Gregory Dillon‘s “Plastic Ferrari” video, that we’re so excited to be premiering today, questions whether all plastic is fantastic.
2020 is a weird year to put out new music, there is no doubt about it. Yes, recent releases from pop powerhouses such as Lady Gaga or Dua Lipa have enjoyed some success. However, their potential was undoubtedly thwarted by the fact that we can’t show up to the club and unabashedly show off our dance routine to “Sour Candy” while a group of drunk straight girls cheer us on until at least 2021. However, maybe the current climate is the reason we needed for pop music to fully reinvent itself? With July in full swing, this time of the year usually calls for a pop summer anthem – and Gregory Dillon might have delivered just what we’ve been looking for.
“Plastic Ferrari” is the latest release from the Brooklyn-based musician who seeks inspiration from the 80s pop sounds of his youth, from a-ha and Duran Duran to Depeche Mode and Bronski Beat.
“I can’t describe exactly why but 80’s music and driving during my youth holds so many strong emotions for me,” says Gregory Dillon. “It makes me feel like I’m in one of those films that make you just see life as this big and beautiful mystery. Now more than ever, we’re nostalgic for those simple comforts we had before the pandemic, and facing the fact we need to let some of them go knowing things won’t be the same again. Even if you weren’t alive in the 80s, that pop sound still invokes childhood nostalgia, teenage romance, and longing for the past. It’s also an escape. I really really hope that my music is either a recharge or escape for those who need it. The ability to contribute to someone’s life in that way, is a concept that I never take for granted.”
Dillon is a public advocate for LGBTQ rights and is not afraid to touch upon taboos within the gay community. Between pining for hot jocks, bad driving, and making out with trees, the music video for “Plastic Ferrari” heavily features the motif of dolls. Just like Barbie is considered the female image of perfection, her male counterpart, Ken, is just as guilty in fuelling unattainable beauty standards.
Gregory Dillon, who grew up with “a distant obsession with Barbies as a kid”, describes the music video as “a unique way to explore the pressure of perfection”.
“I can’t describe how transcending it was to use this campy acting to work through a concept I’ve been struggling with since I can remember,” he says. “I am blessed to have director Joe Fusco as a bff who, after directing the “Love Again” music video, rose to the challenge for this vision I had. Because we were limited by the quarantine, Joe and I devised a trip to the suburbs to meet our friend/actor Bryan Hartlett (the Life Size Ken Doll) to shoot over the course of an afternoon. It truly felt like making a home video for an eighth-grade school project.”
Overall, “Plastic Ferrari” is the sad pop euphoria reminiscent of Marina and the Diamond’s “Primadonna Girl” or Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”-era from exactly a decade ago – which is, coincidentally, probably the last time many of us felt real happiness.
Dillon himself credits the awkwardness of young love as the inspiration behind the track:
“I can say there are a handful of moments that fueled this car pop song and they honestly all revolve around my crushes on the handsome nice boys of my youth… who I saw as my “everything”…. but they had no clue I liked them… yet I was clearly having an internal breakdown,” he says. “The more I think about it, “Plastic Ferrari” is a bake-off between: a fabulous kid at ten, a fourteen-year-old that is facing closeted teenage bro-mance, and the late teen that just got a car and is about to cry off into the sunset. Someone get into the passenger seat and hold my hand through this meltdown!”
Same, Gregory. Same.