Mr. Probz - Waves
by Eva Schmitt
The song “Waves” was originally released by Mr Probz in 2013 as an acoustic studio version from the album “The Treatment”. This version of the song only made it to the 26th position in the Dutch charts. In 2014 the song was re-recorded by Robin Schulz as an electronic version which made it to the top positions in the charts.
The remix of the song “Waves“ puts the lovers of electronic beats into a summer and holiday, but at the same time, melancholic mood. The song and its video are a nice way to chill and relax in the summer without having to put too much thoughts into it. The music video depicts the lyrics perfectly and shows Mr Probz’s message of suffering for love. Lines like “I’m slowly drifting away” or “it feels like I’m drowning” are performed during the video straight forward when the main character drifts into the pool and tries to drown himself. It is a sing along song and definitely has a hunting melody perfect for the summer and this combination might be the reason why it stayed in the charts for such a long time.
Due to the fact that this music video does not have a very creative part to it, this paper puts a big focus on the storyline and the possible thoughts behind it but will as well point out some of the filmic devices used. At the end a conclusion is drawn to sum up the discusses points.
In general the two artists, Mr Probz and Robin Schulz have not much in common and especially their musical style is contrasting. This on the other hand might be the secret to their success with the song “Waves”, a combination of a nice tune and electronic beats and therefore a totally different version than the arcoustic version of Mr Probz.
Born as Dennis Princewell Stehr the artist with Dutch and Antillian decent started his career through the graffiti culture and writing his own lyrics which lead the way into the hip hop scene. Rumors were spread that he was a victim in a shooting and therefore became part of the Dutch hip hop scene. But for a fact a role in the hip hop film “Bolletjes Blues” really gave his career a push. In 2010 he released his debut album “The Treatment” which included his best known single “Waves”. After the great success of the single in the Netherlands it took a while for the song to come to international success but with the help of the German DJ Robin Schulz Mr Probz became worldwide known.
The German electronic DJ, producer and label owner started his career from a young age being a DJ at small events but at the early age of 20 started to host his own electronic parties and this lead to him getting booked as an act on festivals. His party range “Electroschnipsel” became a huge success in Osnabrück and soon more and more clubs hosted his. In the year 2009 he started to produce his own songs in order to implement his ideas. Starting out rather small he soon founded his own record label “Lausbubenrecords” where he re-released unknown songs and mixed them with his own electronic beats to lead them to international success.
2014 seemed to be his year of success due to the fact that next to the huge achievement with “Waves” he also remixed the song “Prayer in C” with the French artists Lilly Wood & the Prick and achieved even greater results. In September 2014 his new album “Prayer” is released.
Music Video “Waves”
The song “Waves” consists of two different verses and the refrain which makes it easy to sing along to. But not just the lyrics are kept simple and as well the melody is easily remembered due to its catchy tune. The storyline of the video itself is kept straightforward and easy: A good-looking man gets stranded on a lonely island. The whole atmosphere in the video is gloomy and the weather on this dream island seems to reflect this. He is in a very thoughtful mood and keeps having flashbacks about the romantic holiday he had with his girlfriend in Mexico. The nice parts about the country are shown throughout the video such as old ruins but as well the poverty and it seems that during their holiday they like to see boths faces of the country. The man sees his girlfriend everywhere, dreams of the nice moments they have during their getaway and keeps having hallucinations of her being on the island with him. Through the flashbacks the reason for the separation of the couple becomes clear. They have an argument during their romantic time out and she leaves him to flirt with other men. He ends his grief by getting drunk and trying to drown himself in the hotel’s swimming pool. This again leads to the beginning of the video when he is floating in the ocean.
Neither one of the two artists are shown during the video in any way, but the couple acts out Mr Probz message of the suffering for love. They try to represent the young and rich lifestyle with a carefree and unproblematic life but still make themselves problems and end up seperated. The man looks as if he shoots a commercial; he almost died in the ocean but still looks seductive with his ripped clothes. He never loses his sadness and especially his eyes make the viewer have sympathy with him. The lifestyle the couple represents is typical for the “electronic Ibiza generation”, travelling to different countries and being layed back but still not wanting to foregone anything. This lifestyle became common during the last couple years: Backpacking tourists travelling through to poor countries and showing compassion with all the suffering people but still not wanting to be without the luxurious preferences.
