The Visual Representation
Be honest, when you think of a song you think of the video. “Justin Bieber’s song ‘Sorry’? The one with those girls dancing against the white background?” or sentences like “Jodie Abacus ‘I’ll Be That Friend’? Oh the one where he’s playing the piano in the middle of the road!” are very common, but that’s what music videos do; in this way video and song are inseparable. Don’t get me wrong feel free to imagine any visual you want when listening to your favourite song, however the official music video (you know, the one that says “official” next to the title) is the definitive visual interpretation. We are a progressively more visual community opting for video “how tos” over complicated instruction manuals that are probably only printed in Swedish. So you may love music but sometimes audio stimulation just isn’t enough…
Music videos create a multi-dimensional experience. We are no longer just hearing; we are seeing too. At first it was a new sensation, now it’s the only option for serious artists “You can listen to my song or you can listen and watch the video”. Be honest, you’d choose both.
It’s not just about sensation, it’s about the content. When you watch a music video you are watching the song’s visual representation. It’s the artist’s way of saying “This is my song visualised”. Now this is where things get interesting. How is it visualised? It could be a live performance like The Beatles ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, a cool dance video like Haim’s ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’, the song turned into a story like R Kelly’s ‘If I could Turn Back the Hands of Time’, a video that seemingly has nothing to do with the song like Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’, it can be anything! Isn’t that what makes it so interesting?
How an artist visually represents their song says a lot about them and their music. What direction would you take?