Introducing 2018's Music Video Madness
Luckily the Buggles were wrong. Video never killed the radio star, but she did forever change the radio star’s options. I suppose that’s a lot less catchy. Anyway, regardless of what happens in the future of music, the pairing of music with video has forever changed the way we expect to experience music, even now that music television is at worst dead, and at best a misnomer. We may not watch Much Music or MTV anymore, but we clearly still watch music videos, which make up nearly half of YouTube’s content plays. Vevo (YouTube’s music video partner channel) averages 50 million views every month. How we watch music videos has changed, but they remain important to our sense of connection with music. Perhaps the bigger surprise is that artists are still making these high budget accessories.
Then again, maybe videos contain more than accessories or glorified advertisements. In the era of streaming services, we are far less likely to buy a physical album - a whole package that provided us with a primary image and context to associate with the otherwise invisible music. Videos have given artists access to more context which helps us expand our imagination and memory for particular song, tying sounds to pictures for our brain to access more readily. Consider the times when a movie pairs an iconic scene with the perfect song; this can forever affect our association with that song, or even that artist. I cannot listen to Otis Redding without picturing Ducky from Pretty in Pink lip synching for his life. Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll” is forever tied to Tom Cruise’s famous underwear dance in Risky Business.
But while not every song can get licensed for the perfect iconic scene, every artist has the opportunity to make even a simple music video, controlling the story, concept or choreo that will be forever associated with their music. Videos offer an opportunity for artists to add visual dimension that can further exploit their music for the sake of promotion, and for further exploration of an idea or theme in their music.
That is why for this year’s March Music Madness competition, we are going to watch pop culture’s biggest Music Video Stars. We will be voting on artists who make great videos and watching great videos along the way.
Q. Who counts as a music video star?
A. Any musical performer who has made music videos an integral part of their career. These are artists who have invested in the art form, and often pushed it forward with innovation and technique. They have not simply poured their money into one really memorable video, but consistently paired their music with visuals through the course of their career. So when the games begin, we'll be voting on an artist's full discography, not just one iconic moment.
At the moment I have a list of about 100 artists who have made a minimum of 10 videos and stand out in the field, but before I build my brackets, I want to hear from you! What Music Video Artists (MVAs) do you love and hope to see featured during Music Video Madness? I’ve provided a list of the top 21 MVAs who are guaranteed a spot in this year’s competition, but the rest of the spots are up for grabs, so let me know who you’d most like to see compete! Hit me up on twitter @playlistedpod or below in the comments with your MVA faves!
UPDATE: We are no longer taking nominations because the brackets have been published! Check them out here!
Introducing the 21 guaranteed MVAs for March Madness!