If you're like Ally Brooke, work can't always happen at home.
For the first time since quarantine and at-home orders were put in place, the superstar singer returned to set to film the music video for her new single "500 Veces," which also features Messiah. However, the decision wasn't simply made on a whim. "Me and my entire team and my label, we all had a big discussion and said, 'Hey we want to do this but we want to do it the right way, we want to be safe, we want to be cautious,'" the 27-year-old exclusively tells E! News. "Health is priority. We did a lot of research and everybody was able to come together and do it in a way where we were safe and comfortable."
As it turns out, filming in the desert only added to that feeling. "It was great because it's out in the open and of course, we're together but it's outside so I felt safe," she says. "I wanted to...give it a real, rustic, edgy, cool look. I loved the storyline and the aesthetic, it looks really cool and it gave it that edge that I was looking for."
Despite the extra precautions—everyone wore masks—it felt normal for Ally to be back. "When I stepped on set, I felt for the first time in months like, 'Wow, I get to do my art again,'" she explains. "I love expressing myself through wardrobe, especially in music videos, so to do that again was really empowering and freeing. I felt like myself. I just got this sense of freedom and euphoria, being back on set, doing what I love in the midst of these hard times. I kept saying it the whole time like, 'Guys I'm so happy.'"
Like the video, the song "500 Veces" is extra special to Ally. "I haven't had a single out since I think November of last year, so it's been a minute," the Fifth Harmony alum gushes. "And also it's my first single in Spanish—well it's Spanglish—but because I'm Mexican-American, I'm so proud to finally have a single that shows my heritage and that makes my family proud, makes me proud and shows my Latin vibes."
"It's a fun, flirty, kind of Latin song and Messiah is amazing on it," she continues. "It's [our] second collaboration together and we hope to bring a lot of heat and a lot of our flavor to this record and show it with pride to the world. I can't wait for my fans to hear."
Indeed, a silver lining amid the pandemic has been her ability to connect with her fans—"I have the time so that has been really awesome"—and evolve as an artist.
"I've done a lot of reflecting, being grateful for my family being healthy and that is all I can really ask for," Ally tells E!. "I've also been super creative during this time and I feel like I've grown so much, just spiritually and as a woman, and I've been definitely taking the positives of it. Of course I've had my days where it's been tough, I've been down, but I have definitely grown a lot and I'm very grateful that I'm able to be creative and still work on my music."
Now, to celebrate, Ally is taking us behind the scenes of her music video. Scroll on to see Ally back at work!