Billie Eilish performs live on stage in Miami in March before COVID-19 hit the U.S. hard. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)
GETTY IMAGES FOR LIVE NATION
Artists have been singing about quarantine, masks and lockdowns since the pandemic took over everyone’s lives. Now, there seems to be an influx of animated music videos. Some of today’s hottest artists, like the late Juice WRLD, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa, are leading this trend.
Animated music videos are nothing new. In the past few months though, it seems like there are more and more of them. Today, assembling a crew and producing a traditional music video poses extra safety and health risks. With the pandemic plaguing our every move, animated videos bring us one step deeper into today’s virtual reality.
Join millions and check out these four videos by artists to look out for.
Juice WRLD’s record-breaking posthumous album Legends Never Die was released mid-July. Of its 21 songs, at least five have fully or partially animated videos. “Righteous” was released in April and has since gained nearly 68 million views on YouTube. It mostly shows old clips of the Chicago artist, but the final third of the video features an emotional ending where Juice literally fights his demons and soars beyond.
Billie Eilish is back with a single! It’s a dreamy love letter to herself, specifically her future self. The song seems to deal with a lot of the motions a young person may experience while spending lots of time alone. Sound familiar? Like COVID-19 and quarantine? The video—viewed by nearly 42 million—and song both share a vibe of reflection, being alone and being hopeful.
The Weeknd debuted a live, interactive experience on TikTok featuring “Blinding Lights” and other hits from his most recent and iconic album, After Hours. Virtual concerts were kind of a thing pre-pandemic—think Marshmello’s Fortnite performance last February—but they’re especially needed now. The Weeknd’s experience was extremely successful. It racked up over 2 million views and raised over $350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative according to a TikTok press release.
Dua Lipa dropped her 80s-influenced Future Nostalgia in March. Her latest video from the album for “Hallucinate” debuted mid-July, racking in nearly 22 million views so far. The colorful visual features a Bratz-esque Dua tearing up dance floors and zooming through outer space.
As the pandemic rages on, affecting how we live online and socialize in person, music artists will need to continue adapting how they entertain and engage with their fans. Who will be next to drop an animated video or host a virtual concert experience?