Remember the days when MTV’s main channel actually showed music videos? Well imagine not just watching them, but being inside the video, right next to your favorite artist as if you were actually there. Now you can in Virtual Reality for as little as a few dollars thanks to Google Cardboard.
There are quite a few music videos available in 360°, but not all are worth a watch. At VR Pill, we live and breath 360° content, and have highlighted the best music videos released thus far, placed all in one spot for your viewing pleasure. Here are the best 360 degree music videos out there right now:
Most music videos follow the same formula of placing you in the center with the band around you while changing settings. Sundance director Rose Troche did things a bit differently with The Donnies The Amys. Created by VR studio Specular Theory, this music video has no cuts between different shots. You spend the entire time on a rover platform as you move through an apartment in one single long shot. All the while, by looking around you will notice members of the group playing in different areas of the space.
In one impressive moment, band member Amy joins the rover platform while playing the drums right in front of you. One long scene with no cuts would rarely ever work correctly in conventional video, but holds an effective usage in 360° when done right.
Specular Theory’s previous projects include Perspective, a VR experience surrounding date rape, created by Morris May and Rose Troche using the power of the VR’s 1st person point of view to bring a social issue to powerful life. Perspective was part of the official selection at Sundance Film Festival 2015. Specular Theory also created Rift Park, an Oculus Rift experience combining 14 different theme park rides including roller coasters, waterslides, merry-go-rounds and thrill rides.
Why settle for just a music video when you can include lyrics along with it? Roomie, singer & songwriter from Sweden, and quite a skilled singer at that, covers Maroon 5’s “This Summer”. Not only is his voice incredible, but in the video he teleports, you accompany him on a Rickshaw bike, and even join in on a Ferris Wheel ride. This all happens during the length of the 2 minute long music video.
If you are anything like me and love to sing along to your music videos, he has included cleverly done lyrics throughout the entire video. I have watched this more than I would care to admit.
The screenshot above captures just one of the unique environments alternative rock and post-grunge band Galvanized Souls performs in with their first 360° music video, New Generation.
A modern take on the Bobby Vinton classic, fashion meets music video as Gina Tricot brings you through the evolution of three relationships in this seductive experience.
Foals‘ highly touted 360° music video on Youtube, “Mountain At My Gates”, is there for good reason. Its an incredible song and while the entire thing takes place in one environment, enough is going on around you, adding to a fitting atmosphere. You will forget where you are while watching this on a VR headset.
Love it or hate it, K-pop is now in 360° and INFINITE is quite popular as the 4th most viewed 360° music video currently out, with almost 2 million total views.
The beauty of 360° videos when viewed in the proper way (from within a virtual reality headset), is that there doesn’t have to be a lot going on to create a great music video. This is the case with Indonesian unplugged-acoustic band D’Cinnamons. They take a cafe setting with many events related to the performance going on, and whisk you away in a very well done performance. Be sure to look around everywhere, as there are a lot of subtle features they added to the environment that may not be obvious on your first viewing.
Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda started his hip-hop based solo project Fort Minor, and now holds the #1 spot on YouTube with his 360° music video “Welcome”, currently at around 4 million views. While it does contain a lot of fast cuts between shots, it was one of the first 360° music video to be released by a mainstream artist.
German hip-hop group WTK‘s music video “Reschtae” is just straight out insane. Follow their mob of stormtroopers, guys with Cthulhu masks, and one man carrying a baby who looks like he was yanked straight out of The Hangover movie.
Thanks to 360 Hangout for shooting one of the first 360° music videos, and a channel that in general has consistently brought out quality videos. There is just so much right going on with this video, especially considering it was filmed back in early June before even Fort Minor’s Welcome came out. All taking place from within a bar in Puerto Rico, Robbie Rivera & The EKGs express in “What To Do Now” the concept of humanity as one, regardless of things such as gender, sexual preference, race, etc.
This one’s a personal favorite. The music is poppin and there is a point where someone gets on the bar and straight out jumps over the 360° camera rig.
How close would you like to get to Björk? How about right up in her face for the entirety of her 360° music video “Stonemilker”? Strangely, the simplicity just works.
You might notice the lyrics “I wish to synchronize our feelings” from Stonemilker. That sums up how connected you will feel to Björk while viewing this in with a VR headset.
We do want to point out at this time that you are really doing yourself a disservice if you are watching any of these music videos outside of VR. While the 360° effect is a cool feature for viewing on a phone or computer, without a Virtual Reality device you will loose all of the immersion of feeling like you are there.
Here it is folks. Waiting for Love by Avicii is the first music video from a major artist to appear in 360°, and so popular that it has already inspired a Mario and Minecraft remix. It currently sits at more than 12 million views, and makes incredible use of the 360° effective with doors that surround you as the performers enter and exit. If it wasn’t for the popularity of this video, other major artists might have been more reluctant to follow with their own music videos.
Noize MC is a Russian singer, actor, rapper, and now innovator in the 360° video space with Yes Future. You start out on a school stage looking at a very bored audience filled with students. It doesn’t take long for the auditorium to erupt in complete madness. Containing an astronaut, robot, alien, and even Santa Claus, this music video has something for everyone. It doesn’t hurt that the title is Yes Future, making it our favorite hype song for VR.
For every 360° music video you see with the musician playing while in/on a vehicle, chances are they all point back to Graffiti by Noa Neal. The band plays on a moving vehicle while Noa sings and a cast of dancers and cheerleaders dance alongside.
There have been quite a few amazing 360° music videos featured in this article, and they are just the best of many more that are out there. We were about to finish the list, and then realized we had forgotten Japan. Well for these last two music videos we feature the best Japan has to offer.
This is probably the first time you have heard of “Obaachan”, which means “Aunt” in Japanese. Well there just happens to be an idol group called “Obachaan”, which formed in 2011 and can best be described as The Golden Girls meet Backstreet Boys. In this video, they perform their single “Obasukadon”, as they ride through Dotobonburi, which is like the Times Square area of Osaka, Japan. If Obachaan intrigues you at all, you can check out the rest of the songs on their YouTube Channel. Sure it’s just 1080p resolution, but all the important stuff is going on in front of your face.
Tokyo Girls Update has a great article on the group.
Due to being only 1080p resolution, we still have yet to include this in our 360 Video Directory, but with every passing day the urge to add this bizarre yet incredibly catchy music video rises. To be honest, it is one of the few 1080p videos that looks alright from within a VR headset. We enjoyed this video so much that we previously featured it in it’s own article.
The first truly catchy 360° music video just hit YouTube last night. Called Kamu to Funyan, which translates roughly into “Chew it & it’s Soft”, was uploaded by a mysterious group called “New School Leaders”. It appears that this video was made to commemerate the sale of Lotte’s new gum flavor, salty citrus. Lotte is a food company known for it’s gum, chocolate pie snack, and Ghana Chocolate Bar.
Don’t try to understand. Just give it a watch and prepare to be floored, especially once the neon colors kick in.
Well that’s all! As you can see, there are more than a few genuinely interesting music videos in 360°, and with every passing week that number grows substantially. We will be sure to revisit this genre in the future as more gems are released.
You can find more music videos in our curated 360° Video Directory by selecting Music Videos as the category.