Bailey Bryan tells PEOPLE that her new "Where We Started" music video was inspired by her love of "all things rom-com and Taylor Swift music videos"

By Brianne Tracy
October 11, 2019 08:00 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

In order to bring her new “Where We Started” music video to life, Bailey Bryan needed the help of a “really cute boy” — and she found just that in Bachelor Nation’s Mike Johnson.

The music video — premiering exclusively on PEOPLE — stars the singer and Johnson, a San Antonio, Texas-based portfolio manager who vied for Hannah Brown‘s heart on the last season of The Bachelorette, as a couple going through the ups and downs of their relationship in New York City.

As Bryan, 21, sings about yearning for respite from an ongoing relationship rough patch, clips show her and Johnson, 31, doing everything together from lounging around in sweatpants to taking in the city sights.

“‘Where We Started’ is a song that is both hopeful and heart-wrenching at the same time, but shooting the video for it was pure joy!” Bryan tells PEOPLE. “I grew up enamored with all things rom-com and Taylor Swift music videos, and the concept for the video was basically a romantic montage with a really cute boy that puts you all the way in your feels when you watch it.”

“As a teenager I dreamt about having my own moment like that with one of my songs someday, so it was really exciting to create my own interpretation of that and to showcase the range of emotions this song represents for me,” she adds.

Mike Johnson and Bailey Bryan

Bryan says she chose Johnson to play her love interest in the video because “his vibe is exactly what was needed” on set.

“He couldn’t have been easier or more fun to work with,” she says. “It was the best day!”

Though Johnson — who, after a stint on Bachelor in Paradise, has recently been romantically linked to Demi Lovato following several flirtatious exchanges on social media — was initially “unsure of how everything would go” since it was his first time working on a music video, he says Bryan put him at ease as soon as he met her.

“I just felt honored to even be in her video,” Johnson tells PEOPLE. “Then I saw her talent in person … that woman is going places!”

Mike Johnson and Bailey Bryan
Nolan Riddler

“Where We Started” will be released off of Bryan’s new EP, Perspective, due out on Friday. The five-song collection sees Bryan crossover to the pop landscape after first getting her start in country music (she released her debut EP, So Far, in 2017).

According to a press release, Bryan and her producer, Clint Lagerberg, were influenced by artists like Post Malone, SZA and Arcade Fire throughout the recording process of the new EP. Together, they culled Bryan’s favorite musical moments across genres and weaved them behind her words.

Bailey Bryan
Nolan Riddler

Along with “Where We Started,” the EP’s track list includes “Songbird,” “Perspective,” “Watered Down” and “Pressure,” all of which were co-written by Bryan.

“Now that I’ve gone through [releasing an EP before], I know what I like,” Bryan said. “So it was important for me to find a producer who was going to be okay with me being in the studio 24/7, and sharing how each song sounded in my head.”

Bailey Bryan

Bryan described the EP’s closing track, “Pressure,” as a song that “really sums up my last couple of years.”

“There’s this weight on us — when you’re scrolling through social media or talking to your parents or comparing yourself to your friends — to know exactly who you are and to present yourself as if you’re having the time of your life,” she said. “I’m trying to allow myself the space to experiment, whether it’s the sound of my music or the things I wear, to figure out who I am and how to be true to me.”

Bryan will play select dates on her headlining kicking off on Nov. 10 in Nashville and continuing through Nov. 20.