Craft, concept and creativity: music videos you need to know

Craft, concept and creativity: music videos you need to know

Music videos have always been an integral part of the music scene and for good reason. They're yet another avenue for artists to showcase their creativity, giving musicians the chance to bring their creations to life visually. They're also prime opportunities for musicians to collaborate with other local creatives, bridging different artistic scenes.

Singaporean musicians have made some amazing music videos, boasting creative concepts and sharp execution. Check out our list of some of the most creative videos in the scene below. 

Disco Hue — 'I'll Be Waiting'

Directed, edited and produced by THIEVVES Productions, this wonderfully quirky music video features lead vocalist Sherlyn Leo as Kosmic Kitten, a girl who uses her Kat-tail Katana (and charm) to win the affections of a handsome mannequin named Manny. But in true Scott Pilgrim vs The World — the movie that inspired the music video — fashion, she has to do battle with a series of evil exes, video game style, in order to literally progress to the next level.

Besides the main narrative surrounding the love-struck Kosmic Kitten, her entire band also star as various outlandish characters. There's Auzaie as Doctor Detergent, Rush Ang as Lucky Lightning and Billy Chua as Kabuto Kiddo, and they all come with equally colourful backstories. Friends from bands such as M1LDL1FE (formerly Take Two), Vessel and The Summer State also pop up in delightful cameos so keep a look out!

Gentle Bones & MYRNE — 'B4NGER'

Gentle Bones (a.k.a Joel Tan) and MYRNE's (a.k.a Manfred Lim) collaborative project — B4NGER Project — has seen the duo go in creative directions neither have explored before, both musically and visually, with Joel embracing more laid-back, chill vibes and Manfred exploring a softer sound than usual.

The 'B4NGER' music video is less than three minutes long, and it starts off simple, with Joel bringing to life whatever he's singing about – be it a meal with his momma, a lonely birthday party or even him playing with a Barbie doll.

The real climax of the video takes place at the 1:18 mark, where (spoiler alert!) the duo unveils a new song titled '7OVE YOU'. More quirkiness ensues, as Joel partakes in a matrimonial ceremony with Manfred as his wedding officiant-cum-minister-cum-priest, and a cardboard cutout as his bride. All round whimsical and comical, the 'B4NGER' music video is definitely one of the most creative Singapore has seen. 

HubbaBubbas — 'Address'

In this Lenne Chai-directed video for the HubbaBubbas' 'Address', 987 radio DJ cum host Sonia Chew stars as an overly-enthusiastic Japanese game show host and the HubbaBubbas as competitors on said game show. The trio — Stephanie, Mervyn and Ryan — compete against one another in various challenges, ranging from speed quizzes, to breaking stacks of wood with their bare hands, going through a fear box and finally, climbing a mountain.

These challenges all take place under the watchful eyes of six spectators, all dressed in costumes, some more questionable than others. We won't give away who ends up winning the game show, so you can watch the video yourself instead — with its pastel colour scheme and a not-so-ordinary storyline, the 'Address' music video is a pleasant, feel-good must-watch.

iNCH - 'Artful Dodger'

It should come as no surprise that iNCH's 'Artful Dodger' music video is nothing short of artful. Produced by Han West and directed by Felipe P. Soares, this video opens in America, with iNCH scoping through a series of polaroids in a trailer outside a national park, as a voice on the radio states, "Authorities have announced that the hunt for 27-year-old Raymond Hill has been called off. Family members say Hill was last seen on June 1st before mysteriously disappearing while hiking in King's Canyon National Park."

There lies the first hint as to what the story of this cinematic music video entails. iNCH is on a mission to hunt down Hill. Inside a trailer, red strings connect polaroids, but these delicate connections soon get messed up when the trailer starts to rumble. A red string leads iNCH out of the trailer and she follows the lead to investigate. Watch the visually stunning music video for yourself to see what happens next. 

Miss Lou — 'More Than Just That Bass'

Directed by Corrine Goh in collaboration with Androidsinboots, the video for Miss Lou's 'More Than Just That Bass' is set in what seems like a 60s hostess club, opens with two girls whining about how they wish they had more appealing features, including a "sharper nose" and "fuller lips". The musician herself promptly breaks up their conversation with her take on Meghan Trainor's smash hit 'All About That Bass' and tells girls that they "don't have to look like Nicki with all that booty" to be beautiful, or require "validation from boys and girls".

The video continues with several girls competing in a pageant, "Glamour Time". By the bridge, a winner for the pageant is selected, but Miss Glamour Queen feels somewhat uncomfortable and does the unthinkable. This music video affirms the meaningful message of 'More Than Just That Bass', telling girls (and guys) to be confident in today's unforgiving society.

sub:shaman – 'A-Hole'

Last year, the experimental rock band sub:shaman made an album, Apnea, entirely about sleep and dreams – and they made a video for lead single ‘A-Hole’ that matches the chaos and strangeness that comes with night-time fantasy.

Presented by art collective DUNCE. and directed by Christopher Fok, the video portrays the band in odd, whimsical states and personas. There’s a double-wielding guitarist, a “sensual man” and a whole lot of mildly disturbing but funny dance moves. This is a music video that’s best experienced, not read about, so go ahead and enter sub:shaman’s dream world yourself.

Vandetta - 'Onz' (feat. Kim Olsen)

Set right in our backyard, the music video for 'Onz' has the most Singaporean feel to it, more so than any other video on this list.

Directed by Amanda Tan and produced by Empyreal Productions, the video is straightforward: dancers bust out hip-hop moves to Vandetta's melodious voice and Kim Olsen's fiery bars. What's creative about the video however, is its setting — never before have we seen our average HDB block this beautiful; with the use of soft pastel colours, it takes just a glance for us to be instantly reminded of the famous COLORS studio.

The use of the oh-so-identifiable HDB void deck was not only a creative move on Vandetta's end, but a smart one as well, going for the nostalgia factor and striking a chord with every Singaporean, regardless of age.

Xingfoo&Roy — 'In Another Castle'

Xingfoo&Roy's 'In Another Castle' tells the classic story of boy meets girl, then boy and girl never see each other again – albeit with a nice little twist. Directed by Jake Low, the video begins with Mario (yes, that Mario), played by the musician Bravepaper (a.k.a Chris Tang) showing up alone to a Halloween party (or maybe just a regular party with a ton of classic game and cartoon characters in an alternate universe, who knows?). Mario struggles to blend in at the party and opens the fridge to find a can of mushrooms. He eats some and spots a girl looking at him, who turns out to be none other than Princess Peach.

He offers her some mushrooms and she swats the can out of his hand, because you don't need fungi to have fun, right? They join hands and end up having a ball of a time, but Mario ends up in a play-fight – and gets knocked out. He wakes up to find that the party is over and there is no sign of the princess anywhere. He finds her crown on the floor and proceeds to pick it up before walking out. It's a great music video with a lot of Easter eggs, if you'd like to challenge yourself to spot all the characters. 

Yllis - '梦'

Yllis is one of the most experimental electronic musicians in our local scene, so it's only fitting that most of his music videos are equally as creative but we had to narrow it down to one video and this might just be his weirdest video yet. The video, animated by Race Krehel (aka Super Cyber Town), features explosions, cars being flung around, floating globes and people, who look like they've been crafted out of gold and granite, dancing around. It's a weird video and it makes absolutely no sense, but it is captivating and manages to capture the essence of Yllis' music.