Pitchfork’s latest video stars Belgian musician Stromae, who provides behind-the-scenes insights and details as he breaks down some of his most popular music videos.
Stromae’s videos, which are typically made in collaboration with his brother, the artistic director Luc Van Haver, often eschew straightforward simplicity in favor of elaborately layered concepts. On “Papaoutai,” a track about absent fathers, simply not casting a father was, as he says, “too obvious, too easy.” Instead, Stromae himself posed as a mannequin in the video, working with French choreographer Marion Motin to create a series of fantastic sequences where, as a child dances with the Stromae-mannequin, “we don’t even know if it’s a dream.”
Even a deceptively “really simple” video like “L’Enfer” 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 some creative styling.) Meanwhile, the celebratory “Santé” used real people executing Motin’s choreography instead of dancers— “it’s funny to see how natural they were and how much they gave for the video clip,” Stromae said—while Multitude’s “Fils De Joie” used special effects to fake real people.
Below, watch the video to learn more about Stromae’s creative process.