Sufjan Stevens has released his brand new single ‘Video Game’ — check out its accompanying video, which stars TikTok dancer Jalaiah Harmon, below.
The track is the second to be previewed from Stevens’ upcoming new album ‘The Ascension’, which is set for release on September 25.
Following on from last month’s arrival of the LP’s first single ‘America’, Stevens has this afternoon (August 13) released the official clip for ‘Video Game’. Directed by Nicole Ginelli, the clip features Jalaiah Harmon — the teenage creator of the TikTok-famous ‘Renegade’
Harmon choreographed the ‘Video Game’ clip, a task that she says made her “a little nervous in the beginning”.
“But once I really broke the song into parts and listened to the lyrics over and over, I just put moves together that connected to the words and felt natural for me to do,” she said. “I think I’m still really trying to get used to this kind of success, so I can’t really define it just yet. I just know that when you work hard and you treat others with kindness and fairness, good things come back to you.”
You can watch Harmon star in the video for Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Video Game’ below.
Speaking about ‘Video Game’, Stevens said: “It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where the value of people is quantified by likes, followers, listeners and views. So many people are seeking attention for the wrong reasons. I think we should all be doing our best work without looking for accolades or seeking reward.
“The main takeaway of ‘Video Game’ for me is: your worth (invaluable) should never be based on other people’s approval (ephemeral). Just be yourself. Keep it real. Keep it moving. Do all things with absolute purity, love and joy. And always do your best.”
Stevens went on to praise Harmon, saying: “Jalaiah epitomises all of this and I’m truly inspired by her. So I thought, ‘what if we could get Jalaiah to star in a “dance video” about not wanting to star in a “dance video?”’ I’m so honoured she agreed. She clearly owns it, and her work here is beautiful, poignant and true.
“Her dance shows incredible energy, work ethic and spirit. She is dancing for herself, not anyone else. Her choreography is sophisticated, nuanced, and fun. She is a star. She keeps it real. She keeps it moving. She keeps it true. What a blessing!”
‘The Ascension’ is Stevens’ first full solo studio album since 2015’s ‘Carrie & Lowell’. In a recent statement about the album, Stevens said: “My objective for this album was simple: Interrogate the world around you. Question anything that doesn’t hold water. Exterminate all bullshit. Be part of the solution or get out of the way. Keep it real. Keep it true. Keep it simple. Keep it moving.”
Late last month, Stevens featured on Mina Tindle’s single ‘Give A Little Love’.