13 Beautiful International Music Video Locations

By Reshma Dewda on Dec 22, 2015
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Every song takes us on a journey. Songs have the power to trigger unforeseen emotions and reactions in their audience. A music video is to a song what a plot is to a movie. It puts the lyrics of the song in perspective and weaves a story that helps the audience connect to the melody. Who can forget the video of November Rain where Slash is seen performing his soulful solo in middle of the desert prairie or when Michael Jackson led us into outer space for Scream? These powerful videos have remained in our psyche and continue to haunt our memories even long after they were released.
Here are some unforgettable songs that were shot in equally exotic locations:

1. They Don’t Care About Us: Michael Jackson

Shot in : Pelourinho in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro
One of Michael’s most controversial compositions, this song is also one of his most memorable one. The original video was shot in Brazil at Pelourinho and Rio. There was much uproar in Brazil about the filming of this song as the authorities did not want the country to be portrayed as impoverished and a place where human rights were abused. But what came out in the video was the candid picture of one of the most colorful places on earth. The adulation of people for Michael is clearly seen in the video as is the undying spirit to thrive that Brazilians have. The video was shot in the shanty alleyways under the security of 1500 policemen.

2. Desert Rose: Sting

Shot in: Mojave Desert and Las Vegas
Desert Rose turned out to be Sting’s most popular song that made him a household name throughout the world. Cheb Mami’s soulful voice combined with Sting’s silken vocals created sheer magic all across international music charts. The song starts with Sting riding through the mystical Mojave desert in his sleek Jaguar, leading up to a Las Vegas club where he performs. The varied hues of the desert and the camera angles of the video created a magical combination that complemented the vocals beautifully.

3. Do I Have to Say the Words: Bryan Adams

Shot in: Istanbul and Iceland
Bryan Adams fans will swear by the artiste’s earlier songs like 'Do I have to say the words'. His rugged personality and unique voice won over millions of hearts that still melt with the very mention of his name. This song peaked the Canadian and Billboard charts and shot to instant fame when it released in 1992. The music video was shot mostly in Istanbul with some parts being shot in Iceland. The video shows the busy, everyday life of Istanbul, showing the city in a new light.

4. Wildest Dreams: Taylor Swift

Shot in: Africa
Taylor Swift’s songs have rocked the world because of their heartfelt lyrics and melodies. Wildest Dreams is an exotic video shot in Africa, showing the continent in all its glory. From the mighty show of galloping waterfalls to the regality of animals like the lion and the giraffe, the video adds a whole new imagination to the song. Shot in north eastern Botswana in the Kalahari desert, the video adds an exotic fervor to the song which is already topping most international charts.

5. A Head Full of Dreams: Coldplay

Shot in: Mumbai
The recently released album of Coldplay comes with great expectations and loads of curiosity. Even though the band tried to keep it secret, it was revealed that one of the videos of this album was shot on the crowded streets of Mumbai, depicting the festival of colors, Holi. Coldplay’s fanfare has grown tremendously over the years and they are now a globally successful band that has followers in all corners of the world. We expect the video to be true to Coldplay’s signature style- candid and straight from the heart. Mumbai is a city that harbors a million dreams and we guess that this video would capture its eclectic soul beautifully.

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6. Air Balloon: Lilly Allen

Shot in: Cape Town
Lilly Allen’s satirical songs and candy floss tunes have earned her a huge fan following over the years. Her songs are known to be relatable and distinctive and even though this catchy tune delivers her signature style beautifully, it does have unusual lyrics that were criticized for being ‘nonsensical’ by some. It was shot in Cape Town where Lilly is shown to be in a verdant open space surrounded by young grass and handsome mountains. The songstress is seen interacting with animals like zebra and cheetahs that depict the rich variety of wildlife present in South Africa.

7. Pound the Alarm : Nicki Minaj

Shot in: Trinidad and Tobago
Nicki Minaj seems to have got it right. Most of her songs are chartbusters and within a short time, she has garnered much global attention. The song called Pound the Alarm was Nicki’s tribute to her homestead Trinidad and Tobago. The video shows this gorgeous Caribbean country in all its vibrant hues. The vivid colors of the sea, palms and the carnival are depicted in the video, showing the exciting opportunities that this tiny island nation has to offer.

Read our blog :7 Experiences You Simply Can't Miss at Trinidad and Tobago

Shot in: Iceland
Justin’s new song has become quite a sensation, just like him. Shot in Iceland, the song shows Justin walk through a lush green landscape that is oddly reminiscent of a Game of Thrones backdrop. He is also seen swimming in virgin streams and staring at the sweeping vistas that surround him. The song is packed with emotion and is quite a powerful melody. The video enhances the effect of the song and gives us a visual that lingers long after.

9. Shine ya light: Rita Ora

Shot in: Pristina, Kosovo

Rita Ora thought it was her duty to shoot this video in Pristina, where she was born. The infectious energy of the city is palpable throughout the video. Rita is seen gigging for excited crowds throughout the video. The backdrop of Pristina provides the song with the unique juxtaposition of modernity and tradition. A great introduction to the pot pourri that is Pristina, this video got this quiet European town in the limelight.

10. Whistle : Florida

Shot in: Acapulco, Mexico
This song caught the fancy and the irk of many as soon as it was released. Shot in Acapulco, the song is basically about women in scanty bikinis but it’s difficult to ignore the spellbinding backdrop of the turquoise blue waters in the video. Acapulco is known as Mexico’s original party town and is flanked with silky, golden beaches and green forests. Even though this place is overdeveloped now, it still retains much of its original charm.

11. Last Christmas: Wham

Shot in: Switzerland
George Michael gave us plenty of reason to smile with the release of this Christmas song that topped most charts and stayed in our hearts till long after. Switzerland was featured in the video in all of its winter glory. The Christmas spirit was evident in the snowfall and the powdered snow on pine trees. The song wove a story about love and dejection that managed to capture our attention and our hearts too. The video is epic for another reason- it is the last time we see a clean shaven Michael in public!

12. Fireworks: Katy Perry

Shot in: Budapest
This video was unlike any of Katy’s other videos. It was shot against the skyline of Budapest and shows Katy’s soul burst out in a firecracker, depicting her undying spirit and resolve. Just like her, the video also shows many timid people like a shy, plump girl and a leukemia patient test their courage and take the plunge to do something they never imagined possible. A number of youths are seen converging in the courtyard at Buda Castle, lighting up the night in fireworks. The video complemented the song beautifully and personified courage and spirit.

13. Numb: Linkin Park

Shot in: Prague
Linkin Park’s Meteora put the group on the global map with its impactful songs and melodies. Numb topped many charts soon after its release and has been counted amongst one of the band’s memorable performances even today. The video for the song was shot entirely in Prague, including the indoor scenes. Monuments like St. Vitus cathedral, Charles bridge have been featured in the video. The video follows the story of a young, outcast college student and her struggles. It sent out a strong message about the social problems of young kids and became quite popular on the internet.

These artistes have given us indelible stories along with catchy tunes. These stories have carried social messages and fictional tales that have had a profound impact on the audience because of the direction and the iconic locations , giving them a special signature that has come to be recognized as the spirit of the song.

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