American Girl by Bonnie McKee
Bonnie McKee is a singer and musician, but her real claim to fame comes with her work as a songwriter. McKee has co-written a long list of singles for other artists, including eight songs that have topped the charts. McKee’s hit songs have included many from Katy Perry like “Teenage Dream,” “Last Friday Night,” and “Wide Awake.”
McKee has also collaborated with many of the hottest stars in the music industry like Britney Spears, Leonia Lewis, Kelly Clarkston, Avril Lavigne, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, Ke$ha, and Carly Rae Jepsen. McKee has won several awards for her songwriting efforts and released a debut album in 2004.
The song “American Girl” comes from McKee’s second studio album which is scheduled to be released in September of 2013. The song is the first single from that album, and it was released in July of 2013 from Epic Records along with Kemosabe Records. It was written by McKee along with Jon Asher, Oliver Goldstein, Jacknife Lee, and Alex Drury. The music video for “American Girl” was directed by Justin Francis, who has also worked with Enrique Iglesias and Ne-Yo. The video was produced by Steven Johnson and Missy Galanida. Artists & Derelicts was the production company. In an interview, McKee stated that the music video for the song was inspired by the film Spring Breakers, and many well-known celebrities make an appearance including Katy Perry, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ke$ha, and Macklemore.
The music video for “American Girl” begins with McKee sitting on a sidewalk with a couple of friends drinking Slurpees outside a store. McKee is texting about a party at her place tonight. Two guys, one in a white tank top working on a bike, and another at a payphone catch her eye. McKee and her friends then go into a convenience store. They flirt with the cashier and grab all sorts of goodies. McKee is singing in the aisle and she and her friends leave without paying. They are then seen walking down the street and catch the eye of a man working on a car.
There are shots of them sunbathing next to a pool. They eventually steal the previous man’s red convertible for a joy ride. The three are seen walking in a mail and playing arcade games. When their car explodes, they decide to roast marshmallows over the fire. There are more shots of the girls dancing and getting into trouble. The video ends with scenes of the party at McKee’s house.
The song “American Girl” is McKee’s take on what that means. To her, being an “American girl” is “falling in love in a 7/11 parking lot” while “drinking slurpees.” It means being “always ready to party,” “raised by a television,” “hot blooded,” and never listening “to mommy.” The song also speaks of a girl who doesn’t “need any man” getting in the way.” She’s “an American girl” who is “ready to go” and “taking over the world.”