Music videos shot in Iceland
As most people know, there has been quite a few films that has been shot here in Iceland as can be read in our blog Camp like a boss. Fewer might be aware of how many music videos have been filmed here. The latest name to be added on that list is Justin Bieber who came here to shoot a video and created a controversy due to women dancing on fragile moss.
Moss or not, it’s very clear that Iceland is becoming a hot spot for musicians too. According to rumor, when Kayne West was here with Beyoncé, he shot material for a video to his tune Highlights but that hasn’t appeared online yet. Musicians are coming from all over the world to create videos here and here is a list of a few of the bigger names.
Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You
Justin Bieber came here in 2016 with a big crew and shot two videos while here. Both of them are taking place in south Iceland where one can find popular destinations like Fjaðrárgljúfur, Jökulsárlón and the Black sand beach Reynisfjara. It was in the music video by Major Lazer (ft Justin Bieber) Cold water where the girls were dancing on the moss.
Dierks Bentley – Black
Dierks, an American Grammy nominee artist signed in Nashville shot his video in the same areas as Justin, the south side of Iceland. Dierks also brought his wife Cassidy for this trip and she appears as a mystery woman in the video and he follows her to different scenic locations. Some people in the biz have called this tune “the sexiest song of his career”.
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Bon Iver – Holocene
Bon Iver is an American indie folk band founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. Justin explained to the magazine Mojo that Holocene: “It’s partly named after the (geological) era, but it’s also the name of a bar in Portland where I had a dark night of the soul.” He also stated that “the title is a metaphor for when you’re not doing well. But it’s also a song about redemption and realizing that you’re worth something; that you’re special and not special at the same time.”. Again, the surroundings is south Iceland with desolate beaches, black sand and vast view of barren landscapes, suiting the music very, very well.
Read more: Camping in Iceland
Damien Rice – I Don’t Want To Change You
Damien Rice has a bit of Iceland history behind him. He lived here for many years before leaving the country so it’s not strange that he used Icelandic videographers to shoot the video. We didn’t find the exact location but by the looks of it, it’s shot in Hvalfjörður, the fjord just north of Reykjavik, where the tunnel goes under the fjord on the south side. Damien is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician & record producer. Rice began his career as a member of the 90’s rock group Juniper.
David Guetta – She Wolf
She wolf is a song performed by French DJ and music producer David Guetta, featuring vocals from Australian singer Sia. David goes outside the comfort zone of regular haunts for videos and movies. This is shot in Reykjanes, up on Langjökull glacier and Krýsuvík. In the video a wolf appears which is kind of funny for there have never been any wolves in Iceland, except for financial ones.
Woodkid – I Love You
Yoann Lemoine aka Woodkid, is a French music video director, graphic designer and singer-songwriter. The church in the video is the little church by the pond in Reykjavik. The nature shots were filmed all over south Iceland, including Krýsuvík where David and others went too.
Elliphant – Down On Life
Ellinor Miranda Salome Olovsdotter aka Elliphant, is a Swedish singer, songwriter and rapper. Katy Perry siad “One of the most bad ass music videos I’ve seen in a long time!” about this tune. It was her director Tim Erem who came up with the idea to go to Iceland to shoot the video. While shooting from a helicopter on the beach south on Snæfellsnes peninsula, one of the riders fell off the horse and had to stay home a month after that accident.
Read more: Icelandic travel apps
Take That – Patience
Take That is an English pop group, formed in Manchester in 1990. The group currently consists of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, and Mark Owen. The video was directed by David Mould. The video shows members trekking across the rough terrain dragging their microphone stands.
Hurts – Stay
Stay is a song by English synth-pop duo Hurts and is from their debut album Happiness. The video, directed by Dave Ma depicts Hurts singer Theo Hutchcraft and Icelandic model/actress Anna Þóra Alfredsdóttir as lovers facing the end of their relationship. Again, south Iceland is in focus here.
Astrid S – Hyde
Astrid Smeplass aka Astrid S, is a Norwegian singer and songwriter. She came 5th in the Norwegian version of the reality television show Pop Idol in 2013. This video was shot around south Iceland and one of the places is Kleifarvatn out on Reykjanes peninsula. Kleifarvatn was also used in the movie Prometheus and not to forget, the fishing there can be excellent!
Read more: The Golden Circle
Zara Larsson, MNEK – Never Forget You
Zara Larsson is a Swedish singer and songwriter. She first got famous for winning the talent show Talang, the Swedish version of ….. Got Talent, at the age of 10. This video sure is an Internet sensation with close to 304 million plays on YouTube. The video is shot among the regular places like on black sand, desolate areas and again, by the banks of Lake Kleifarvatn. There is also an appearance of the dreaded Icelandic troll in the video.
