After earning her first solo No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Jan. 12 for her raw breakup single “Without Me,” Halsey was dethroned the following week by Post Malone and Rae Sremmurd’s “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).” But on Jan. 26, she rebounded to the top, thanks to a remix with Juice WRLD -- and a vertical music video optimized for watching on a phone. Released to YouTube on Jan. 9 following an exclusive Spotify premiere last October, the video propelled a surge in streaming that brought Halsey back to No. 1.
“Typically, we create a vertical video as an afterthought and tack it onto an official video shoot,” says Targa Sahyoun, vp video content and production at Capitol Music Group. But this time, the label shot a new clip specifically for vertical, which allowed director Brooke Nipar to get the perfect frame. Nipar turned the camera vertically from the outset, zeroing in on the singer’s eyes and lips as she was showered with water. “We could get her angles,” says Sahyoun. “If you’re just punching in on an existing wide-format image, you’re not able to pick up those details or get that intimacy that we really wanted.”