The Official Music Video from The Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau
By Noe Gutierrez
With almost 4K views in its first several days, the official music video and tourism campaign titled, “Find Your Oasis” is a beautifully orchestrated art piece a year in the making. Focused on the storyline of a young woman played by cellist Michelle Packman “chasing paradise” by being carried away by the allure that is Greater Palm Springs, the five-minute plus video reminds desert residents of why we stay and sends the message around the globe of why everyone should visit.
Finding your oasis is doing what brings you joy and passion in life. The message behind Greater Palm Springs’ destination theme song, “Find Your Own Oasis,” has never been more appropriate than now. In this original music video produced in collaboration with Summerland Creative, a traveler finds herself enveloped in a spirit where genres of music and beats seamlessly blend from one to the next to showcase our diversity in people, cultures and geography. Local musicians such as Jesika Von Rabbit, Derek Jordan Gregg, Sean Poe, The Flusters, Meagan Van Dyke and artists such as Chris Sanchez, Sofia Enriquez and Ryan Campbell come together to tell Greater Palm Springs’ story with unbridled affection. It has become an anthem of their pride, freedom and passion, played with heart and soul.
Drawing upon the inspiration of the region’s natural charisma, the music video for “Find Your Oasis” was designed to create an experience that inspires listeners to visit the desert, famed for its beauty, spirit and abundance of outdoor activities. The project brought together a stellar roster of local artists—including vocalists, bands, pop artists, visual artists, muralists, a cellist, a tap dancer and a poet—who convey unbridled affection for the destination through their soulful performances. Iconic locations throughout the valley also are celebrated in the video. Viewers will recognize the Empire Polo Club, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Joshua Tree National Park and a variety of local hotels, resorts and public art pieces.
Coachella Valley Weekly had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Miraglia and Brian La Belle of the production team as well as several artists involved.
JEFF MIRAGLIA, Chief Creative Officer, Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau
CVW: What is the concept behind a music video about the destination of Greater Palm Springs?
Miraglia: “About three years ago we created a song. But we felt that we needed to use all the senses to tell the story of our destination. We have beautiful visuals and music is a big part of everyone’s life. This is the home to Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival so to have something that is part of the local music scene is what we wanted. We talk about wide open spaces, being able to enjoy the freedom of the open air, the art scene and the sunrises – – all the things that make our destination really special, it’s a very personal thing. For some, ‘finding their oasis’ is lounging in the sun or being amazed under the stars. For others, it could be sitting by the pool, or attending a party or event, or taking a mountainside hike. ‘Finding your oasis’ is whatever brings you joy and brings your passion to life. My vision for the video was to create a story around the journey of a woman. We feature some of the more beautiful and natural experiential places that any traveler or visitor would experience here.”
CVW: Who brought the music video to life?
Miraglia: “I have to give a lot of credit to my production partners at Summerland Creative, Brian La Belle and Tom McDonald. Tom has a music pedigree. He used his talents to create a way for each of these diverse artists to contribute, and have it blended so that it feels like one song. With one voice and melody arrangement, it feels like something a Pop artist would produce. However, this was created with seven different genres.
We wanted to tell the story of our destination through music. That’s where I had the idea to split up the song into several different music genres. I brought it to the team and asked, why don’t we look at it in terms of all the music festivals we have, the nightlife we have and different cultures? I wanted to tap into multiple genres starting with combining Pop and Classical. Cumbia is evident in our Latin community. We have a little vibe of the DJ beat through Alf Alpha. We included the High Desert music scene. We wanted to bring it all together to represent this community. It ended up being an amazing track. It all has to do with all the contributions of our local musicians.”
CVW: Why is now the right time to release this video?
Miraglia: “It took us almost a year to do this project. When you think about the scale, sound, music arrangement, filming locations, the various artists and schedules, it took a while for the parts to come together. This was going to be released as part of our summer campaign but with all that is going on now, we feel it has the ability to take on a bigger purpose. Music unites. When we set out to create the video, we knew we had a strong message in the lyrics of our song, but we also recognized what the song’s emotions can bring. Today, it has real power. This is a tribute to our residents and artists. When we recently saw citizens in Italy stepping out on their balconies to sing songs to stay connected, we understand the power of music.
Another reason that now is the best time for this video release is that all proceeds from the original song’s downloads will benefit GPS Tourism Foundation’s Hospitality Workforce Relief Fund. This fund is designed to support families in the hospitality and tourism industry facing hardship as a result of COVID-19. In a few weeks we will have the video version of the song available for download on iTunes and Spotify. There are more than 50,000 jobs that are supported by tourism in the Coachella Valley. This industry has been devastated by the crisis and many in our tourism community are facing extreme financial hardship. One hundred percent of the proceeds will provide economic relief to local families.”
CVW: Did you find your oasis in making this video?
Miraglia: “This is a labor of love. We wanted to do something that has a greater purpose and embraces an aspect of our destination that is so unique, distinct and full of heart and soul. If we can help distinguish ourselves as a music destination and artist destination, why not? I’ve learned to love all of these artists and I would never have met them in any other way except through this project. I’ve been doing this a long time. I feel this is the best work of my life. We created a village of creativity.”
BRIAN LA BELLE, Creative Director at Summerland Creative
CVW: What is some of the history of this project?
