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Music Video or Visual Interpretation?


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While music videos and visual interpretations may sound similar and seem repetitive, the two are quite different. Want to know how?

When you hear a song that you really like, you visualize it, you feel it, and you create a moving picture in your mind as the song plays. You create a timeline of events as you hear a story being told through some soothing or energizing tunes. But what you see is usually not what’s going to be displayed. Think about a time when you’ve heard a hot new single by your favorite artist and were psyched about the video that was soon to come. Think about when you saw the video/visual and your initial reaction. Was it what you expected? Or was it just meaningless minutes of the artist showcasing their beauty and/or brand?

I remember a time when I was extremely disappointed with a certain bad girl. This was actually very recent. The rising legend Rihanna dropped a video for her new single “Kiss It Better” from her newest album ANTI. While the song was amazing, expressing her deep sexual emotions, my initial reaction to the video was disappointment.

A few days after starting this article and showing interest in the subject, I felt the need to dig deeper, ask around, and talk about the topic with others. In doing this I’ve gained a tremendous amount of needed insight. A good friend of mine and I were discussing my stance on the topic and he brought up a very good point.

“Are we as fans biased when it comes to how we interpret music?”

 As fans, none of us truly know why artists write what they write. We don’t know their emotional state when getting ideas, nor do we know the actual story to what they portray in their music. We just hear the music and interpret it in the way we know. What if the visuals we are so disappointed in, are actually how the artists best interprets the actual meaning of their music and we are just too stubborn to accept the truth?

After exchanging views, my interpretation of “Kiss it Better” changed completely. Hearing the song for the first time this was the story I built. A girl is craving intimacy with her lover, and when I didn’t see a lover in the visual I became confused and grew to dislike the video. But now that I have analyzed what was in the visual and its connection to the song, this is the story I will conclude with. A girl is not getting much sexual attention but craves it horribly.

Visual interpretations play a big part in revealing the true meaning of a song. Most “music videos” now days are meaningless and as Cookie Lyon from Fox’s hit TV series Empire says

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However, we as fans need to know how to distinguish the real from the fake. We never know what the true meaning of a song is until we ask the artist or we see the “music video” or visual interpretation. A helpful tip is to be open-minded, think outside the box because what you initially think may not be what is.






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