Like the best creative meetings, Tyler Matthew Oyer first connected with Mitchell Zaic over Grindr. "He told me he wanted to try directing a music video," Oyer says, highlighting the artist's "energy and talent." So the two joined forces on "STARSHOPPING," Zaic's official directorial debut, to bring Oyer's hyperpop single to life with "dreamy, chaotic, energetic" visuals.
Oyer first wrote "STARSHOPPING" at the height of summer 2020 lockdown. "I was feeling anxious and fatigued from attending daily protests and actions in Los Angeles," he says. "The social movements and unrest had me writing some deeply emotional songs about remorse, regret and mortality."
What emerged from Oyer's exhaustion was a song about connection in the face of extreme isolation — "like stars in a constellation," he says, explaining how lockdown made him "nostalgic for this kind of tender togetherness." An absolute burst of pent-up energy, "STARSHOPPING" then sees Oyer offering his companionship when things get scary.
"There's a romantic feel to the lyrics that makes me think about being a teenager in the countryside, driving in cars with friends on hot summer nights with the windows down, blasting your favorite songs," Oyer continues, underscoring a chorus that explodes into meteor showers of synths, courtesy of producer Ben Babbitt (Angel Olsen).
In the "STARSHOPPING" visual, Zaic amplified this feeling of euphoria and friendship by setting Oyer inside a foggy Los Angeles party that goes from the dance floor to the pool. "We wanted the video to feel like the pieced-together, flashing memories from the best night of your life," Oyer says. Indeed, it all looks like a fever dream, cast in colorful neon lights.
With makeup by Michael Anthony, a custom harness by Zana Bayne, and wardrobe from Scent, GmbH and Syro, Oyer's "STARSHOPPING" is a community effort — much like the lyrics of the track describe. "I hope people feel moments of joy when they watch the video or hear the song," he says. "After the last year and a half, we deserve it."
Watch the PAPER premiere of "STARSHOPPING" and stream Tyler Matthew Oyer's single, below (you'll want to wait for the climactic ending).
Photos courtesy of Awo Jama