As a Grammy nominee, singer Khalid has a new album coming up, and the first single “New Normal” is as smooth and breezy as a summer afternoon, which is weird because the video that comes with the track is quite a venture capitalist’s dream. true.
The video depicts a futuristic utopia full of skyscraper gardens, self-contained vehicles, drone deliveries and smart homes. Khalid’s video is full of real products from real companies, not generic versions – a sign that the singer may have had some knowledge of Silicon Valley when he loved his love letter to us a capitalist nightmare of future control.
You know, things have started in an interesting way when Khalid, rocking sick bluish purple hair, rolls into his apartment in a robotax to start an autonomous vehicle from Zoox. Amazon-owned company only just revealed a toaster-shaped driver’s shuttle last December. It’s not even even available to the public yet, but in Khalid’s imagined future, the road is full of Zoox shuttles – and only Zoox shuttles. (Zoox’s PR spokesman told me the video, but I haven’t yet received an answer as to whether the company paid for product placement.)
When Khalid dances at the Bradbury building in LA (made famous Blade runner, a more realistic version of the future), other people place packages on drones buzzing around the building’s large atrium. Why are drones inside a building? Don’t they just bump into the skylight? Is there some sort of roof portal for drones that managed to be installed despite the designation of the Bradbury Building as a National Historic Landmark in 1977? These and other questions go unanswered as Khalid continues lazily through the song.
The singer then comes to where I can only describe the refined version Korben Dallas apartment The fifth element (another more detailed description of our chaotic and punitive future compared to this). The room is barely bigger than a wardrobe, but the walls are lined with aquaculture plants, which presumably should make us feel better when we live in a basically well-lit coffin. Khalid irrigates his plants with a spray bottle. We still have spray bottles in the future!
But maybe I spoke too early because the following picture shows us the automatic irrigation system that Khalid’s PS5 is activating. Again, this raises a lot of questions: how far can this be if he still has a PS5? Maybe he’s in retro consoles? And why would the PS5 control its water filtration system? Is it now a smart home center? I’m so confused.
Outside, troops of knee-high delivery robots take up space on the sidewalk. Marketing team at Starship Technologies has to kick himself for his failure to get a brand in this video. Khalid sings to some sort of smart home panel on the wall, and his songs are apparently transmitted through delivery robots. Not sure how I feel about sidewalk robots singing while treading our toes but moving on.
Then, which seems to be a particularly shameless moment of product placement, the singer pays remotely on a smart home panel (from? Unclear) using Chime, whose startup is said to be $ 14.5 billion. Does anyone really use Chime? Khalid for sure. Who needs the Cash app? The only great fintech for our friend.
When the video ends, we finish the picture of how Khalid opens his blinds to see a giant billboard outside his window advertising rocket travel. It’s a little unclear what the ad is selling for. A 90-minute rocket trip to the moon would be really, really fast. Probably too fast for anyone with the near realistic technique presented in this video. Is it a point-to-point commercial rocket journey between LA and New York Elon Musk’s suspended idea a couple of years ago? If that were the case, 90 minutes would be too long. Sponsored by Khalid’s record company RCA these rocket trips? Color me suspiciously.
Khalid’s shameless love for Silicon Valley culture shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, the singer introduced her single “New Normal” as she performed live Virgin Galactic space flights, who sent Virgin CEO Richard Branson right to the edge of space. He clearly has a soft spot for huge multinationals who want to change the structure of our reality.
But while the video may not be limited to its romantic feelings about Big Tech’s quest to take control of our lives, the lyrics are actually a little more nuanced, even a kind of defeatist. “While I can’t promise you much / You’re fine, you’re fine,” Khalid croons. I really hope it turns out to be true.