Watch Sufjan Stevens’ Video for New Song “Video Game”

Sufjan Stevens has shared the latest single from his new album The Ascension. This one’s called “Video Game.” It arrives with the below Nicole Ginelli-directed video starring and choreographed by Jalaiah Harmon (creator of the viral “Renegade” dance). Stevens said of the song and video in a statement:

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.

Jalaiah epitomizes 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 honored she agreed. She clearly owns it, and her work here is beautiful, poignant and true.

“This was my first time being asked to create choreo for a whole song,” Harmon said in a statement. “So I was 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. 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.”

The singer-songwriter’s new album is out September 25 via Asthmatic Kitty. The follow-up to 2015’s Carrie & Lowell features the previously shared 12-minute single “America.” He recently released that single’s non-album B-side “My Rajneesh,” a song about Wild Wild Country subject and founder of the Rajneesh movement, Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh.

Read “Tracking Sufjan Stevens’ Fascination with Outer Space” on the Pitch.

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