When I think about what the essence of Los Angeles is for this site, it pulls down to the arts: Music, Movies, Fashion, Photography and Artists. As the creator of Totally-LA.com, I was extensively involved in the music industry while I lived in Denver, working with both local bands, and national touring acts.  

While I am not as established in the music industry here as I was in Denver, I’ve decided to bring music into the spotlight of what we write about and showcase on Totally LA.  Hallelujah was chosen as the music video to launch this because of the special meaning it holds.

Hallelujah
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The project to shoot Hallelujah was born in Denver and finished in Los Angeles.  It is a tribute to the life of Sebastien Evridge.  The song was sung by Cross Johnson at the funeral of his blood brother, Sebastian Evridge, after his life was tragically taken in a fiery crash when his Jeep was hit by a drunk driver doing 120 mph on a city street.  The two were living high on a dream and moving to Los Angeles when his life was ended.

Those that were close to Sebastien were utterly devastated.  We hoped this music video would help the healing.  We started filming Hallelujah in Denver and scenes with the love of Sebastian’s life, Madi Campion, were filmed in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  The project was finished later in Los Angeles, filmed in my old DTLA studio, on the streets of the Los Angeles Fashion District, on Skid Row and on the Beaches.

Hallelujah was the perfect song for the nature of the project.  Originally recorded by Leonard Cohen and released in his album Various Positions, Cohen had this to say about the song: “This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can … reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that’s what I mean by ‘Hallelujah.'”

Though we were unaware of Cohen’s words at the time, that is exactly what we intended to do with Cross Johnson’s cover of Hallelujah…. to reconcile and embrace the whole mess.  Hallelujah has been deliberately made raw, rough and edgy to show the pain felt by so many when a life was tragically ended and dreams were shattered.

When Hallelujah by Cross Johnson was initially released on Mark Stout’s YouTube Channel, it overnight received over 100 shares on social media and was viewed over 3000 times in the first days.  We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from several music industry professionals.  As one music industry professional said: “Hallelujah is a powerful music video.  Cross Johnson’s performance is beautiful, heartfelt, and emotional.”

I agree.  And while I will produce many more music videos, Hallelujah will always hold a special place in my heart… for what and who it stood for.  And as a symbol of respect for Sebastian and those that loved him.

Vocals: Cross (Chace) Johnson
Music/Mastering: Ricky Schissler, Jr.
Video: Mark Stout Photography

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