Music videos have always been a cherished pastime of mine. I used to spend hours following wherever YouTube took me between Christmas tunes to pranks gone wrong. The music and lyrics produced by musicians and lyricists can stand alone if they are strong enough. However, adding a visual element to such can deliver even deeper meaning to a song. Lyrics can sometimes be a metaphor or poem-type word that listeners may not understand even after the 100+ time the song has played. However, immediately following a music video, viewers can match up mentally the lyrics and melody of the music with video elements to reach the underlying message of the artist.
I call these musicians artists when a music video is produced well. I am not talking about the young celebrity who decided to capitalize on her popularity and produce a mind-numbing record followed by a music video featuring her dancing on top of a car with back-up dancers. Art is what results when a musician and cinematographer collaborate on a project.
One short, four-minute music video can have a greater impact than an entire album or video alone. A good music video incorporates the ambient sounds and natural sounds that the action in the video calls for, as well as playing the song on top of it.
One example below is “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran. The video features home movies of Ed as a child. The sounds of him crying and clanking dishes together are kept and make the video appear more natural.
Lady Gaga’s recent release of “Til It Happens To You” is not only art but a movement. It calls out to sexual assault victims to let them know they are not alone. Many millennials are aware that sexual assault is a major issue on college campuses nationwide but never have to face it head on. Furthermore, when presented with a victim of sexual assault, many are clueless as to how to help. The It’s On Us campaign calls out to each of us to be apart of preventing sexual assault, not just being there for the aftermath.