“Why travel all that way to look at poor people?”
As already mentioned in the music video the main characters are represented as young travelers with a great passion of discovery trying to learn more about other countries and their cultural background. When having a closer look at them though it becomes clear that they, even though they travel to a third world country, like to be far off the poverty in a nice luxurious hotel with all their common amenities. The question arises why they even travel to such a poor country with all this poverty when they much rather stay in safe distance to the reality. It might be because they like to enjoy the advantages of countries with a weak currency; feeling like kings and queens without actually paying much for it.
In this case though it is more likely to be due to the fact that they like the dropout feeling in a country like Mexico. Following the neo-hippie chic is to separate themselves from the other rich and luxury loving young people and making themselves look like they do not care about money and the financial situation a lot, even though they obviously do otherwise they would not care for a nice hotel. They are trying to be someone they are not quiet. It certainly is a matter of the financial security whether or not people can afford to have a break in their life and have a little time out. The characters chosen in this music video fulfill all these traits; they are young and good-looking, seem to be rich and enjoy the layed back lifestyle.
The music video is not a piece of very creative artwork and the director puts a bigger focus on the storyline instead of the filmic devices, due to that fact the music video depicts the lyrics very well but not in a very creative way. It cannot be said though that the director does not use any special tools to bring the message to the viewer.
In order to create a romantic atmosphere a slightly faded filter is put over the whole video. This lets the viewer dive into the main character's mood and he is able to see the world through the man's eyes. In order to achieve this, the director uses a camera angle from the man's perspective which makes it seem like the viewer looks through the man's eyes. Through this simple trick the viewer can feel sympathy for the man and gets his passionate love for his girlfriend brought closer.
All throughout the video the beautiful landscape of the Mexican island is put in a special focus and dominates with a gloomy atmosphere, contrasting this the shots of the man and his girlfriend are brighter again and the colors change to more vivid tones. This could be due to the fact that when the man strands on the island he shows an expression of sadness whereas when he is on holiday with his girlfriend they are spreading energy; at least before their argument.
The video uses quick screen changes that are in the same rhythm as the beat of the song, as well as a quick change between the two settings, the island and the romantic holiday. This again shows the man's disruption between the feelings for his girlfriend and the pain caused by her disloyalty.
Another cinematic device the director uses are blend ins, which are supposed to represent the man's hallucinations. He is in a melancholic mood and dreams of his girlfriend. These blend ins are placed perfectly so that at first the viewer cannot be sure if his girlfriend might not be at the island with him, but as quick as she blends in, she also blends out again.
The story of the music video shows a mixture of the neo-hippie culture and the luxurious youth, where the couple represents the dropout lifestyle without fully losing their comfort. They are “wannabe” laid back with having a security cushion.
The whole storyline is very cliché with a couple on a romantic holiday, but whereas he is in a romantic and thoughtful mood, she just wants to have fun. After a fight he ends up on the island of melancholy and even though she was the one not wanting him he sees her in every move he makes and truly misses her. Funny enough even though he seems like a softy, he knows very well how to survive on a lonely island without losing the perfect look from a shower gel advertisement.
The director of the video puts the meaning of the song directly on a plate and does not leave the viewer much room for own interpretations. From the creative viewpoint the video does not offer a firework for the senses but is still a nice and easy to listen to song for a summer day.
After listening to the song and watching the video over and over it can be said that a catchy tune can get annoying very quick. Especially the monotone melody and lyrics are produced to get stuck in people's heads quick but also get on their nerves after a bit. So the at first summer and sing along song turned out to be my personal most annoying song.
- Biography Mr Probz, http://www.billboard.com/artist/5895217/mr-probz/biography, 27.07.14.
- Biography Robin Schulz, https://www.facebook.com/robin.schulz.official/info, 29.07.14.
- Groundwater, Ben. Why travel all that way to look at poor people. Sydney: 2012.
- The Sydney Morning Herald. Date of access 04.08.14
- Music Video “Waves”