Behind the scenes: The deeper meaning behind “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” music video

Harry Styles’s newest music video for his song “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” was released on Oct. 27 and reached the top 10 in YouTube Music after Taylor Swift and Rihanna’s recent music videos.

This cinematic masterpiece symbolically tackles issues in the entertainment industry in a fever dream-like manner.

The music video begins with a few men finding a wild half-human, half-squid Styles with a beard on the beach. The men decide to bring him into their sushi bar along with other sea creatures they found.

When Styles wakes up, he finds the men violently preparing the seafood around him in their restaurant’s kitchen. The men continue to prepare the seafood aggressively but stop when the half-squid Styles sings. After realizing his talent, the chefs decide to treat him differently and attempt to tame him in hopes of using him for his talents.

The chefs utilize the singing squid as entertainment for the sushi bar instead of as a meal. Styles is clean-shaven and pampered into a luxurious lifestyle by the owners.

Half-squid Styles performs for the sushi bar successfully, but after he messes up a couple of notes during a performance, the chefs turn back to their violent ways and see him as seafood once again. They no longer view him as raw talent, but as a failed performer.

The metaphor in this music video shows the dark side of fame in the entertainment industry.

Many artists are instantly scrapped in the industry because of their lack of originality, similar to the seafood prepared around Harry Styles. They don’t have the ability or platform to stand up for themselves and are instantly disregarded.

Styles was formerly a member of One Direction which provided him a platform to rising fame before he decided to create music independently. Because of his premature fame, he was able to speak out and prove himself and his talents better than other artists could initially as they went into the industry.

Celebrities are swarmed with fans and labels to provide their needs through finances, further fame, tours and more. The industry provides all their necessities to thrive but holds a dark side as well.

The chefs and restaurant owners to me represent how record labels and the media have a tight hold on the expectations of an artist. They are restricted in creative freedom to meet the audiences’ requests to be heavily regulated for personal benefit.

With cancel culture continuing to rise, this could represent Styles’ fear of messing up. The moment someone has made it to the top and makes their first flop, previous supporters will forget them as they once were; they see a failure and ultimately move onto something else, which leaves the artist as an individual struggling and forgotten.

This music video was oddly enjoyable in its abstract approach and surreal storyline that keep your eyes glued. It opens the doors to multiple interpretations, leaving audiences to piece together the video for themselves and question how this symbolizes our society and Styles as an artist.