Liam Payne and Alesso's new tune "Midnight" is the kind of mid-tempo, easy jam that lends itself nicely to big vistas. In the self-shot music video — which the duo filmed separately while in isolation in their respective homes — Payne takes in a rooftop vantage while Alesso hunkers down in his interior studio. It's a nice representation of the coziness the song's acoustic rhythm elicits. But obviously, it wasn't the pair's initial idea.
"We had a really big video planned ... and I know it had something to do with space," Payne said in a recent one-on-one interview with Alesso for MTV News. His collaborator quickly filled in the details.
"It was this whole idea about saving earth and going to space," Alesso revealed. "This song [has] a big chorus, [it's] a big, big moment in the song, so I wanted something to feel as big as the chorus. I saw this visual where we're out in space and we're floating into the whole atmosphere."
Payne revealed that he'd been to a fitting ahead of the planned shoot and he'd explored a space suit, or maybe it was a race-car driver's suit doubling as a space suit, or maybe both. Alesso explained that the original plan was to match the boldness of the music with the boldness of cosmic exploration.
"The song is kind of like, you feel like you're floating a little bit, and you have these big-stab chords," he said. "So it's a big journey, the whole record itself."
Of course, with artists homebound for the time being, collaboration on both music and music videos has had to get more creative. The "Midnight" video — the self-shot one they ended up filming, not the big space concept – stands as a snapshot of the world during a global pandemic: one that's still looking for bigger vistas.
"As much as we love doing those videos, it was also really nice and refreshing to do a very stripped-down music video like we did now, where the song and the situation we're in now was in focus," Alesso said. "We wanted to spread the message of staying home."
Payne echoed that: "Releasing in this time, it almost gave the song a second meaning. The song lyrics being about adversity and overcoming adversity in a relationship, and I just kind of think it fits now. It's a time that we'll always remember."
Check out MTV News's interview with Payne and Alesso in the video above.