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What Now Music Video Rihanna What Now Music Video Rihanna

Music Video

What Now Music Video Rihanna

Written by: Marielle Just

Watch Rihanna's captivating music video for "What Now" and immerse yourself in an enthralling visual experience that perfectly complements the powerful lyrics and soulful vocals. Experience the magic of this mesmerizing music video now!

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Table of Contents


The music video has become an integral part of the music industry, captivating audiences with its visually stunning storytelling. One music video that made a significant impact on both the music and entertainment world is Rihanna’s “What Now.” Released in 2013, this music video stands out for its powerful imagery, captivating visuals, and emotional depth.

In this article, we will dive into the world of Rihanna’s “What Now” music video, exploring its background, concept, themes, visuals, choreography, collaboration, and its lasting impact on the industry.

From the moment the video was released, it received immense attention and praise from fans and critics alike. It showcased Rihanna’s artistic maturity and the evolution of her music career, solidifying her as one of the most influential artists of our time. So, let’s delve into the captivating world of “What Now” and explore why it has left an indelible mark on the music video landscape.


Background of the Music Video

Rihanna’s “What Now” was released as the fifth single from her seventh studio album, “Unapologetic.” The album, released in 2012, showcased a new artistic direction for Rihanna, exploring darker themes and incorporating elements of EDM and rock into her music.

The music video for “What Now” was directed by Jeff Nicholas, Jonathan Craven, and Darren Craig, collectively known as the creative team, The Uprising Creative. Known for their innovative and visually striking concepts, The Uprising Creative aimed to create a music video that would not only complement the song but also engage viewers on a deep emotional level.

The video was filmed on September 30, 2013, in Phuket, Thailand, adding a unique and exotic backdrop to the narrative. The decision to film in Thailand was driven by the desire to capture the raw and mystical energy of the location, adding an extra layer of intrigue and intensity to the overall visual experience.

Rihanna herself was personally involved in the creative process of the music video, ensuring that her vision and emotions were accurately portrayed. She wanted to explore the depths of anguish, heartbreak, and introspection through the visual medium, encapsulating the essence of the song in a visually stunning manner.

With a deep understanding of Rihanna’s artistic vision and the energetic location of Phuket, the stage was set for the creation of a music video that would leave a lasting impression on audiences around the world. The combination of the song’s emotional potency, Rihanna’s personal involvement, and the expertise of The Uprising Creative set the foundation for a visually captivating and emotionally charged music video.


Concept and Themes

The concept of Rihanna’s “What Now” music video revolves around the theme of inner turmoil, depicting the struggle of dealing with emotional pain and the overwhelming feeling of being trapped in one’s own thoughts.

The video begins with a close-up shot of Rihanna, visibly distressed and consumed by her emotions. As the song progresses, the intensity builds, and we are taken on a metaphorical journey into the depths of her mind.

Throughout the video, various symbolic elements are used to represent the inner conflicts Rihanna is experiencing. From shattered glass and broken mirrors to distorted reflections and suffocating walls, these visuals highlight the mental anguish and internal struggle she is enduring.

Another key theme explored in the music video is catharsis. As the video progresses, we witness Rihanna’s release of pent-up emotions, depicted through her powerful and intense performance. The cathartic moments, accompanied by her stunning vocal delivery, serve as an emotional release for both the protagonist and the viewers.

The video also plays with the themes of self-destruction and self-discovery. It showcases Rihanna’s willingness to confront her inner demons, even if it means destroying the walls that confine her. The chaotic and visually striking dance sequences further emphasize this theme, as she exhausts herself in an attempt to find solace and liberation.

The contrast between darkness and light is also prominent in the video. The use of shadow and dim lighting conveys the depths of despair, while moments of brightness and illumination represent moments of hope and clarity. This contrast adds depth and complexity to the overall visual narrative and enhances the emotional impact of the video.

Overall, “What Now” explores the universal theme of inner struggle and the desire for emotional release. It dives deep into the complexities of human emotions and offers a visually stunning and emotionally charged exploration of personal turmoil. Through its powerful symbolism and Rihanna’s captivating performance, the music video manages to resonate with audiences on a profound level.


