Bruno Mars had been promising to do it for a while — or, like three days — on his Twitter account, but on Monday (October 15), without a fancy prime-time premiere, he released his video for “Locked Out of Heaven,” the first single off his upcoming Unorthodox Jukebox album.
It was a less-than-traditional move for an artist who’s reached superstar status, which was exactly the way Mars wanted it. Because as he told MTV News just hours before the video’s premiere, this time around, he’s only interested in doing things his way.
“It was finished a couple of days ago, [and], you know, a lot of times people want to do a big premiere or something like that,” he said. “But I feel like, with the Internet, I have the luxury to go straight to the fans and say, ‘Here it is.’ ”
And that straightforward approach is also apparent in the video itself, a sweaty, stripped-back affair that features a live performance of the song, some behind-the-scenes partying, a few VHS effects and, well, very little else. It’s not what fans have come to expect from Mars, but, again, that’s precisely the point … as he explained, the clip is meant to give fans a taste of what they can expect on Jukebox (due December 11) and the tour that will follow the album’s release.
“The concept is just old-fashioned fun. No story line, it’s not me singing to a girl, you get a good sense of what you’re going to get live,” he said. “It’s very VHS-y. I love that man, it takes me back to my childhood, when the tracking is off and the color is off, there’s a beauty in that. You’d have to stand by the TV with, like, aluminum foil all over you.”
And while his approach to making videos may be different this time out, Mars isn’t straying very far from his roots when it comes to choosing directors. He worked once again with Cameron Duddy, who directed his massive popular clip for “The Lazy Song.” But, this time, their collaboration produced decidedly different results.
“My friend Cameron Duddy directed it, he did ‘The Lazy Song’ with me,” Mars smiled. “But this is different, as you’ll see. There’s no dancing monkeys on this one!”