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Top 10 Artists Who Rarely Appear In Their Music Videos

VO: Adrian Sousa
Watch closely because you may miss them, if they were even there. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Artists Who Rarely Appear in Their Music Videos. For this list, we’re looking at singers and bands known for not being in their own videos. And in doing so, we’ll be discussing the type of videos the artist or group tends to produce as well as those brief moments where they’ve made an appearance or why they never choose to appear at all.
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Top 10 Artists Who Rarely Appear In Their Music Videos

 
Watch closely because you may miss them, if they were even there. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Artists Who Rarely Appear in Their Music Videos.
For this list, we’re looking at singers and bands known for not being in their own videos. And in doing so, we’ll be discussing the type of videos the artist or group tends to produce as well as those brief moments where they’ve made an appearance or why they never choose to appear at all.
 
 

#10: Avicii

If you’re not watching closely, you may miss a brief glimpse of Avicii. Although Swedish producer Tim Berling’s music videos attract millions of views on YouTube, he rarely appears in them. Instead, he uses actors to play out narratives for his predominant EDM and progressive house music tracks. In the 2013 music video for ‘Wake Me Up’, the characters end up at an Avicii concert. The video briefly shows  snippets of him DJing on stage. Meanwhile, the 2015 360 degree music video for ‘Waiting for Love’, Avicii appears several times walking in and out of doors.
 





#9: Regurgitator




This Australian electronica-flavored alt-rock band is known for their unique music videos that convey their artistic creativity. Since their first full-length album in 1996, the band has been heavily influenced by cover art and old movies, which is further illustrated through many of their music videos, like ‘Polyester Girl’. Videos like ‘Fat Cop’, and the synthesized pop track, “! (The Song Formerly Known As)”, show band members singing to their song in the music video. Meanwhile, animated versions of the band members appear in the 1998 Pacman-esque music video for “I Like Your Old Remix Better Than Your New Remix”, making it a pretty clever non-appearance. 






#8: Above & Beyond

 
 Like most trance artists who use actors as visual elements for their music, this English progressive trance trio is no different. However, they do find creative ways to insert themselves in their music videos without drawing too much attention. Images of the band appear on a banner in the 2012 song “Alchemy” and a photograph held by an actor in the 2015 song “Counting Down the Days”. While rare, there are videos where Above & Beyond appear on video like in the 2009 clip for “On a Good Day.”





#7: Skrillex

 
Dubstep producer Sonny Moore sees music videos as a creative outlet rather than a self-branding scheme, but that’s not to say he doesn’t ever appear in them. Many of his music videos are inspired by science fiction and fantasy stories, for example tracks like “Bangarang” and “First of the Year”. These videos are driven by creative narratives, but it seems that Skrillex will make an appearance if there is another artist featured on his track. For example in “Purple Lamborghini” and “Would You Ever”, Skrillex appears alongside the other song artist frequently.
 
 

#6: Deadmau5

 

 Canadian DJ and producer Joel Zimmerman is recognizably known for wearing a rounded mouse head, but that doesn’t make him completely camera shy. Deadmau5 has appeared with and without his mask in some music videos. He appears unmasked in the video for “Ghosts N Stuff” as the main character.He also appears both masked and unmasked in the video for “Professional Greifers”. These videos are very different styles compared to his animated music videos for songs like “The Veldt” and “Telemiscommunications”, which he doesn’t even make an animated appearance. 




#5: Tool


The American rock band known as Tool has said the reason why they rarely appear in their music videos is because they want listeners to enjoy the music rather than latch onto personalities. They have been making videos since the 1990s, mostly using stop motion animation and surreal graphics influenced by fantastical and science fiction elements. That said, Tool appeared in their first 1992 music video for “Hush”. It featured band members naked with their private areas covered by parental advisory signs and their mouths covered by duct tape... which, perhaps, in retrospect, was a statement of some kind.  
 

#4: Fatboy Slim


English DJ and producer Norman Quentin Cook has been making music videos under the alias Fatboy Slim since the 1990s. He’s been awarded on many occasions for his videos, but he rarely appears in them himself. Cook briefly appeared in one of his MTV awarded music videos for the 1998 song ‘Praise You’. He appears briefly in the crowd, curiously watching the dancers for a few seconds and then walks off to the right. Meanwhile, Cook appears in the introduction portion of the video for “The Joker” with the winner of a Fatboy Slim video contest.
 
 

#3: Gorillaz

 
Gorillaz gained notoriety for never appearing in music videos. This has led the English band to become one of the most famous virtual bands in the world. From the get-go, Gorillaz’ catchy mix of pop, electronic, rap and reggae tunes featured four digitally animated characters that drive the narratives of their music videos. These animated characters created by artist and co-founder Jamie Hewlett are not personas nor do they represent any real musicians. Leader singer Damon Albarn believed the characters served as a way to mask the band’s identity, and he's not wrong.
 
 

#2: Daft Punk

 
It took a few years until Daft Punk finally made an appearance in their music videos. Electronic duo Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are well-known for hiding behind robot helmets, on stage and anywhere else. The music videos for their 2001 album ‘Discovery’ featured only anime characters. In the 2005 song “Technologic”, the duo appears with their helmets on the pyramid-shaped stage playing headless basses. The artists made a clearer appearance in the video for ‘Get Lucky’ and although they’re still masked, it’s impossible to miss them.    

 
#1: Sia 
Australian singer-songwriter Sia is famous for holding a mystery around herself. However, before her music videos became centered on young dancer Maddie Ziegler, Sia appeared in them herself. In early works like ‘Taken for Granted’ released in 2000 and “Breathe Me” released in 2004, Sia is the focal point of the music video. But as she injected into the pop mainstream, Sia hid behind her iconic straight blonde wig and used actors and dancers to feature in her music videos. Although she hopes to maintain anonymity, her heartfelt appearances in early music videos are not forgotten.
 

Do you agree with our list? Should artists or bands appear more or less in their music videos? For more interesting top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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