The director of Lady Gaga’s new “911” video has revealed that he first hoped to use the concept for a Massive Attack video decades ago.
When Lady Gaga first revealed the “911” video, she said on Instagram that it was based on an idea that director Tarsem Singh had developed 25 years ago. Singh, whose previous credits include the films The Cell and Mirror Mirror, told Entertainment Weekly that he in fact first devised the idea 28 years ago in what a friend called “basically The Wizard of Oz without the first act”.
Singh says that after Gaga reached out about working with him, he told her that he was not familiar with her music, but together they shaped the concept into the final version you see in “911”, in which Gaga constructs a fantasy in her mind following a car crash.
“Around 20 years ago, I thought this would fit an idea for Massive Attack,” Singh explained. “I love their song ‘Angel’. But our schedules never worked. I wanted to do it in Namibia in the sand dunes, but I’d already done The Cell (in sand), so the idea kind of went away. Then, I got ‘911’.”
He added: “I didn’t realise how close the idea was to what happened to her. When she told me (what the song) means, (the concept) fit like a glove. I made it not about blood loss, but about the opposite of being high on drugs: Basically, a lack of a drug.”