LBI’s Matt McAndrew of ‘The Voice’ Fame Home for Holiday to Shoot New Music Video

By VICTORIA FORD | Jul 05, 2017
Photo by: Grant Kelly WAVE MAKERS: Camera man Jimmy Giambrone captures choreographed capers for a music video for McAndrew's side project Besphrenz and the new song, 'Undertow,' feat. Asher Roth.

Barnegat Light’s Matt McAndrew, runner-up on Season 7 of NBC’s “The Voice,” flew home from Los Angeles this week to celebrate the Fourth of July by shooting a music video on LBI for “Undertow,” the upcoming release from his side project, Bes Phrenz, featuring Bucks County-based rapper Asher Roth.

The fun-filled occasion served several simultaneous functions of business and pleasure: relaxing, spending time with friends and family, creating, rejuvenating, and relishing their own interpretation of the holiday.

“Independent artists can choose their own adventure,” Roth said. “There’s something really beautiful in that freedom.”

Creating a spectacle on the 15th Street beach in North Beach Haven on Tuesday afternoon was a group of stylishly dressed friends and artists – some with local roots, some first-time visitors, all with links to each other and a common purpose in creating and shooting a natural, casual, simple beach experience as they performed at the water’s edge and clowned around for videographer Jimmy Giambrone of Hamilton.

Also on set were producer Rob “Devious” Deckhart and audio engineer Richie Taver, both from Bucks County, and Patrick “ShoreShot” Whelan of Brick.

The concept for the shoot was more about capturing a feeling than telling a story, Whelan explained.

Earlier they had gotten some footage at Fantasy Island Amusement Park. Later they planned to get some sunset shots and play around with the GoPro in the water.

The portion of the video they were shooting was a dance number, spontaneously choreographed by Giambrone’s girlfriend, professional dancer Joanna Caruso, meant to convey the frivolity and innocence of the beach and ocean on a summer day.

The shot included McAndrew and his new girlfriend, Hope Murray; his bandmate, CJ Smith; Caruso in the lead; and Roth and his girlfriend, Jordan Gannon.

McAndrew, Smith and Roth are all friends who spend real time together and collaborate artistically. Smith and McAndrew released a single called “MIA” together awhile back and have spent the last two years or so just “jamming on some ideas” that led to this latest project. Smith said he wouldn’t have known who McAndrew was, but his mom was a big fan of “The Voice” and urged Smith to contact him.

Roth lamented the loss of certain organic social aspects of making music and art in today’s world, where so much can be done online but at the expense of personal connection and face-to-face interaction.

Compared to other music videos, this one was handled with a very laidback, DIY sensibility, Smith said. It all came together beautifully, in Roth’s opinion. “LBI just gives it to you,” he said, savoring his first impression of the Island.

They planned to head out of town Wednesday.

At one point McAndrew paused to greet some young fans and pose for cell phone photos shot by their mothers. Though contractually bound to secrecy, McAndrew said he is currently working on something exciting – “a pretty sick opportunity,” as he described it – that will come to light early next year.

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