La Belle: “When we set out to create this music video it was the summer of 2019. Production started in October and ended in January of 2020. We never expected to face the trials our world is facing now. That said, we knew going in that we wanted to tell a story about what makes our community so incredible through the point of view of a single traveler. And we realized early on that our local artists help shape us and define us. That to all of us was the key.”
CVW: The pandemic really threw a wrench in our tourism industry but many communities are persevering and the Coachella Valley is no different.
La Belle: “Today this music video feels even more important. Now I think of how music holds us together through darker times. I think for me, this video has become a similar message, one of hope and dreams. I would like people to see our destination in the light of what makes us so special. While we are faced with the challenges ahead, we can always have great memories and so much to look forward to and certainly hope for.”
CVW: How would you describe the intent behind the project?
La Belle: “‘Find Your Oasis’ is a state of mind. From my perspective, I directed it to feel like a daydream, like the best memories you have back home after you have experienced a vacation. Or perhaps even better, it’s the feeling you imagine, of the vacation you are planning and the moment you return.”
CVW: You and Tom are unmistakably emotionally connected to the desert. Tell us more about your background.
La Belle: “It’s an honor for Summerland Creative to represent our hometown. Both my business partner Tom McDonald and I were best friends when we went to Palm Springs High School in the early 90’s. I love the way the Coachella Valley has become a mecca for artists and musicians of all kinds. We have made our mark and through thick and thin. It’s important to let the world know we are still here and waiting to open our doors again.”
CVW: The collaboration between Summerland Creative and CVB really does raise the bar on future projects coming from this area.
La Belle: “We have enjoyed a wonderful collaboration process with Jeff Miraglia and his brand team and through the wonderful trust and support of Scott White we were able to challenge ourselves to create this piece of work. I hope it brings smiles and reminds the world around us that we have a land of dreams waiting for them.”
JESIKA VON RABBIT
The Queen of the High Desert needs no introduction. Jesika Von Rabbit has delivered the musical goods for years and this performance is no different. JvR is stellar in the video and she sets the tone for the other local artists.
CVW: You do not disappoint in this video. How are you feeling about the end result of “Find Your Oasis” and what it can do for our area?
JvR: “I think it’s already a pretty popular place and it’s a beautifully shot video. It’s a rich and diverse community, there’s lot of great musicians and a beautiful landscape; this is going to show that off a little bit more. It’s done very well, they filmed a nice slice of our world out here and I’m happy to be a part of it. It’s hard to sing someone else’s song. I’ve written Country to Rock and Roll to Electronic music. I did my best and it’s all good.”
Michelle Packman was born and raised in Orange County, CA and is a North American Tour Scholar of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where she studied Contemporary Writing and Production. She has a Bachelor’s of Music in Cello Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music in Long Beach, CA.
CVW: Your performance in this project is amazing and it seemed like you were a natural ‘desert rat’.
Packman: “This was the most relaxing work I’ve ever done. Everyone was extremely positive and it’s gorgeous out there. We were taking hikes in between shooting. I want to move there! It’s so much more relaxing than Los Angeles. They let all the artists truly be themselves and that’s the most special thing. As you’re watching it, you really get a feel for all the artists in and around Palm Springs. I don’t live there but I work there a lot and I would love to work there more because I really like it, it’s a special place.”
CVW: What portion of the project are you most enthusiastic about?
Packman: “The part I’m happiest about is writing my own music and having it in the video. I wasn’t just on camera because I fit some visual profile, it was really my actual creativity. Working with Tom McDonald, Brian La Belle and Jeff Miraglia was super-positive. Everyone was nice and they wanted to showcase what I could do as an artist, not just my face. It was a little strange seeing myself on camera like that because I’m primarily a musician. Getting to hang out with the other artists between shots was really fun. I wish everyone a lot of success with this. You go onto sets sometimes and it’s kind of a bummer, people don’t talk to each other, this was a totally different experience, everyone was there to have a good time.”
MEAGAN VAN DYKE
Meagan Van Dyke grew up in the Coachella Valley, singing and performing since the age of 8 and in 2019, she was voted Coachella Valley Music Awards’ Best Female Vocalist. She has starred in numerous musicals throughout her career as well as performing as a solo artist and in a duo with Dougie VanSant. Van Dyke also writes for her lifestyle blog Mad About Meg.
CVW: What are your thoughts on the final outcome of “Find Your Oasis”?
Van Dyke: “When I was approached about this project, I knew immediately that Jeff Miraglia at Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau and Summerland Creative shared the same vision I do for this valley. They took that vision and cultivated a piece of video art with beauty and depth that expresses the very heart of this place we call home. To be a part of something that showcases a place where I grew up, work, live, play and perform in such a beautiful portrayal is an absolute honor.”
CVW: The concept of Find Your Oasis can be interpreted in many different ways. How do you understand it?
Van Dyke: “‘Find Your Oasis’ is doing what brings your life passion and joy. In moments of uncertainty, we sometimes forget where our passion lies. Now, more than ever, it is so important to be present, to keep our community evolving, to continue to build momentum and to celebrate life! ‘Find Your Oasis’ is a living, breathing representation of all of these things.”
Watch “Find Your Oasis” at https://youtu.be/Xr7Mn1fd7x0