Visuals and Cinematography

The visuals and cinematography of Rihanna’s “What Now” music video are nothing short of captivating. Through a combination of stunning imagery, unique camera angles, and meticulous framing, the video succeeds in creating a visually immersive experience that complements the emotional depth of the song.

From the opening shot, the video establishes a dark and somber tone, setting the stage for the emotional journey that awaits. The use of contrasting colors, such as the vibrant red dress against the muted tones of the location, adds visual interest and draws attention to Rihanna as the focal point.

The cinematography in “What Now” is characterized by dynamic camera movements that intensify the emotional impact of the video. The fluid and sweeping shots mirror the turbulence within Rihanna’s mind, creating a sense of unease and restlessness. Close-up shots, lingering glances, and slow-motion sequences are employed to capture the raw emotions and vulnerability in her performance, allowing viewers to feel a deeper connection to the song.

The production team made strategic use of lighting to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the video. Shadows and low lighting create an air of mystery and introspection, while bursts of bright light punctuate the more intense moments, symbolizing moments of clarity and emotional release.

The artistic choices in the video are amplified by the unique editing techniques used. Quick cuts, frenetic pacing, and experimental visual effects add an additional layer of intensity and disorientation, reflecting the chaotic nature of Rihanna’s emotional state. The editing style also reinforces the dynamic energy of the song, allowing the visuals to seamlessly sync with the music.

Symbolism plays a pivotal role in the visual storytelling of “What Now.” Throughout the video, shattered glass, broken mirrors, and walls closing in on Rihanna visually represent the inner turmoil she is experiencing. These symbolic visuals emphasize the feeling of being trapped and the struggle to break free from emotional confinement.

Overall, the visuals and cinematography of Rihanna’s “What Now” music video are visually stunning and emotionally evocative. The careful attention to detail in the framing, use of color, lighting, and editing techniques creates a visually immersive experience that transports viewers into the depths of Rihanna’s emotional journey.


Choreography and Dance

The choreography and dance elements in Rihanna’s “What Now” music video add another layer of intensity and expressiveness to the overall visual experience. The intricate and emotionally charged movements effectively convey the inner turmoil and catharsis portrayed in the song.

The choreography, led by creative director Tanisha Scott, is a fusion of contemporary and interpretive dance styles. The movements are fluid, raw, and evocative, perfectly complementing the emotional depth of the song. Each dance sequence is carefully crafted to reflect the varying emotions conveyed in different sections of the music video, creating a powerful and cohesive narrative.

The dance sequences are characterized by sharp and controlled movements combined with moments of explosiveness, mirroring the internal struggle and release of emotions depicted throughout the video. The dancers’ synchronicity and precision accentuate the intensity and impact of the choreography.

One of the standout moments in the video is a solo performance by Rihanna herself. Her expressive and captivating movements convey a wide range of emotions, including despair, anguish, and ultimately, liberation. The choreography highlights her ability to convey powerful emotions through her physicality, reinforcing her status as a multifaceted artist.

The incorporation of props, such as chains and ropes, adds depth and symbolism to the dance sequences. The manipulation of these objects represents the struggle to break free from emotional constraints and find freedom. These visual elements enhance the storytelling aspect of the music video, adding layers of complexity to the choreography.

The collaboration between Rihanna and the talented dancers brings the choreography to life, creating a visually captivating and emotionally resonant experience. Their ability to translate complex emotions into physical movements captivates viewers and allows them to connect with the song on a deeper level.

Overall, the choreography and dance in Rihanna’s “What Now” music video serve as a powerful medium of storytelling, adding a layer of depth and emotional intensity to the already captivating visuals. The combination of meticulous choreography, talented dancers, and Rihanna’s own expressive performance elevates the music video to an art form that engages and mesmerizes audiences.


Collaborators and Production

Rihanna’s “What Now” music video was a collaborative effort that brought together a talented team of individuals to create a visually stunning and emotionally charged masterpiece.

The direction of the video was entrusted to the creative team known as The Uprising Creative, consisting of Jeff Nicholas, Jonathan Craven, and Darren Craig. With their extensive experience in video production and their innovative approach to storytelling, they were able to bring Rihanna’s vision to life.

