Spice Girls - Wannabe
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Case Study two A British band Spice Girls - Wannabe
The artist backgroundThe Spice girls were an English pop girl group, who formed in 1994. The band was made up of 5 members Melanie Chisholm "Sporty Spice", Emma Bunton "Baby Spice", Melanie Brown "Scary Spice", Victoria Beckham "Posh Spice", and Geri Halliwell "Ginger Spice". The group was put together by father and son management team Bob and Chris Herbert. They decided to put a girl group together to try and compete with all of the boy bands around at the time, such as Take That and Backstreet Boys. An ad was placed in the newspaper, The Stage for an audition time and over 400 women turned up, and after many auditions they picked the final 5. The fact that the group was put together suggests that the group is more mainstream, as they were created for a purpose and an audience already in there mind.
The song Wannabe was the debut single for the band and it was released 26th June 1996 and it was the first single released from their album Spice. Overall the single was a massive success, for example, The song topped the UK singles chart for 7 weeks Topped the charts in over 31 countries, including the Billboard chart in America Best single at the 1997 BRIT awards Best British-Written Single at the 1997 Ivor Novella Awards In addition the biggest success may be the fact that Wannabe is the bestselling single by a female group off all time, selling over six million copiesworldwide
GenreIt is very important that you have the right genre for the audience. The genre of this song is Dance-pop, which is also known as Disco. This genre fits in very well with the younger audience that the Spice Girls were aimed at. This genre also shows us that at the time the Spice Girls were going for a very mainstream audience because this type of music was very popular in the mid to late 90s when the Spice Girls were around. The conventions for this genre are: Music that is up-tempo and is likely to be played in clubs, as it is music that is easy to dance to Aimed at a young adult clubbing age range Catchy songs with an easy, pop-based structure Simple lyrics
Genre conventions met in WannabeSome genre conventions which are met is the actual song. For example, the music is very up-beat and joyful, which fits in with the idea off being a Dance- pop song. The lyrics of the song are also very simple, for example the line I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want is continually repeated throughout the song, making the lyric structure rather simple. In addition the video also shows its pop side, for example when they pull the cloth off the table where two important men are eating. This shows how fun they are because the two men eating seem to be very powerful, and this can be suggested by their clothes which they are wearing, such as the red sash, as this represents someone royal. The fact that the Spice Girls are annoying them suggests they are out to cause mayhem and have some fun, and these ideas help promote the bubblegum pop idea that the spice girls are so well known for.
Genre conventions challenged in WannabeOne genre convention which is challenged in this video is the idea that the music and video should be aimed at a clubbing age range. But this is not the case for this video, as the audience is clearly younger. From watching the video you can clearly see that the audience for the Spice Girls music is a younger audience, for example the shot at the start of the children getting out of the car, as I feel this is suggesting that the children have arrived to see them perform. These children also have what seems to be there parents opening the door for them, and this is an idea that children would like, where as adults probably wouldnt, as it is suggesting the children are more powerful than the adults. In addition the costumes that the Spice Girls are wearing also helps suggest the target audience is younger because the clothes help represent each members easier. For example, baby spice is wearing a white dress, and this colour represents her as being innocent, as does her hair in bunches, as this is usually how children have their hair. This suggests that the target audience is younger because each member is dressed stereotypically to fit their personalities, and it seems that they have done this so children can easily tell which member is which.
Links between lyrics and visualsThere are many links between lyrics and visuals in this music video. Firstly, the idea that the lyrics are very simple and fun, for example I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah the fact that the word zigazig had been created just for this song creates an element of fun in the lyrics, and this is also represented in the video as the video is very upbeat and fun because the idea is that the Spice Girls are party crashing an expensive hotel. There are also many other fun moments in the video, such as at the start where Baby Spice throws all of the Matre ds papers into the air. This action represents the fun and carefree nature off the song and the lyrics. Secondly another way in which the visuals link with the lyrics is the line Slam your body down and wind it all around this is linked through the fact that these lyrics has a dance move which matches it, this shows that they created a link through lyrics and visuals through dance moves. The use of easy dance moves is also a very good idea because it is something that the audience can do at home and it makes the audience feel more involved.These images show the shot with the papers being thrown and the slam dance move.
Narrative structureThere is a small amount of plot in this video because it is a performance, and partly a concept video. The performance part of this video is very important because the dance moves will interest the young audience, as they will want to join in. Also, because the camera is moving at all times the performance aspect also helps, because the dancing means that they are continually moving along with the camera. This video is also partly concept because through the lyrics they are trying to portray the message that you should value female friendship over the heterosexual bond. This is a strong message because it shows female empowerment, which the Spice Girls were well known for. It can be suggested that this video also has an enigma code, because the group are at this hotel, and you dont know why they are there, so the narrative starts off with an unanswered question.
Representation of BritainThis video represents Britain in a very stereotypical way. Firstly, the video was shot at the St. Pancreas Grand Hotel in London. This hotel is very grand and represents Britain as being very historic and wealthy. In addition in the shot below you can also see a customer arriving in a Rolls Royce, This is also a good advertisement for the brand, and it is also showing off the best of British, as it is a British car. This car represents power and wealth. This shot is also very interesting because on the far left you can see someone sitting on the floor, who is wrapped in a blanket, which suggests that he may be homeless as it looks like he is begging. This is interesting as we have the beggar and the Rolls Royce both in the same shot, and it is like one end of the spectrum to the other. I feel this may have been done because it shows the Spice Girls in the middle, so this may suggest that the Spice Girls dont take sides, they are just in the middle, this idea also helps promote the fun carefree ideas that this video is showing. This represents a realistic view of Britain as it showing ore than one persons perspective.
How it fits with my workThe music video for Wannabe has inspired me for my music video mainly because I love the girl power theme that the Spice Girls had as I feel that it is very empowering. And my artist is also a girl band, so I feel that it is very important that the artists look strong, as the song is very powerful, so the video needs to have this vibe as well. I also really like in this video how the close-up shots off each band member are done, because it is a demand of the record label that there must be close-up's of the band to help promotion. And I feel this is handled very well in this video because the close-ups have been made so that each member gets the same amount of time, to promote themselves. I feel this is important because normally in a band one member is made to stand out above all of the rest, and this is what usually leads to fights, and I would want my band to be happy in what they are doing, and this therefore means that the band would be less likley to break up.