My main passions are music (listening to it; I cannot play/sing, trust me) and film, so seeing as this is a blog, how about we talk about the love child of their creative blending that is the ever-changing music video? Music videos are pretty varied and its true some are good, some are really good and some just make you want to lose faith in music altogether. Here are 2 examples of modern music videos that I think should restore any faith lost in this aspect of the industry and they come from none other than Taylor Swift and Lauren Aquilina.
It’s always interesting to see the reception to each song/video/comment/social change that Taylor Swift releases, because there is such a divide, some people have such a strong negativity towards everything she does, and sometimes it completely baffles me. I understand you can dislike people, and everyone’s allowed their opinion but the lengths people go to to shame, and embarrass this lady is insane. That’s why in relation to Swifty I don’t want to talk about the Bad Blood video (As I already have before and it was quite easy to see how that video worked on so many levels) but instead I want to speak about the ‘Shake it Off’ video. The thing that makes this video so entertaining and so successful for me is not just its content but its reception.
A lot of people loved it, as they should, but quite a large amount of people also questioned it and straight up just didn’t get the point of it. There were people baffled as to why her video was just her dancing around through various eras of dance, and kind of making a fool of herself. But why? The song is about not caring about the negativity she’s given, and being confident in herself no matter what other people say, or what people think of her, which is the best way to be! This is what makes the video so great. I’m a sucker for a video with a real in-depth story, and a cinematic quality to it, but sometimes there are simply videos – like shake it off – that on the cosmetic side come across as just ‘fun’ without too much of a story, but that helps to enhance the original meaning. The message speaks to everyone, it explains through the music and through the joy and confidence in themselves (Swift and the dancers) that being yourself is the best way to be happy; being true to who you are, and what you love, and not caring if you look silly, because in the end, life is pretty silly. So, really, if the video comes across as silly and simple, then that gives off the impression that the message conveyed is pretty simple, which it is, and it encourages people to understand once you get through the tough parts, and the confusing bits of life, the key to success is pretty simple; never lose sight of who you are.
Lauren Aquilina is a pretty darn cool girl, for start offs she’s my age (20) and just like Swift the dedication and closeness she has to her fans is heartwarming, as her popularity has grown, and as things have gotten better she still remains a kind of friend to her fans. Her songs elicit such a strong and incredible emotional reaction upon listening to them, that it’s so easy to place yourself in the song, to feel as if she is writing the songs for you, or on your behalf. Furthermore her videos are distinctly identifiable, and they practically visualise everything that the songs create for us – as a good music video should.
It’s hard to talk of one video with Lauren Aquilina because each video is quite importantly linked, normally through the elements; like fire and water, or through keys. However my particular favourite is probably the one that started it all; Fools. All the hipster types out there might accuse me of choosing the ‘mainstream’ choice, but after re-watching Fools, Sinners and Lovers or Liars it just seems like one of the best. Just like the song, the video is atmospheric, and feels as real as it gets. Lauren stands in a disheveled looking shed, full of keys hanging from the ceiling, she looks all around it, and eventually pulls at a bunch of them, as if all her doubts and insecurities about making a decision had subsided. To me, it looks like the song and video talk about how sometimes risks can be worth it, and thinking about it can just make things even worse, so it’s better to just be ‘fools’ and see what happens. Of course this could be a massive misunderstanding, but music is nothing if not welcoming to more than one interpretation. The video wonderfully echoes the songs thoughts and there’s a mystery to it that gives us the opportunity to decide for ourselves what is going on.
As there are hundred of music videos out there, equally just as good and worth writing about, it was hard to decide which examples to use, but Lauren Aquilina and Taylor Swift have more than just inventive videos, they are an influential force of female strength and independence. Both of them write songs about relationships or sadness, but the negativity towards these kind of things is unbelievable, and as Taylor Swift once said are also primarily sexist, if you think about the lyrics of every male artist out there. If you ask any writer what their influences are they will say the things, experiences and people around them – whether that be relationships or not. But dig deeper into the videos, seriously, when you get past the enjoyment of just listening to the song, watching and understanding the video makes everything even better.