- Better Off Valeree 3:18
Known as Valeree, rising retro-pop artist Megan Mortensen has become something of a poster child for the “hot mess” in independent music. Having recently gone public with her PTSD diagnosis, Valeree has always been candid about how a past riddled with addiction issues, money problems, and trauma has played a defining role in her life, yet her fans have come to love her for writing of these experiences through a uniquely witty and often lighthearted lens.
Another theme throughout her music has been empowerment, particularly for women, with her upcoming single “Better Off” being no exception. “It’s a mix of a big, silly ‘fuck you’ to your shit ex and a celebration of how great you are without needing the validation of a plus-one. It’s my first official contribution to hot girl summer” she says of the upcoming release. Valeree’s most recent EP “it’s fine, i’m fine” has garnered over half a million streams since its release on March 19, after two of its songs (“Deity” and “Broke”) went viral on the popular social media app TikTok. Her previous project, debut EP “Masochist”, has garnered over a million streams since its release last year and has been nominated for multiple awards, including “Best Pop EP” at the Independent Music Awards.
On ‘Better Off’
“‘Better Off’ is definitely the most fun song I’ve released so far and I know exactly why”, Valeree says of her upcoming single, “it started as a joke. I saw that my ex, who was truly the worst, was watching my Instagram stories recently. We broke up over 4 years ago, so it was odd enough for me to take note. I just blurted out the first verse alone in my room, laughing. The whole thing really was a joke, but I posted a clip on my Instagram stories and got absolutely flooded with positive responses, so I was like ‘well ok, I guess I have to finish this song’, so I just kept writing it with the same ridiculous energy and this is what came out. And I love it. I say ‘fuck’ 13 times, I counted.”
While the lyrics were written in fun, the song does hold a lot of truth. Aside from the first verse telling the story that inspired the song verbatim, Valeree has seemingly been “better off”, watching her star rise within her music career, with her most recent EP “it’s fine, i’m fine” garnering half a million streams in the two months since its’ release. She’s also been open on social media about the mental health journey she’s been on since being diagnosed with PTSD, having said countless times how much happier she’s been becoming since starting trauma therapy. As much as it is a celebration of her happiness, it’s also packed with jabs at the ex-“He was so obsessed with money, so I knew it’d be the ultimate ‘fuck you’ to include the fact that I’ll be making money by writing this absurd song about what a dildo he was and how great I’m doing,” she says in reference to the lyric “put your bullshit to a melody, that’s money in my pocket”.
Valeree recorded the song with producer and long time collaborator Adam Allison, as well as pianist Max Berlin and drummer Devin Pruden.“I just know to my core that being with this guy for so long when I deserved better was really traumatizing. It took age and time for me to really understand that, but now that I do, I want to use the experience to help other people who’ve dated people who treated them like shit. I wanna give them something that makes them feel powerful and hot and amazing, and makes them feel like they truly are better off without the toxic shit head ex”.
On the ‘Better Off’ music video
In summary, the video starts with a shot of Valeree’s “douchebag ex” watching her Instagram stories, zooms into the Instagram story, and continues to follow Valeree as she lives her most exaggerated best life, everywhere from partying with friends to being featured on magazine covers to winning a Grammy. The video concludes with Valeree realizing her ex has been watching her story, to which she says “What was his name again?” before fading to black.
“I really just wanted the video to keep the same core energy and amp it up by 1,000%. The song is cocky, funny, and ridiculous, so I wanted the video to be the most cocky, funny, and ridiculous thing I could pull off with a whopping budget of zero. So, it’s basically half me telling this dude to go fuck himself and half me low-key manifesting my future – as sadly I have not really won a Grammy or been on the cover of a music magazine, but maybe by putting this into the universe it’ll happen.
Anyway, I just wanted it to be fun and ridiculous, but pretty much everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong. We had to switch cameras halfway through shooting, switch DP’s, dealt with more cancellations and forced rescheduling than I could’ve ever imagined, it was all just very hectic, but that kind of goes along perfectly with the absurd energy of it all. I’m definitely proud that we managed to pull it off at all.
I think the video’s super fun and silly, and that’s how I am in real life 95% of the time, so it’s nice to really be able to show that to the fans. I feel like a lot of the time my music is where I dump all the serious parts of me, so I can’t always put all the tomfoolery that I want in visuals, but this project really allowed me to fuck around and show my personality. There’s a shot where we’re just twerking on a wall, which is what I do at every party ever. Get an ounce of tequila in me and you simply cannot keep this tiny ass off the wall.”
SOURCE: Official Bio