Shellee Coley's New Video Has a Message for Moms and Girls

One of the highlights of Shellee Coley's 2012 album Where it All Began was the song she wrote with her daughter, "Conversations With Z." Now, thanks to a unique partnership, that tune has an official music video and a message of hope for women looking to fit creative outlets into their busy lives.

"I'd always wanted to make a video for that song," says Coley.

The song is a touching celebration of the things kids say. It chronicles her daughter's stubborn self-reliance and childish nighttime fears in a way that tugs on the heartstrings of any parent watching the little psychopaths grow into human beings. It's a parent song, I grant you, but one day you too will have kids and surprisingly you will want to hear music that will speak to that part of you.

Coley didn't have much money or time to ever bring "Conversations With Z" to visual life until she met Trina Cash, who directed and edited the video. Cash has always loved the tune, and was looking for a project to help fill out her portfolio. The two women completed the filming in a couple of days. Only when it was being put together did Cash start to connect the way the song made her feel about her own Z, her late son Zack.

"Not once during this process did I connect my own 'Z' to the song," says Cash in a blog post about the filming. "My Zack. My Z, who died over ten years ago.

"While I was editing, putting the puzzle pieces of the video together, I got to the line 'We both know we're chasing time.' And it hit me, hard," continues Cash. "My Zack. He had once said to me, 'I don't want to grow up.' And he didn't. He is forever 13 in my thoughts and memories. As Shellee sings, 'We both know we're chasing time.' The honesty of that line took my breath away."

Cash and Coley are hoping to harness the power of working together in a new initiative called Circle Sessions. Both women and their daughters are involved in the group project, which aims to share resources in order to get more women involved in the creative arts.

"Let's be honest, we're a little short of women's stories," says Coley. "I think it's important to teach girls that you can have a creative outlet and still make a living. It can be hard to start something on your own, but if you see a bunch of other women doing it, then you know it can be done. Women should be able to come together and make things for the world."

Coley looks forward to more videos with Cash. In the meantime, check out "Conversations With Z" below.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
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