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Video Premiere: "Make Believe" by Renny Conti

Renny Conti
8 September 2020

Renny Conti – Photo – Jack Ludwick

NYC-based musician Renny Conti is set to release his second full length album, Figurines, Or: Streams of Thought from an Interminable Period of Identity Moratorium, on October 30th via Urban Scandal Records.

Conti stops looking back and embraces the current moment on Figurines, Or: Streams of Thought from an Interminable Period of Identity Moratorium. The songs weave between Manhattan dive bars, out-of-town retreats, and his vibrant New York City neighborhood of East Williamsburg.

He explores the people around him and his inner workings while exposing a fascinating picture of what modern life is in your early twenties. Whether he is coming to terms with an addictive personality in “Finally Home” or feeling insecure with his shirt off in “Prayer Book”, Renny finds a way to pull in even the most casual listener with his universally relatable story-telling.

Big Takeover is pleased to host the premiere of the video for the ruminatively lamenting “Make Believe,” the second single being released from the LP before it arrives in full. The reflectively wandering song features Conti singing with a wistfully crestfallen ache in his throat, in the throes of emotional turmoil amid the gentle sweep of strummed acoustic guitar and light percussive clacks.

The video, which was directed by Nathaniel Stevens, harks back to the mix-tape ’90s in its visual aesthetics, with its homemade feel of on-the-spot, casually shot hand-held camera footage from the side streets of NYC. Conti is featured on ‘n’ off in the video, singing to the lens in different situations, from standing in the city streets and sidewalks, to being at a house party (pre-pandemic) or playing guitar on his bed.

Conti delves into the details of the song, revealing, ““Make Believe” is more or less about codependency and what comes with leaving a relationship like that. Lots of insecurity and realizing things that you might not want to. Denial. The only other track on the record that came as quickly and as naturally as this one did was track four, “Finally Home.” Both of these two tracks were one-take vocal takes recorded directly after I wrote them. And I think that’s what makes them special. I always choose the takes where I feel it; not necessarily the ones that sound best. And I think “Make Believe” is the best representation of that front-to-back.”

About the video, Conti says, “Nathaniel Stevens, a good filmmaker friend of mine, always loved this track, so much so that I think there’s a house remix of it somewhere on his laptop. He and I quarantined together for about two months; March to May. One day we decided to take my camcorder out and shoot a quick video in the apartment and streets around us. I remember sanitizing between every take and feeling real weird about not having my mask on. Of course we made sure no one was around. I cut it together in an afternoon with some footage from the time that I wrote and recorded the track.”

(Pre-)Order Figurines, Or: Streams of Thought from an Interminable Period of Identity Moratorium at Urban Scandal Records