“I went to Redding Festival. I was 15 or 16 with my best friend and like a big group of us from school. It was one of the most incredible experiences,” British Umbrella Academy star and KIN musician Ritu Arya began during a recent phonec all with Refinery29, her voice dreamy with nostalgia for her first music festival experience. “I remember watching, I think it was Block Party, on the shoulders of a friend and the sun was setting and it was just true bliss.”
Unfortunately, no one is experiencing similar euphoria this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated the possibility of large gatherings like busy concerts. While we all can’t go to a music festival, Arya’s new KIN music video “L.O.V.E,” — which Refinery29 is exclusively premiering below — is here to bring the summery vibes to you. As a cherry on top of the breezy sundae, the “L.O.V.E” video even has a serious nod to Arya’s very best Umbrella Academy scene partner, David Castañeda.
“The fact that all the music festivals were cancelled this summer was a huge inspiration for us to be like: ‘Well, we can have our own music festival!,’” Arya said of KIN’s mindset going into “L.O.V.E” production. “But for one person. It can be just as fun. It’s not a romantic song. It’s more about the love of life.”
The video certainly lives up to that attitude. Over four minutes, we watch Arya and her bandmates Adam Collier and Grace Strickland de Souza dance in the forest with a “Kinfest” sign repeatedly popping up along the way. While the group performs identical choreography, no one is ever in the same frame. That’s because, Arya confirmed, “L.O.V.E” was shot during pandemic lockdown and followed socially distant filming rules.
Even with the distance, KIN still managed to collaborate on “L.O.V.E.” Singer Strickland de Souza sent everyone outfit ideas to ruminate upon (“I just put together whatever I had with me in my suitcase at the time. So, actually, very little thought went into it,” Arya jokes despite her Instagram-ready looks in the clip). Then there was the creative input of David Castañeda, aka Umbrella Academy’s Diego Hargreeves and Arya’s on-screen love interest.
“Our good friend David Castañeda from Umbrella Academy choreographed [the dance] for us,” Arya said. “We really did choreograph it, but then, some of us learned it better than others.”
Is Castañeda secretly a professional choreographer? “No! God,” Arya said with a laugh, explaining Castañeda simply did her band a solid. To see Castañeda’s work — and an adorable, totally “random” dog, according to Arya — watch the “L.O.V.E” music video below.