The video for Kindness and Robyn’s “Who Do You Love” features dozens of sometimes smiling, sometimes pensive faces. From the outside, it might seem like a completely random assortment of people, of unrelated extras — but they’re actually all Robyn and Adam Bainbridge’s friends and family.
“It just seemed so appropriate and perfect for this song,” Bainbridge, who goes by Kindness in the music world, tells EW. “Which, to myself and Robyn, was fundamentally about finding your own place and contentment in relation to the people you’re surrounded by.”
Bainbridge got Daniel Brereton on board to direct, and they filmed the video over a couple days in both the U.K. and Sweden. “It was a pretty amazing thing to see, to see your friends in this kind of sequence of faces,” Brainbridge says. “It’s a generous act for them, to put themselves out there to be filmed so intimately.”
And intimate, it is: The video’s subjects sit in front of the camera and often stare silently into the lens as the music plays on. While some of Robyn and Bainbridge’s loved ones are also entertainers and used to being in front of the camera, others were less accustomed to feeling so vulnerable — so Brereton had some tactics to make them more comfortable.
“I’d tell some really bad jokes,” he tells EW. “One was, what type of music does cheese listen to?” What type? He chuckles before uttering the punchline, “R and Brie.” “I tried to find jokes about farting and rude jokes and all sorts of different things and ended up with cheese because, for some reason, it worked.”
When they aren’t laughing in front of the camera though, expressions range from calm to fidgety. “There’s a kind of honesty that comes across by showing them slightly nervous,” Brereton says. “You get to see their vulnerability in a way, which is really nice.”
One of the more striking images in the video is a moment between Robyn and an older woman who smiles right into the camera — and who is Robyn’s grandmother.
Brereton was originally planning to film the entire video in London, but Robyn wanted her Swedish grandma to be involved so he tacked on a quick Sweden shoot. “It was really important for her to be in it, and we were really happy for that,” Brereton says.
As it turns out, Brereton and Bainbridge are about happy a lot: “This is the one, in all the videos that I’ve ever made, that just felt so right for the song,” Bainbridge says. “There couldn’t possibly be anything cynical about it.”
Its peacefulness contributes to this lack of cynicism, something that was intentional. “It was really just like, let’s see if 21st century internet users with their ADD and their need for sensory overload can still appreciate this,” Bainbridge says. “And I think, surprisingly, people have been.”