Tanisha Scott, a renowned choreographer and creative director, was responsible for the captivating dance sequences in the music video. With her expertise in contemporary and interpretive dance styles, she crafted nuanced choreography that perfectly captured the emotional essence of the song.

The production of “What Now” took place in the stunning location of Phuket, Thailand. The decision to film in this picturesque setting was a strategic one, as it added an exotic and mystical backdrop to the narrative, enhancing the overall visual experience.

In addition to the creative team, the video featured a talented group of dancers who brought the choreography to life. Their commitment to capturing the emotions and intentions of the choreography further elevated the impact of the music video.

The production of “What Now” was a meticulous process, with careful attention given to lighting, camera angles, and editing techniques. The use of lighting, shadow, and visual effects played a crucial role in creating an atmosphere that reflected the emotional depth of the song.

Rihanna herself was actively involved in the creative process, ensuring that her vision and emotions were accurately portrayed throughout the video. Her commitment to the project and her willingness to push artistic boundaries added an additional layer of authenticity and emotional resonance to the final product.

It is through the collaboration of these talented individuals, with their unique skills and creative vision, that Rihanna’s “What Now” music video was brought to life. The seamless integration of their talents and the dedication to capturing the essence of the song resulted in a visually captivating and emotionally evocative music video that continues to resonate with audiences.


Reception and Impact

Upon its release, Rihanna’s “What Now” music video garnered significant attention and praise from both fans and critics. The video was lauded for its visually stunning cinematography, captivating choreography, and the raw emotional intensity conveyed by Rihanna’s performance. The powerful combination of these elements contributed to the video’s immense impact on the music industry.

The music video quickly became a viral sensation, amassing millions of views within a short period of time. Fans were captivated by the raw vulnerability and authentic emotion portrayed by Rihanna, connecting with the video on a deeply personal level. The video also received significant airplay on music channels and was featured prominently on streaming platforms, further expanding its audience reach.

Critics praised the artistic direction of the video, noting its departure from traditional music video tropes. The visual symbolism, clever editing techniques, and the incorporation of dance as a storytelling medium were commended for their innovative and thought-provoking nature.

The impact of “What Now” extended beyond its visual appeal. The music video breathed new life into the song itself, propelling it up the charts and increasing its streaming numbers. The video’s popularity revitalized interest in the track, leading to renewed radio airplay and boosting album sales.

Furthermore, the success of “What Now” shed light on the importance of music videos as a means of artistic expression in the digital age. It demonstrated the power of a well-crafted visual narrative to enhance the emotional depth of a song, resonating with audiences on a profound level.

Years after its release, the impact of Rihanna’s “What Now” music video still reverberates. It continues to be regarded as a groundbreaking visual masterpiece and a testament to Rihanna’s artistry and creativity. Through its introspective and emotionally charged storytelling, the video has left an indelible mark on the music industry, inspiring artists and filmmakers to push boundaries and experiment with new ways of connecting with audiences through visual mediums.



Rihanna’s “What Now” music video stands as a testament to the power of visual storytelling in the music industry. It captivates audiences with its visually stunning cinematography, emotionally charged choreography, and raw authenticity. From its haunting and introspective imagery to its powerful dance sequences, the video delves deep into the complexities of human emotions, leaving a lasting impact on viewers.

The collaboration of talented individuals, including the creative team, choreographer, dancers, and production crew, played a vital role in bringing Rihanna’s vision to life. Their commitment to pushing artistic boundaries and capturing the essence of the song resulted in a visually immersive and emotionally resonant experience.

Since its release, the “What Now” music video has received widespread acclaim from both fans and critics. Its viral success and continued popularity speak to its ability to connect with audiences on a deep and personal level. The video’s impact extended beyond its visual appeal, revitalizing interest in the song and showcasing the importance of music videos as an art form in the digital age.

Rihanna’s “What Now” music video remains an influential work, inspiring artists and filmmakers to explore new ways of storytelling and connecting with audiences. Its legacy as a groundbreaking visual masterpiece cements Rihanna’s position as a multifaceted artist with a unique artistic vision.

As the music video landscape continues to evolve, “What Now” serves as a reminder of the power of visuals, dance, and storytelling in enhancing the emotional impact of music. It stands as a testament to the enduring power of music videos to captivate, inspire, and touch the hearts of viewers around the world.

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