Pitchfork’s latest video features Belgian musician Stromae, who provides insight and behind-the-scenes details as he breaks down some of his most popular music videos.
Stromae’s videos, which are usually made in collaboration with his brother, art director Luc Van Haver, often eschew straightforward simplicity in favor of elaborate layered concepts. On “Papaoutai,” a track about absent fathers, not casting a father was, as he puts it, “too obvious, too easy.” Instead, Stromae himself posed as a model in the video, working with French choreographer Marion Motin to create a series of fantasy sequences where, as a child dances with model Stromae, “we don’t even know if it’s a dream”.
Even a deceptively “really simple” video like “Hell” required filming take after take to nail the slow zoom. (As Stromae notes, he also wore an Ariana Grande-style ponytail for the shoot, which required creative styling.) Meanwhile, the “Health” celebration used real people performing Motin’s choreography instead. of dancers – “it’s funny how natural they were and how much they gave for the music video,” Stromae said, while Multitude“Sons Of Joy” by used special effects to simulate real people.
Below, watch the video to learn more about Stromae’s creative process.