Janelle Monae’s recently released music video for her new song, “Make Me Feel,” is a fierce music video for a fierce singer. Monae’s video engages viewers right from the start by emphasizing Monae’s distinctive personality and with a progressive theme regarding sexuality.
From the start, viewers are immediately pulled in by a secretive yet alluring feel as Tessa Thompson and her friend walk into the club. You can tell that this isn’t exactly the typical kind of club you find in most music videos — everybody is dressed in bright colors and sparkly clothing with lots of accessories.
After this brief intro, Monae seems to almost appear out of nowhere, singing and immediately demanding attention, but in such a way where it feels as if she barely has to lift a finger to do so. With people in completely dark clothing erotically dancing around her, it appears as if the music video is almost trying to portray Monae as some kind of ring master of the club.
If for some reason you weren’t already convinced that Monae is the queen of this club, then her dance break will do just the trick. The choreography is smooth yet fun and helps to capitalize on the interesting funk sound of the song. Monae is clearly in sync with the other dancers, but maintains her sassy, quirky, confident style in every move she makes.
As the music video goes on, some of the choreography gets a little weird, but that doesn’t mean Monae ever looks strange. Chances are that if anybody else ever tried to do some of the things she did in that music video, they would have looked like a lunatic. But Monae is so confident and makes each movement so individual that she is able to pull off what few others could.
If there was any doubt as to whether Monae’s song was referencing freedom in sexuality with lyrics like “an emotional sexual bender,” Monae’s video eliminates every miniscule of that confusion. Between the interactions the two girls are having with each other and the people in the club, the bright colors and Monae’s dance scene in which she switches back and forth between a man and a woman, it is clear that Monae has no apologies for the way “you make me feel” — regardless of the gender.
The amazing thing about this music video is that it doesn’t need a defined plot to keep it interesting. Rather, Monae’s spunk and attitude i s able to do that all on its own. The video shows how Monae isn’t afraid to be herself and could probably care less about what anyone might think of her — making her all that more engaging.
Monae’s “Make Me Feel” music video isn’t good because of the excellent dancing or fun costumes, but because it isn’t afraid to be different. It isn’t afraid to be too “out there” or too unconventional. Instead, the music video embraces it — just like Monae does —making the video a perfect embodiment of who Monae is as an artist.