Lauren Alaina Finds 'Peace' with a Past Love in 'What Do You Think Of?' Music Video: It Was 'Freeing'12/10/2020
Lauren Alaina is bringing "What Do You Think Of?" to life.
The new music video for her collaboration with Danish pop band Lukas Graham, premiering exclusively with PEOPLE, sees the singer-songwriter, 26, coming face-to-face with the ghosts of boyfriends past (played by Lukas Graham frontman Lukas Forchhammer) as she wonders how he's remembered her in the time since they said goodbye.
"'What Do You Think Of?' is such a special song to me," Alaina tells PEOPLE. "The stories in this song tell such an important part of my journey that I felt had to be told visually. My fans clearly gravitated towards this song the most from my recent EP release, Getting Over Him, so I made this video for them and my heart."
Directed by TK McKamy, the music video features Alaina traveling through the seasons of one of her past relationships, manifested into four environments: her bedroom, the Smoky Mountains, a red-door bar and a backyard campout.
Alaina says seeing Forchhammer, 32, "act out scenarios" from the past relationship was "so freeing" and made her "realize that I can look back on some of those moments with some sort of peace."
"We get to see 'the good times, the bad times and somewhere in between' all in one visual masterpiece," she says, referencing the lyrics of the song's chorus. "I hope everyone can relate this video to their own past loves and find their own sense of peace through it."
The video — which was shot with Alaina in Atlanta and Forchhammer in his native Denmark due to COVID-19 travel restrictions — marks the largest-scale pop-up virtual production for a music video in the world to date.
Instead of using a green screen, the production team built a large "pop-up" curved LED display to fully immerse Alaina in the memories of her past relationship.
While Alaina does not specify which of her past relationships inspired the music video, she had her fair share of heartbreak last year as she went through a broken engagement and another romantic split.
In January 2019, she and her boyfriend of six years, Alex Hopkins, called off their engagement six months after he'd proposed.
"We kind of just outgrew one another," Alaina told PEOPLE this fall. "It was a really hard thing to move on from, and it was really painful, but the closure was better there because I think we both knew we needed to split."
By May 2019, she was involved with Christian comic John Crist, but that relationship was over by that September. "I got my heart broken, which was very different, and also still painful, but in a different way," Alaina said.
Still, Alaina wanted it to be known that her Getting Over Him EP, which was released in September, represents the fact that her heart has healed.
"I can officially say I am over him or them or whatever you want it to be," she said. "And I get to celebrate it with this music and share that with my fans."
Initially, Alaina said, she didn't want "What Do You Think of?" to be on the EP because she didn't know if she was "ready" to put it out into the world.
"I was so sad when I wrote it," she said. "There was a part of me that was like, I don't want this person to hear this song and think I'm not over it, you know? There was a little bit of a sassy part of me not wanting anyone to think I'm not healed from it, because I am completely healed from that breakup, and I'm so proud of that."
Now, she's glad the song is on the EP.
"It makes me really sad to hear it, but it also doesn't make me sad," she said. "It makes me hopeful."
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