There are three main music video styles in the pop/ indie industry. Performance, narrative and conceptual. The most popular one is performance followed by narrative. Usually the music video have a mixture of 2 or all of the styles.
performance videos are when a artists performs for the viewer, this could be lip syncing, or actually performing using instruments making it seem as a live concert. The videos aim to to make it look natural and not scripted. Here are a couple of examples:
Shawn Mendes – ruin:
In this music video you can see Mendes, with a electric guitar in Madison square garden, with no audience performing. he also uses a microphone which makes it look as if its sound check.
Zara Larsson – Lush Life:
In this music video you can see larrson perform on a white background, while she dances and lip syncs to her song. This is another good example of a performance music video.
The role of narrative is to create story line to work with the song lyrics and to be acted or performed in the music video . This is common in most genres. This can also be seen as a short film with music. Musicals also use the feature of narrative and performance. Here are a few examples:
Ariana Grande – Into You:
Even though Ariana is seen to be performing at some parts, most of her music video consists of a relationship narrative, where we see her riding a motorcycle and them outside a motel, which shows their close relationship which works well with the lyrics of ‘into you’
Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better
Shawn’s song treat you better lyrics are shown through the cinematography. We see a bad reationship between a male and a female, while Shawn is trying to tell the female that he could treat her better, but he is trapped and can’t do much.
Red Hot chili Peppers – Otherside:
This song uses the side of the style conceptual extremely intensively. The use of the graphics with different shapes like eyes and ambulances makes it interesting to the audience.
Shawn Mendes- Stitches
Shawn’s song stitches, is a slight version of conceptual, as it has the idea of himself beating himself. He falls on the ground when he tries to get up and he has stitches all over his face which is also seen in the film fight club 1999.
Music videos are a market device for most songs. This aids the sales of the song, and in some cases the music video is what makes the song popular. One example is wrecking ball by Miley Cyrus. The features of nudity and postmodernism like having someone swing from a wreaking ball destroying walls, intrigued the viewer, even though the song didn’t have spectacular lyrics or instruments. The fact that Miley was naked on the wreaking ball shows how most music videos are sex-angle because the topic of sex is a controversial topic, allowing people to carry a debate making the word spread about the song increasing popularity.
Work From Home by the 5 girl group band fifth harmony had a huge success in 2016, with over a billion views on YouTube. Even though the song is catchy due to the beat, most music videos on YouTube make a couple of millions not billions. The music video contained women and men sexually portrayed in the building industry. Having men topless and 5 girls in short shorts, helped market the song leading to its success.
Music videos have controversy evolving around them, and sex, nudity drugs and alcohol aren’t the only ones. The song lyrics also play part. Take me to church a song by hosier, had powerful lyrics creating debated how being homosexual and going to church is not viewed politically right making the lyrics and the cinematography contradict.
Here I have analyzed music videos and the way they are marketed and advertised.