FERDINAND absolutely outdid himself with the music video for his new single “Party Monsters,” the queer powerhouse anthem of 2021!
The artist, songwriter and dancer FERDINAND has in recent years emerged as a fresh and important voice in Norwegian pop music. As an artist representative of freedom and anti-prejudice, FERDINAND dares to do what others don’t. By challenging predefined genres, norms, and expectations, he paves way for diversity and openness in an otherwise sterile Norwegian pop landscape.
With a background from musical theatre, FERDINAND wants to accomplish more than just making music: He wants to redefine what it means to be a pop star. Like many young queers, FERDINAND has felt alienated and a been a victim of prejudice, but through music, he wants to inspire those who feel outside of the norm.
He aspires to be the role model he lacked when growing up.
FERDINAND has already built a good reputation as a live performer through shows at multiple pride festivals, a wide range of theaters, and countless club stages in Norway. His music can be described as theatrical and catchy electronic pop, with a sprinkle of shamelessness.
The music video is absolutely stunning from start to finish. Every single shot is well-executed, frame by frame. The smooth transitions, the lighting in each scene, and the camera angles are top-notch. The choreography throughout the video is phenomenal, especially with the progression of the storyline in the song.
What I am obsessed with the most is the message of the track. It’s a queer powerhouse electro pop anthem that feels empowering as a queer person listening. The overarching message of being a strong queer person that “gets back up” when you “get knocked down” hits home every time. Near the end of the video, FERDINAND is forced to view images of real queer people who have experienced real hate crimes, with his eyes being held open unwillingly. It’s an eerie scene that almost hurts to watch. This was intentional. This part of the video really tugs at your heart strings, and it should. The key change into the last chorus makes it almost feel like we’re conquering the wrongdoings we just witnessed, ending the song on a high note, like a cherry on top of the cake.
At the end of the video, there is text that says:
“In 2019, a total of 278 cases were marked as hate crime against the LGBT community in Norway.
This is an increase of 17% from 2019 and 94% from 2015.
The dark figures are probably higher.”
It goes on, but this ending was put here for the viewers to remember these statistics, and to let victims know that it is okay to speak out. This inspiring music video and song from FERDINAND speaks volumes, and I hope it encourages queer people around the world to speak up and fight for what they deserve: basic human dignity and respect.
I got to ask FERDINAND some questions about the song and video, check it out below!
Describe your release in 3 sentences.
I would describe this release as a rebellious and political statement. The music video is aggressive, flamboyant, cinematic, fierce and theatrical. The song is liberating and I wanna dance, make love, fight my inner demons when listening to it. It gives me a feeling of empowerment!
What was your favorite part about making this song and video?
My favorite part was to be able to work with some super-skilled people who, like myself, believed in the importance of the project! We made it work even though the pandemic tried to hold us back. It’s always been a dream of mine to do a music video with a high intensity choreography routine. The choreographer, Irlin Finsådal, really came through, pulled some strings and made that dream a reality! She’s such an amazing dancer and so dynamic and creative as a choreographer!
What was the hardest part making this song and video?
The song “Party Monsters” wasn’t really that hard to make. I am blessed to work with an incredible talented and musically genius producer Einar Eriksen Kvaløy (aka SKYLIKE). He just gets me and where I wanna go artistically. IMERIKA had a part in the songwriting and she’s a wordsmith unlike any other I’ve ever worked with! DREAMTEAM! The hardest part of the video was definitely the torture-scene! THAT WAS ROUGH! I was strapped up into a legitimate straitjacket and was not allowed to close my eyes. I really wanted to recreate the horrifying scene from “A Clockwork Orange”(1971) as authentically as possible. I also had adhesive both around, and in, my eyes so my dancers could jam them open. During filming, I actually had a panic attack and I had to take a 30min break after shooting this scene.
The American readers will want to know: Was the title of the song and video theme partially inspired by “Party Monster,” the film based on a true story around the life of Michael Alig and his friend James St. James?
Kinda. It’s more inspired by the concept of gay club culture. I love club kids and party monsters!! The main focus for this release is to not be ashamed of who I am and what makes me happy, no matter what closed-minded people may feel about it. It’s about living my truth. I can relate a lot to the movie, and I’ve seen it a couple of times, but it’s not a direct reference.
Was this release cathartic for you?
Very much so! The whole process has freed me from many of my negative thoughts. It’s been a vulnerable journey with a lot of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I’m soooo proud of what we’ve been able to create together as a team!
What keeps you motivated?
The response and love I get from my fans, family and friends I’m so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people, who support me no matter what!
What can we expect next from you?
Something totally not expected hahaha! We’re having a blast cooking up our next projects atm! I’m in the studio a lot and working hard towards an even bigger project coming later this year!
What other artists are you listening to right now?
Rina Sawayama, Big Daddy Karsten, Lady Gaga, Kim Petras, IMERIKA and Falito
Thanks for getting back to me with those answers, FERDINAND!
Be sure to stream “Party Monsters” by FERDINAND on all platforms now, check out the music video below, and follow him on social media as well!
Written By: Bryce Quartz