Charli XCX and Troye Sivan smashed every iconic ’90s music video into one long homage for their new track, ‘1999.’ Watch the singers impersonate Justin Timberlake, the Spice Girls, and so many more!
Are you ready for a blast to the past? Charli XCX, 26, and Troye Sivan, 23, pulled off throwing almost every ’90s pop culture reference into their music video for “1999,” and the most wardrobe changes we’ve ever seen. At the beginning of the video, released on Oct. 11, a modern-day Charli gets into her Lyft. The simulation warps into her iPhone and out pops the singer, transformed into the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs! From there, Charli and Troye recreate the most legendary music videos from the decade of Tamagotchis: TLC’s “Waterfalls,” the Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There,” Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady,” the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and NSYNC’s “Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy).” Check out the music video stills in our gallery above!
The collaborators not only spoofed music videos, but poked fun at cult classic films too: The Titanic, The Blair Witch Project, American Beauty and The Matrix. Skechers, a Nokia 3310 and the Sims video game were among other winks at the bygone era. The pop stars were able to jam pack so much ’90s-related action into their music video thanks to deepfakes…yes, the same computer program used for adult films. “When you start to think about the complexity of getting them in and out of wardrobe and makeup for each of those characters, it would take five times longer,” Ryan Staakes, the music video’s director, told The Verge. “So in a way, it was a pragmatic solution. But then, we also started playing off the bizarreness and aesthetics of it. It’s one of those things where part of the excitement is just trying to see if it works. Like, can we use this weird fake celeb porn tool in a legit music video?”
The answer, we guess, is yes. Charli and Troye released “1999” on Oct. 5, six days before the music video’s release. One famous group in particular appreciated the mass pop culture homage — the Backstreet Boys! They returned the love on Twitter immediately after the video’s release. “Well done @troyesivan @charli_xcx That definitely took us back to 1999,” the Backstreet Boys tweeted. “Come visit our Vegas residency for the full experience. We’d love to have you!”
Now, hit the play button, sit back, and get ready to say Oh, I remember that! Can you catch every reference?