Danish pop artist Kleo is having a breakout year in music, yet there may be a movie career looming, too. She speaks with real passion about her favorite directors and the nuances of cinematography. Maybe that’s why the video for her new single “Beautiful Life” is so visually striking.
The video is an homage to classic black & white TV commercials like the ’90s Calvin Klein ads and fragrance spots for Giorgio Armani. Kleo shares the screen with actor Ask Berntsen – and the result is pure magic.
The song is also an aural delight with a life-affirming message. Kleo is a longtime meditator, and “Beautiful Life” is a three-minute plunge into deep bliss. Plus the musical bridge at the end of the song is a beautiful morsel you won’t want to miss.
Many great Scandinavian films like The Seventh Seal are stark and existential. That’s not the case with Kleo’s “Beautiful Life.” Both the song and video are buoyant and hopeful – the perfect way to start your day.
How did you learn about Transcendental Meditation – and how long have you practiced it?
I became familiar with TM through my infatuation with director David Lynch. He spoke so highly of it and described how it changed his life and let him in on otherworldly experiences and expanded his creativity. So I’ve been loving TM for 5 years now and melodies often surface while I’m in it. Would recommend that everyone learns it.
What city do you consider “home” when you’re not touring or recording?
Copenhagen feels like home because I grew up there. It was strange because when I visited Amsterdam I had the exact same feeling. It also happens that I’ve never been to San Francisco but watching a lot of ’90s movies that were filmed there raised this idea that I would probably love it.
Was “Beautiful Life” the first time you worked with director Stine Emil Thorbøll?
Yes. I have been following their work and felt blessed when it clicked into place. The way they called me and described this idea in vivid detail; filming a piece that would invite and immerse the audience in this b/w meta universe conveying inseparability through these romantic scenes with a religious symbolic undertone. SE is able to pluck scenic ideas from their subconscious like no one else.
What was the inspiration behind the “share an apple” scene in the music video? And what was it like filming scenes like that?
We looked at the impact of the ’90s vulnerable iconic time-stands-still moments. For example, the Calvin Klein ads with Kate Moss and also the pop culture beacon Wicked Game, the music video with Chris Isaak. We had a magical day filming and I got home late at night with the feeling that everyone on the set had been in their essence. Almost dharma-like, when everything aligns and you feel safe and caught in the moment. It all goes by so fast. But that is also exactly what the song is about.
Story: Larry McClain // Photos: Stine Emil Thorbøll, Andre Hansen
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