About a month ago, it was reported that a video for Elton John and Britney Spears’ collaboration “Hold Me Closer” was in the works. At the time, no timeline for when the video would arrive was given, but now we know: The clip premiered today (September 27).
Spears and John themselves don’t star in the clip. Instead, it features dancers going through smooth and kinetic choreography in diverse and colorful environments. On Instagram, John noted the clip was shot in Mexico City by director Tanu Muiño and that it “beautifully [captures] an immeasurable feeling of intimacy so missing from the world through the turmoil and chaos of recent times.”
Muiño — whose filmography includes the videos for Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” Lil Nas X’s “Montero,” and Cardi B’s “Up,” among others — also offered a statement in a press release, saying:
“This was an emotional one for me as I grew up with Britney. After seeing ‘Slave For You,’ I decided that I wanted to become a video director. Elton John is an icon that I and the world grew up listening to. Going into this video, I knew there would be a lot of emotional expectations the audience and fans would have. With this responsibility, I had to do something different and unexpected. The visuals had to be different. The dance had to be forward-thinking to raise eyebrows and make Elton and Britney proud. To capture this magic, we shot around all my favorite architectural locations in Mexico City and brought on choreographer Jacob Jonas who does the best contemporary choreography today. Getting the best dancers, crew, and access to some of the most private locations in the world was simple as everyone wanted to work with Elton John and be part of his legacy.”
Ahead of the song’s release, Spears offered some excited praise of John, writing on Instagram, “You can bet your bottom dollar that THIS collaboration will heighten my year by joining your brilliant hands of play. Thank you for your [generosity] and just thinking of me to join you on such a brilliant song !!! How cool is it to be a background voice ON YOUR song !!! Sir Elton I did it thanks to your genius, creative, and legendary mind !!! I am so grateful !!!”
John later said in an interview, “I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it is a big hit, and I think it may be, it will give her so much more confidence than she’s got already and she will realize that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy. That’s all anybody in their right mind would want after she went through such a traumatic time.”
Watch the “Hold Me Closer” video above.