It’s a tale as old as vinyl: One minute you’re working at a record shop for nearly six years, and the next you’re starring in an Iggy Pop music video.
OK, so maybe that's not how it usually goes, but that’s essentially what happened to Ale Campos, leader and founder of Miami’s lo-fi, melodic buzz saw, Las Nubes.
Iggy Pop has been a semiregular presence at Sweat Records special events such as Record Store Day for years. Always friendly and possessing a memory that would shock an elephant, Pop remembered Campos from a handful of interactions and enjoys her music enough to give her power trio a major shout-out internationally before asking her to star in the video for his latest single, “Love’s Missing.”
Pop was in the crowd for a performance by Campos’ previous band at the record store, and upon seeing her again two years later, he mentioned the group.
“He asked me: 'Hey, how’s the band doing?' And I was like, Holy shit. How the fuck does he remember that? Who am I in regard to this person’s life? But he’s always been super-duper sweet with me and the store."
Campos adds that Pop is good friends with the shop's owner, Lolo Reskin, who also co-owns Sweat Records Records, the label through which Las Nubes released its debut album, SMVT. Months before Pop contacted Campos to appear in his music video, the punk legend played one of SMVT's tracks, "Hellbag," on his BBC 6 radio show, Iggy Confidential.
“And then, one day, Lolo hits me up: 'Ale, check your email right now,'" Campos remembers. "I had an email from Iggy saying, like, 'Hey, I’ve always really liked your vibe and you have a really cool look, and I think you’re the perfect person for this music video, and if you’re down for that, then whatever,'” she says with a laugh.
Somehow Campos was able to keep the big news from everyone except her partner and “one or two friends” because she “wanted it to be a surprise.”
Despite having never acted or modeled, Campos didn’t find the experience daunting or strange. She was called into the shop for makeup and then hung at her workplace while being directed to “sit in this rocking chair. Now look all sad,” she jokes. “Look out the window. Play with this prism thingy.”
Throughout the process, Pop stayed in contact via email, continually expressing his gratitude for her participation. He wasn’t at the shoot because his part was filmed the next day. Campos says collaborating with Pop was just as laid-back as his usual interactions at Sweat Records.
“I didn’t really think about it as something that crazy, just because I’ve always been used to seeing Iggy and talking to him and him being so chill and down-to-earth.”
Overall, the reaction to the video by friends and family has been overwhelmingly positive, and Campos says her plan to keep it a secret worked out just as she'd planned. “Everyone is superstoked about it, and a bunch of friends have reposted it like, 'Excuse me, Ale? You’re in this shit?' It’s superfunny.”
But Campos got her own surprise during the process when Rolling Stone profiled the "Love's Missing" video and name-dropped Sweat Records, Las Nubes, and Campos herself.
“I’m super-fucking-grateful to Iggy,” Campos says. “Now every publication that’s mentioning it says, 'Ale Campos from Las Nubes...' It works out because we’re trying to go on this tour in November, so it really helps out.”
Las Nubes' next show is set for November 5 at — go figure — Sweat Records. Choked Up, a pop-punk band from New York, will also play. After that, Las Nubes will hit the road for a two-week tour west and then back east with stops in Gainesville, New Orleans, Austin, and other cities.
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Campos hopes the buzz around Pop's video brings more bodies to the floor of the band’s shows. And there's one other wish.
“We’ve been trying for almost a year now to get sponsored by Miller Lite and Taco Bell,” Campos jokes, “but that hasn’t worked out unfortunately.”
It’s a long shot, but it's possible. After all, crazier things have already happened.
Las Nubes. With Choked Up. Tuesday, November 5, at Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami; 786-693-9309; sweatrecordsmiami.com.