Ada Szulc & DJ Adamus – Ocean
The scenery is familiar. Waterfalls, black sand and wind. This time the artists comes from Poland. DJ Adamus said that after two recordings in warm places, it was time to get cold and Iceland became the choice. DJ Adamus is one of the pioneers of electronic scene in Poland.
Melanie C – Never Be The Same Again
We all know Melaine C from the Spice girl. Here she is with Never be the same again featuring American rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of American girl group TLC. The video starts off with a CD player saying “Góðan daginn”, suggesting the recording is done in Iceland which isn’t correct. Most of the video is recorded in Miami but there are footage from the ever so popular Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
Alice Deejay – Back In My Life
Back in My Life is a song by Dutch group Alice DeeJay who is a Dutch Pop-trance project formed in ’98. Their biggest success was 1998 single Better Off Alone, which was a global success. The scenery is black sand beaches with waves rolling in and Reynisdrangar in the background.
Gerua – Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol
This is one of the more colorful videos recorded in south Iceland among the black sands, green fields, summer by Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, wrapped in rainbows, dark dresses flowing in the wind. The tune Gerua is from the Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. They were not prepared for the cold and Kajol apparently had to save Shah from falling into Skógafoss while they were on top of it. It also seems like the abandoned airplane on Sólheimarssandur came as a surprise for them so they decided to use it in the video.
The Saturdays – My Heart Takes Over
Once more we find ourselves by Kleifarvatn. These girls from the UK & Ireland are dancing around by the shore, the rocks and wind is blowing through the hairs. While they were wrapped up warm in coats, hats and gloves, Frankie Sandford, Mollie King, Una Healy, Rochelle Wiseman and Vanessa White saw no problems being lightly dress in the snow as they shot the video on the black sand beaches of Iceland.
Marco Mengoni – Ti ho voluto bene veramente
Marco is an Italian singer-songwriter. He rose to fame in 2009, after winning the third series of Italian talent show X Factor. The music video for the song Ti ho voluto bene veramente (I really loved you) was directed by Niccolò Celaia and Antonio Usbergo. Once more it’s the south side that was chosen but he also can be seen in Reykjavik, like when he is running away from the lighthouse at Grótta.
Read more: Campgrounds open all year around in Iceland
吳克群 Kenji Wu – 你是我的星球 You are my Jupiter
Kenji Wu is a Taiwanese Mandopop singer-songwriter and actor. As a young kid, he moved to Argentina but moved back to Taiwan to compete in MTV Taiwan’s “New Artist Fight Game”. The recording of the video for You are my Jupier took place in London and on icy, open fields and walking on the glacier Svinafellsjökull in Iceland. Kenji is one of the biggest starts in Taiwan.
Denai Moore – Blame
Denai Moore is from Jamaica and came here to shoot the video for Blame. Where it’s shoot is hard to see but it looks like she is sitting in a police cars with lights blazing and a man keeps on running after her while the police car slowly drives away. The song is about a big loss she experienced as a young girl. A beautiful video recording in January.
Washed Out – Amor Fati
Ernest Greene aka Washed Out, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. He is known for his hip hop-influenced chillwave songs and unique sound. Ernest & crew is not limited to the south side of Iceland, they go on a road trip on the Ring road and there are shots from all over Iceland.
New Politics – Tonight You’re Perfect
New Politics is a Danish rock band from Denmark formed in 2009. The band’s sound has been described as a blend of punk, pop, and electronically induced dance rock. The video for Tonight you’re perfect is a road movie but once more, restricted to the south side where they shoot in and around the usual suspects.
D-A-D – Reconstructed
D-A-D is a Danish rock band. It was originally named “Disneyland After Dark”, but had to be renamed after The Walt Disney Company threatened a lawsuit. The video for Reconstructed was filmed in the Blue Lagoon.
Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water
Avril Lavigne needs no introduction. She was recently here (Sep, 2018). Again it’s south Iceland that is the central stage. A job well done.
These tunes are just but a few of the many famous bands and artists who has chosen Iceland to be a part of, or fully represent their music videos. All the above videos can be found in our playlist we created for this “Music videos filmed in Iceland” blog. We hope you enjoy it both at home, wherever in the world you are or while driving around Iceland in a camper van and enjoying all these beautiful scenery you have now witnessed in these videos! While you are on our YouTube channel, we would really love it if you could subscribe to the channel also! 🙂 Thanks in advance!
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