimes you can give 100% to someone who only gives 50% in return and in spite of that we are sometimes willing to hurt ourselves in the process of that. The character I play in the Bitter End video overcomes feelings of loss and betrayal to save the antagonist in spite of the feelings she has experienced. The video touches on what that feels like when you finally reach the end and how sometimes that extends beyond the feelings of hurt but ultimately it’s all about strength.

What is the meaning of the song?

The song itself is about not giving up and having hope. It’s also about pushing through hard times whether it be emotionally, physically, romantically or however else you maybe be struggling. The song at first felt like it was about fighting for someone else but as I lived with it and the video began to form in my head, I realized that it’s actually about how far you have to go to fight for yourself too! I think that it’s better for the listener to project their own story and ideas into it when it comes to the lyrics. I like the idea of people having their own personal stories and experiences weaved into these songs as people listen.

Are these songs cathartic? Are they things that you’ve lived through?

Singing, performing, and even acting out the songs in my visual album has been an incredibly cathartic and rewarding experience. I drew a lot of the story from personal experiences. For me, I was reflecting on patterns in past relationships and in the video I wanted the antagonist to represent not just one relationship but multiple different ones from the past, anyone who had less than pure intentions. At the same time, it’s also about recognizing your own patterns and having the strength to pull yourself out of them too.

Jessica LowndesPhoto Credit: Amanda Mae

What does each of the elements represent to you? How does each represent who YOU are?

Emotions carry us through our lives. Inside we can sometimes feel like there’s a fire, an earthquake, a tornado etc. I wanted to attach emotions to the elements. I feel like all of them show what life and feeling all of the emotions is about!

The Bitter End video’s theme is earth. Visually I wanted to capture some of the dirt and grittiness to reflect that. We even went as far as creating an earthquake that metaphorically represented the unexpected turmoil in someone’s life and the way things can change so quickly. I had my friends throwing flour at me off screen to create the effect of the world around you falling apart.

How do you balance your music with your acting?

I’m always doing both as well as dreaming up things to write and direct. My brain doesn’t want to stop creating and I’m very grateful to get to do so many things. I like to think that I’m 100% devoted and present with all of these things as they unfold in my day to day life. I’m truly living my passions and none of it feels like work!

Jessica LowndesPhoto Credit: Amanda Mae

Is one more of a focus than the other at the moment?

Currently, I am enjoying the fact the music is so modular and that I can work remotely from anywhere. I am able to keep music projects on track while I have windows of time between my writing, directing, and acting projects.

What’s next for you project-wise?

There are more elemental videos, songs, concert videos and remixes on the way! Also more movies that I’ve written and maybe a few other fun surprises! Already working on album number 2!

Jessica LowndesPhoto Credit: Amanda Mae