Alexi Paraschos song turns into accidental "COVID Wedding" anthem

By Alexi Paraschos

I knew I had at least one thing in common with the woman on the other end of the dating app when I saw that Chelsea had an equally strong passion for ice cream, and that connection was just the beginning of what very soon would become a serious relationship. During that time, I was also challenging myself to write two songs per day. And, with this new fantastic woman on my mind, I sat down on the couch with my guitar and got this idea for a hook in my head: “I’ma just call you mine, mine, mine….” The rest of the song took only about 30 minutes to complete and just like that, I had written my first song about my future wife. 

Of course, I didn’t tell her then that, mere days after meeting her, I was already writing songs about her! But the first time I played the rough demo for her, a few months later, she replied, “That’s going to be your next hit!” 

By Alexi Paraschos

I knew I had at least one thing in common with the woman on the other end of the dating app when I saw that Chelsea had an equally strong passion for ice cream, and that connection was just the beginning of what very soon would become a serious relationship. During that time, I was also challenging myself to write two songs per day. And, with this new fantastic woman on my mind, I sat down on the couch with my guitar and got this idea for a hook in my head: “I’ma just call you mine, mine, mine….” The rest of the song took only about 30 minutes to complete and just like that, I had written my first song about my future wife. 

Of course, I didn’t tell her then that, mere days after meeting her, I was already writing songs about her! But the first time I played the rough demo for her, a few months later, she replied, “That’s going to be your next hit!” 

Over the next couple of years, I continued to play and work on the song. And as our relationship grew, I continued to write and eventually had a whole album of love songs that would become my next project, “Love Odyssey,” also partially inspired by a 2018 trip to my father’s homeland of Greece. A few months after returning from that trip, I proposed to that woman I had begun messaging on a dating app a year ago, and when my producer and I were trying to determine which should be the first single from the album, we knew exactly which one to choose. We got all the plans in order to release “Mine,” had the video concept in mind to accompany the track, and began to set the single release plan in motion.

And then, just like the plans of so many others this year...the coronavirus changed everything.

We still released the single as planned in late April, but all video shoots were canceled, as well as release shows and live performances. Additionally, Chelsea and I were supposed to be married on July 11th! So in the middle of trying to figure out a new video concept for “Mine” and beginning to brainstorm marriage alternatives for my own wedding, I began to see on social media couples adjusting to the pandemic in all sorts of creative ways: in their backyards, in living rooms, or on open-air rooftops, all with family tuning in virtually. And that was when a new idea for a “Mine” music video struck me—a global tribute to the virtual weddings of our current time.

I took to Instagram and Youtube to look for willing couples, using hashtags like “#zoomwedding” and “#covidwedding.” The initial response was slow, but after a few days, the wedding pictures and videos came flooding in, and the enthusiasm was palpable from almost every couple I reached out to. Having their big days altered in such a drastic way, they were eager to share what ended up becoming not just a moment to celebrate their love but also an opportunity to show their resilient and creative responses to impossible and unthinkable circumstances, seeing it also as a chance to encourage other couples facing similar anxieties about their weddings.

In the end, I wound up with 35 couples from four continents, six countries, and 16 states. As an added incentive, and seeing an opportunity to help some people during this difficult time, I agreed to donate to Feeding America for each video submission I received, and, ultimately, we were able to donate enough to feed 1,000 families. 

The video has become one of my proudest moments as an independent artist, not just because of the final product, but for the opportunity, through collecting the videos, to connect with so many wonderful couples from around the world. Especially in a time of so much disconnection, I was incredibly appreciative that they trusted me, a stranger, with their most intimate and meaningful moments. And seeing identical smiles on faces from around the world, even through tablets and computer screens, was a much needed reminder of the universality of the celebration of love. 

We had a special showing just for the couples on the night before the video was premiered publicly (in Philadelphia Magazine and later, in the New York Times), which felt like our own little community of “Mine couples.” And on July 26th, Chelsea and I were finally married as well! In Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, surrounded by four friends. We said our vows and, in ten minutes, were married. I called my parents afterward to share the news, and we “virtually” celebrated with them—now with more connection to all of the other virtually-married “Mine couples.” Unfortunately, the ceremony was too late to be included in this video, but I have a feeling our marriage will be the inspiration for many more to come.

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