Music videos can make a terrible song good, or a good song even better. With the highly anticipated UK Music Video Awards taking place this evening at Camden’s Roundhouse, we picked out the five best videos that deserve a MVA.
Words: Cerys Kenneally, Subeditor: Karolina Zilenaite
1. Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
The new king of Compton shows us who’s the boss with his video for “Alright”. The monochrome video, directed by Colin Tilley, highlights the light and dark sides of today’s society.
The narrative is impressive — swerving from police brutality to Kendrick flying down the highway, keeping the pace of the jazz-infused, hip-hop track. Riddled with fire, floating money and incredible slo-mo shots, Kendrick wows the world with his wise words and stunning visuals.
2. A$AP Rocky – “L$D”
Rakim Mayers, aka A$AP Rocky, takes us on a journey of a lifetime through the hallucinogenic scenes of Tokyo. Bright colours, varied speed shots and euphoric track integrate flawlessly, creating a lifetime trip in five minutes.
A$AP’s vocals are soft, gliding through the ecstatic progression of the psychedelic track. The obscure lighting and variation of shots and angles provoke the infectiousness of feeling exhilarated, taking the viewer on a diverse trip through the bustling, beautiful city.
3. Danny Seth – “I Arise Because”
Former Last Night In Paris member, and London rap artist Danny Seth has taken to America recently, hailing “The British Are Coming”. His video for “I Arise Because” explores Seth’s dreamy world, keeping pace with the track and its intense melody.
The video dips in and out of vast landscapes, urban scenes and the stunning BMW i8 with the artist fronting the whole video. The performance shots certainly give Danny Seth the representation, and by including the British flag here and there, it’s clear that he’s storming America.
4. Childish Gambino – “Sober”
Former comedian turned rap superstar, Childish Gambino, uses his feel-good vibes to attempt to win a girl over in his video for “Sober”. The infectious keyboards and pitch perfect vocals tie in with the empty diner set, allowing Gambino to try flaunting his suave moves to get the girl’s attention.
The flickering lights when the melody drops into an intense trap instrumental, showcase the creativity of his electrifying dance moves, reeling us in to the narrative and leaving us hoping for him to succeed.
5. The Weekend – “The Hills”
The critically acclaimed Canadian artist, The Weeknd, walks away from what could’ve been a fatal car crash in his video for “The Hills”. The trap beat elevates his R&B vocals, swerving in and out of soft verses and action-filled choruses.
The slo-mo video shows The Weeknd singing in real-time, emphasising the cinematic feel to the narrative video. The quiet, wealthy residential area is rocked by The Weeknd’s car-crash destruction and the intensity of the infectious track, taking the viewer through a nerve-wracking situation to reach the safety and reassurance of The Weeknd’s impressive vocals.