Meaning Behind the Sci-Fi Settings
Many pop-stars use a science fiction or speculative fiction setting to their music videos. My group decided to look at the reasoning behind many pop artists such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Ellie Golding use these sci-fi scenes to represent the song they created. We noticed that there was a pattern between the underlying goals of a sci-fi/speculative fiction and the music videos that we chose. They each have a message they are trying to convey to their audience.
In her song Born This Way, Lady Gaga for example was reaching out to an audience of people who felt that they didn’t belong, and that you should be yourself. This idea of using sci-fi themes to display a message is very common in other stories as well like in both The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew Ms. Marvel by F. Willow Wilson, the author pinpoints our countries issues with race and gender. Lady Gaga uses this setting to show that we are human and we are all the same on the inside, by using references to “Mother Monster” and a scientific approach to a time before life was created. Where as in Ms. Marvel, the gender and race issues are approached in her belief that she needs to wear a “mask” to be able to convince the citizens in need of her help that she is capable.
There are also many political views that are displayed in certain speculative fiction pieces such as Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias, which is known to make points referring to what ‘could’ potentially happen to our country if we act a certain way, such as completely outing a race or certain diverse group and treating them like a non-human.
In Justin Bieber’s Children, there is a clear message that the future adults should recognize the things they can do to make a better world today, just like in the movie Big Hero 6, Hiro Himmada is a child who was able to use his talent and scientific ability to help revenge his brothers death and get his Microbots back. Many Science Fiction and Speculative fiction stories use children to promote a social change.
The music video to Powerful by Major Lazer and Ellie Golding uses more of a speculative fiction aspect that does not necessarily have a political underlying statement. When we analyzed the video, we decided that both the lyrics and the video revolved around a love being able to strengthen their power when the two main characters were united. The use of the physical and supernatural powers that each artist has in the video is a display of the power they have when they are together. The “teamwork makes the dream work” theme is seen in many super hero stories such as Big Hero 6 and even in the Avengers series. However, Sherrie L. Smith can see the aspect of love creating a powerful effect in stories like Orleans when Fen is able to be more effective and reach her goal as she unites with Daniel. Love’s power does not always have to be a romantic connection in these speculative fiction stories.
Even for people who are not usually into Sci-Fi styled movies and stories, using this kind of setting in a pop music video can reach out to a broader spectrum of an audience, those who are pop fans, those who are sci-fi fans, and those who the author, or artist, is trying to reach with their political statements.
Big Hero 6. Walt Disney, 2015.
Justin Bieber. Children. 2015. YouTube. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
Lady Gaga. Born This Way. N.d. YouTube. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
Major Lazer Feat. Ellie Goulding. Powerful. N.d. YouTube. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
Wilson, G. Willow, and Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel: No Normal. New York, NY: Marvel Worldwide, 2014. Print.
Yang, Gene Luen, Sonny Liew, and Janice Chiang. The Shadow Hero. N.p.: n.p., 2014. Print.
Sherri L. Smith, Orleans, G.P. Putnam and Sons, March 7, 2013, Print.
Sabrina Vourvoulias, Ink, Crossed Genres Publications, October 15, 2012, Bart R. Leib, Print.