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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A Major opportunity: Spokane mother, daughter are part of DJ trio Major Lazer’s new video

Artists and creators from Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Shanghai, South Africa and Spokane are featured in the new music video for Major Lazer’s latest single, “Lay Your Head on Me.”

The catchy tune, which includes Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, dropped on Earth Day on Wednesday to convey a global celebration of humanity fitting for the tough times brought on by the novel coronavirus.

The Lilac City is represented during the entertaining video, which features 177 clips from 28 countries, thanks to Spokane’s Rosi and Reanna Guerrero. The mother and daughter team submitted a performance video as an audition on March 31 and were notified they made the cut on April 17.

“We’re ecstatic,” Reanna Guerrero said while calling with her mom from their northside home. “It’s so exciting.”

Guerrero, 18, heard about the possible gig courtesy of the Seattle talent agency MAM. The Eastern Washington University freshman, who is majoring in education, models with the help of MAM.

“I get notifications on huge projects and commercials,” Guerrero said. “They were looking for individuals, duos or trios to submit a video for Major Lazer. I went to my mom to play piano.”

Rosi Guerrero, 50, who leads the piano department at Spokane Falls Community College, was excited about auditioning but wasn’t sure her instrument would earn a look since perhaps it lacks a wow factor.

“I was all in when I heard about what a super unique thing this was with the pandemic,” Guerrero said. “I loved the fact that Marcus Mumford, who is one of my top five favorite singer-songwriters, is part of it. But I didn’t know if the piano would do it for us. I don’t play the harp or some cool percussion instrument.”

Apparently substance mattered when creating the audition tape, which was made during a 12-hour span over two days. The Guerreros were up for the challenge of creating a song after simply given the chords to “Lay Your Head on Me.”

“We had to come up with the melodies and the arrangement,” Guerrero said. “I said to Reanna, ‘You sit in front of the camera, I’ll sit beside you, and we’ll play.’ ”

Director Filip Nilsson offered simple instruction regarding presentation. “Do your best; it doesn’t need to be perfect,” Nilsson said via a news release. “Be yourself. We like you as you are.”

Nilsson apparently liked what he saw of the mother and daughter pounding on the piano in tandem.

The Guerreros can be seen performing at the 2:44 mark of the inspiring clip, which features an eclectic group of musicians and dancers for the song by Major Lazer – DJs and producers Diplo, Walshy Fire and Ape Drums.

“It’s so cool to be part of this,” Rosi Guerrero said. “They were looking for something unique, and there aren’t many duos who were selected. We’re ecstatic to be part of something so positive. They (Major Lazer and Marcus Mumford) recorded this song a year ago and had a totally different platform. They scrapped (the original video concept). I think it worked out really well for them.”

The Guerreros are in good company. Among the artists and creators who are part of the video are Israeli pop duo Lola Marsh, London dancer Ashraf Ejibair, Dream Catchers Academy (an academy of orphan children in Nigeria) and Brazilian brothers Renan and Renago, one of whom is blind and shown learning the choreographed dance from his brother.

“My goal was to create choreography that would be honest and accessible,” said choreographer Ryan Heffington via email. “Seeing people from all walks of life doing this choreography at this moment in history feels so right. Let’s celebrate everyone, and let’s come together in the name of dance.”

“I love that what is conveyed is that we have to lean on each other at this time,” Guerrero said. If Major Lazer was in a rush, the video and song would have been released in 2019 before the coronavirus emerged. But everything changed once the pandemic spread.

“When we started working with this simple idea over a month ago, COVID-19 had just started to get a grip of the world,” Nilsson said. “During these weeks, we have seen tapes from people all over the world. The response was way more than could have been expected, and it was amazing to see the different interpretations of what we requested from people.

“It’s so touching that all these people took the time to learn the dance routine or to play the music in such a short amount of time. The positivity and honest love they shared is something I really wanted to come through in this video.”

Not only are the Guerreros part of a sonic document that chronicles life during the coronavirus, but they also earned a check. “We ended up with $120,” Guerrero said. “Reanna can have it.”

Guerrero can’t wait until Mumford & Sons tour again. Reanna Guerrero is looking forward to Billie Eilish and Post Malone’s postponed shows. Guerrero was reminded that she and Eilish are the same age.

“It’s true,” Reanna Guerrero said. “She’s done some remarkable things for her age.”

However, Eilish isn’t in the clip for “Lay Your Head on Me” or the duo’s original piano video audition. The experience is something the Guerreros can cherish.