C. Shirock Wants You To “Stand With Me Tonight”
photos / Allister Ann
story / Chloe Robinson
A heartfelt love song captivating listens with its effortless silky sound, C. Shirock has released his new video for his single “Stand With Me Tonight”. Showcasing soft shimmering vocals and dreamy ethereal soundscapes, the song brilliantly tells a story of sticking by someone’s side in an act of passionate love. The video for the track perfectly represents just that. Featuring glimmering vintage prom visuals, it narrates the tale of two teens discovering the magic of young love on a very special night. I had the opportunity to interview C. Shirock and uncover everything from his inspirations for the video to life as a solo artist.
What inspired you to do a prom setting as a theme of your video?
I actually had the idea for a “prom song” a few years ago – before I had finished the lyric for “Stand With Me Tonight,” I was tentatively calling it “Prom Song” with my producer, Thomas Doeve! I wrote the song for my fiancé, about our journey coming together, and the questions that lay ahead of us. I wanted to write the kind of song that I would want to slow dance to…something that captured the realness of relationships – from the beginning and the mystery, to the courage in those first steps toward opening yourself up to someone, to the unknowns and challenges that life inevitably brings to all relationships, and the trust that everything happens for a reason.
When I sat down with the Director (John Matysiak) the first time, I set the scene for him and described what I was imagining, and played him the song in my studio in Nashville. We closed our eyes, and by the end we both had goosebumps were smiling.
Your video has a striking aesthetic showcasing blue dimmed lighting and neon pink accents, is the significance behind your lighting choices and color scheme?
John (Director) has an incredible eye, and his use of color is really special. As we were building out the idea for the video, I wanted to incorporate a neon sign that would flicker on, using my handwriting spelling out the title, “Stand With Me Tonight.” As we imagined the era and the styling, we decided we wanted to use a pink color for the neon sign, and we pulled a lot of references that used the blues and subtle green hues. It was more about capturing a feeling and an emotion with the colors than anything else. We also wanted to use the colors to bring a modern feel to a somewhat 90’s period high school prom story.
Stand With Me Tonight is a stunning heartfelt love song, what was your process like in writing the track and did you have anyone specific in mind when writing the song?
Thank you! That means so much to hear. This song is incredibly special to me. I wrote it for my fiancé, doing my best to say it in the most simple and honest way I could. I wrestled with these lyrics for a while…I had the initial idea for the song, and some keyboard parts and melodies when I went into the studio with my producer and co-writer, Thomas Doeve to work on the track. I spent a few days mostly alone in my house working on these words…I usually look to poems I’ve written or letters for inspiration when I’m stuck, but it kept feeling like it needed to be more simple…just honest. I remember having a conversation with my fiancé as I was writing the lyric, and she encouraged me to ‘get out of the way’ and let the song speak for itself. So I did, and what came are some of my favorite lyrics I’ve ever written. They’re simple, but it cuts to the heart of what it has felt like at times in my relationship. The unknown, the questions, the hope and fear, and the trust that it’s all happening exactly as it’s meant to.
What has the transition been like from working with your band to now embarking on your solo project and what has been the hardest thing you’ve faced?
I’ve found there to be so much more freedom being a solo artist. It allows me to chase whatever turns me on…and I’m the common denominator between everything I do, so the ‘colors’ I paint with, the sounds and textures I uses don’t have to always be the same.
While the transition felt like a natural evolution for me, at times it’s been hard now being a solo artist. There’s no one else to hide behind or to learn on, no one else to really carry it…it all depends on the single artist to deliver. That’s been a bit daunting to me at times and can be overwhelming, but I love being challenged. I tend to do my best work under pressure. I think that’s also been the hardest thing I’ve faced – the feeling of now doing it on my own. But it’s also taught me so much about myself, and caused me to grow in a lot of ways that I would not otherwise ever have, and at the end of the day I’m just so grateful to be able to do what I love and create music from my heart that connects with people.