Rihanna’s video for “Diamonds” is a feast for the eyes. It’s full of dreamy, surreal images of the pop star, as she (somewhat mournfully) makes her way through a number of sometimes-unimaginable set-ups.
The dreamlike scenes run the gamut of the beautiful and the sad. She’s singing in the desert with two wild horses. Later, she’s in a post-apocalyptic world while people around her go up in flames. She rolls up cigarettes made of diamonds and other stuff (recalling the track’s album art). She goes swimming. She cries. She even clutches the tattooed arm of her lover.
If fans are confused by what’s happening in the video, that’s just fine. According to the singer, the Anthony Mandler-directed clip is running more on emotion, than any tangible storyline.
“With every song it’s a different story, so the visuals are very specific to that story and that world. With ‘Diamonds,’ it was just a series of vignettes that we put together to help get the emotion across throughout the song ’cause the song changes and it builds, and there’s no real way that you could do that,” she explained. “You just want people to feel that and I wanted little cutaways of interactions that would give you the right emotion.”
Mandler and Rihanna are no strangers to creating memorable videos. While “Diamonds” is their latest baby, they have also collaborated on videos for “Hate That I Love You,” “Disturbia,” “Russian Roulette” “Only Girl (In the World)” and “Man Down,” among others.
“Diamonds” is not only visually setting the tone for her November 19 album release, Unapologetic, but also giving fans an idea of what they may hear on it. “It was the right powerful record,” she said. “It was hopeful. It was also different from what people are used to hearing from me. It was a song that meant something, and that’s the whole theme throughout the album.”