Recording Studio Emulates an Interrogation Room in Devin Dawson’s “Dark Horse”

Devin Dawson is among the Nashville music community’s top artists who make every gesture and thought count toward their music.

He’s dead serious about his art.

For the world premiere for the latest music video, “Dark Horse,” Dawson celebrated its debut with a secret show in Nashville on Monday (Feb. 25) at the video’s filming location, Warren Paint & Color Company. His co-writers for the song, Andy Albert and Andrew Roberts, were among the fans, representatives from his record label and other members of the local music community in attendance.

There is no telling how many fumes were inhaled during the making of the dramatic black and white piece. Director Justin Clough filmed Dawson as two characters — one as a beaten-up criminal getting charged and the other as the artist he is — to show the comparisons between putting one’s life on the line in the interrogation room and in the recording studio.

At one point during the video, the criminalized Dawson bleeds on his polygraph test.

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“[Clough’s] vision was to play on the parallels and the similarities between an interrogation room and a recording studio,” Dawson told the crowd. “And there are so many similarities that I never noticed between those two. That’s what makes this video so special.”

Dawson’s “Dark Horse” was the last song written for his major label debut of the same title. A haunting autobiographical ballad, it’s inspired by his friends’ observations on his behaviors.

“You can’t see certain things that your best friends see in you like the fact I don’t smile in pictures,” he said. “You think I wrote that about myself? I don’t know that. I remember the day Andy said that [to me] … and I thank you guys for helping me find an identity.

“It’s hard as a new guy to write the ‘This Is Me’ song,” he added. “I wrote a couple, and it felt contrived, and the second I didn’t have to write it, of course, it showed itself.”

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.