Grammy-nominated singer Khalid has a new album coming out, and the initially single, “New Normal,” is as clean and breezy as a summer time afternoon, which is odd simply because the video that accompanies the track is rather a great deal a venture capitalist’s aspiration come correct.
The online video depicts a futuristic utopia full of skyscraper gardens, autonomous vehicles, drone deliveries, and intelligent households. Khalid’s movie is brimming with real solutions from real businesses, not generic variations — a indicator that the singer probably had some input from Silicon Valley in crafting his really like letter to our surveillance capitalist nightmare of a future.
You know things are off to an appealing begin when Khalid, rocking some sick blueish purple hair, rolls up to his apartment in a robotaxi from autonomous auto startup Zoox. The corporation, which is owned by Amazon, only just unveiled the toaster-formed driverless shuttle last December. It is not even out there to the public nonetheless, but in Khalid’s imagined long term, the highway is teeming with Zoox shuttles — and only Zoox shuttles. (I was tipped off to the online video by a PR representative from Zoox, but have but to obtain a reply as to no matter whether the business paid out for the product or service placement.)
As Khalid dances by way of the inside of LA’s Bradbury Setting up (manufactured well-known by Blade Runner, a far more realistic version of the future), other folks are inserting packages into drones that excitement all-around the building’s broad atrium. Why are the drones inside of the creating? Will not they just smash into the skylight? Is there some type of rooftop portal for the drones that managed to get put in in spite of the Bradbury Building’s designation as a countrywide historic landmark in 1977? These and other concerns go unanswered as Khalid carries on to lazily shimmy via the music.
The singer then enters what I can only describe as a sanitized version of Korben Dallas’ apartment in The Fifth Ingredient (a further far more accurate depiction of our chaotic and punitive upcoming compared to this). The home is hardly more substantial than a closet, but the walls are lined with hydroponic plants, which I guess is supposed to make us come to feel better about living in what is basically a perfectly-lit coffin. Khalid utilizes a spray bottle to h2o his vegetation. We still have spray bottles in the potential!
But possibly I spoke too quickly, due to the fact the subsequent shot exhibits us an computerized watering process activated by Khalid’s PS5. All over again, this raises a ton of concerns: how significantly into the future can this be, if he however has a PS5? Probably he’s into retro consoles? And why would the PS5 be controlling his water filtration system? Is it now a intelligent home hub? I’m so perplexed.
Exterior, swarms of knee-high delivery robots jockey for space on the sidewalk. The advertising and marketing team at Starship Technologies must be kicking themselves above their failure to get their brand name title in this video. Khalid sings into some kind of good house panel on his wall, and his vocals are transmitted by way of the delivery robots apparently. Not confident how I come to feel about sidewalk robots that sing even though also trampling our toes, but let’s shift on.
Then, in what appears to be a specifically shameless second of merchandise placement, the singer remotely pays for something on his clever dwelling panel (for what? it’s unclear) making use of Chime, a startup explained to be worth $14.5 billion. Does anyone basically use Chime? Khalid absolutely sure does. Who needs the Income application? Only the best fintech for our guy.
As the video winds down, we stop on the image of Khalid opening his blinds to see a big billboard outdoors his window promotion rocket visits. It is a minor unclear what the advert is providing. A 90-minute rocket excursion to the moon would be really, truly speedy. Almost certainly much too rapidly for any of the quasi-sensible tech highlighted in this movie. Is it position-to-place business rocket vacation among LA and New York, in the vein of Elon Musk’s aborted concept from a few many years in the past? If that was the situation, 90 minutes would be as well lengthy. Is Khalid’s history label, RCA, sponsoring these rocket trips? Shade me skeptical.
Khalid’s unabashed appreciate for Silicon Valley culture shouldn’t be that stunning. Soon after all, the singer debuted his solitary “New Normal” all through a stay overall performance at Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight start, which despatched Virgin CEO Richard Branson to the incredibly edge of house. He obviously has a smooth place for large, multinational businesses looking for to change the material of our fact.
But whilst the video may be unrestrained in its intimate emotions for Large Tech’s quest to dominate our lives, the lyrics are essentially a minimal far more nuanced, even sort of defeatist. “Although I simply cannot guarantee you much / You are going to be finе, you’ll be great,” Khalid croons. I definitely hope that turns out to be real.