Emeli Sandé’s “Clown”: A Song About Selling Out to the Music Industry?


Emeli Sandé’s video “Clown” is simple, subtle and artistic but nevertheless conveys a very clear and disturbing message about the music industry and those that rule it. Is “Clown” about Emeli Sandé “selling her soul” to the elite? We’ll look at the meaning of the song and music video.


Emeli Sandé is an English-born Scottish singer whose album Our Version of Events became the best selling album of 2012 in the UK. With three number one singles and widespread critical acclaim, Sandé is set to win a flurry of awards in 2013 and possibly more recognition “across the pond”. Did her recent success come with a hefty price tag? Judging by the message conveyed in her single Clown, yes, yes it did.

It certainly doesn’t take much analytical effort to understand that Clown portrays the music industry as a monolithic, coercive and even dangerous entity, lead by powerful people who demand nothing less than total submission from their chosen artists. In exchange for success, a damning contract (akin to an oath) must be signed that not only leads to relinquishing creative control, but, on a higher level, relinquishing an artist’s very soul. Is this why Sandé became an important part of the London Olympics’ Ceremonies (a seemingly blatant elitist occult ritual), where she sang in a disturbing segment entitled “Abide With Me”, which told the story of a young child giving away his soul to a malevolent entity? Maybe. Let’s look at the video.

Clowns Get No Respect

Clown is pretty much the opposite of most of the videos I describe on this site. There is no migraine-inducing fashion, no super-futuristic dance moves and no symbols being flashed every 3 seconds. Yet, in the end, the same dark reality is conveyed and the same elitist group is being acknowledged and referred to.

The video is shot in black and white, in the style of silent films of the 1920s. All of the action takes place in a single setting, a kind of meeting room where it seems important issues are being discussed. On one of the walls, we read the words “Anywhere in the world and solar system”. These words often appear on music industry contracts as a way of defining the true reach of it in case of legal issues. Also, these words give this meeting room an ethereal dimension, one that transcends time and place.

The decisions being made seem to have a weight that supersedes any regular political or national entity. There are men in military uniforms resembling those worn during the reign of Hitler or Mussolini, though the racial diversity of this panel indicates that we are not looking at a traditional fascist government, but at something of a “higher level”, hence the words “Anywhere in the world and solar system”. Put another way, the video appears to refer to a dictatorship evolving on a supra-national level, such as maybe …  the Illuminati and the NWO?

Emeli taken in by two soldiers
Emeli is taken in by two soldiers

The video begins with a strange scene: Emeli enters this room escorted by two soldiers as if she were a prisoner, yet she is greeted with warm applause from around the room. Right from the start, the video describes the contradiction of being a star in this day and age: influential and revered by the masses, while still completely in submission to higher powers. The applause Emeli receives is almost sarcastic as if saying “We are applauding you like your fans do — but we still own you”.

Emeli is then presented with something that represents the dilemma of anyone who wants to make it big in the music industry.

Emeli is given a pen in order to sign a contract.
Emeli is given a pen in order to sign a contract.

Before any words are even exchanged between the men and Emeli, the singer is expected to sign a contract. As we see by her reaction, this is not an ordinary business contract, but a document that will heavily impact the rest of her life. Signing this document equals relinquishing some of her rights, freedoms, creative control and … her soul?

Emeli refuses and says “No”. Immediately, the men in the room show signs of impatience and become more forceful. One of the men steps up to her, tells her “Please, you must reconsider” and makes her sit down.

As a man steps up to Emeli, she gives a look saying "Why you touching me for?"
As a man steps up to Emeli, she gives a look saying “Why you touching me for?”

We then see other gestures indicating that Emeli’s physical integrity is being violated. While these actions are somewhat subtle in the video, they are a symbolic way of referring to the physical and psychological violence stars can be subjected if they do not fully comply with the elite’s will.

Emeli is given the paternal "look at me when I'm talking to you" move by a man in uniform.
Emeli is given the paternal “look at me when I’m talking to you” move by a man in uniform.
She is also being lectured and talked down, while a coercive finger is being wagged at her.
She is also gets lectured and talked down as a menacing finger is being wagged at her.

Emeli is treated with the typical speech that is given to artists to convince them to sign a contract. She is told to take advantage of this rare opportunity to be rich and famous. We quickly get a sense that, if she refuses to sign with these people (the elite), she will never “make it” because they are basically the only path to celebrity, that there is apparently no way of making it big in the music industry but signing with this monolithic entity that is controlled by a closed group of individuals.

The men tell Emeli:

“You have great talent, and the brightest of futures. All we require is your consent”.

To which she replies:

“You mean my surrender.”

This implies that the contract is indeed one that forces Emeli to submit to the powers that be and to become a virtual puppet, or a clown. One man then replies:

“We mean your co-operation”

This means that they want Emeli to willfully accomplish what is expected of her, even if she realizes that it goes against what she believes in … which is the meaning of “selling out”.

When Emeli says:

“I want freedom, to be myself”,

a man promptly replies:

“What use is freedom … if you live in the gutter”

flaunting the prospect of material gain, and loss, in order to get her to sign the contract.

As she continues to hesitate, the men get angrier and start yelling at her. At one point, a man says “We need a decision” and a vote gets taken, although Emeli does not get a vote. By a show of hands, the men decide what to do with Emeli. With a single gesture, one man sums up her fate if she doesn’t sign the contract.

By running his hand across his throat. this man says that not only Emeli's career is dead, but, since she already "know too much", she will probably die in "strange circumstances", not unlike man other uncompromising artists.
By running his hand across his throat, this man is saying that Emeli’s career is over. Also, since these men are in uniforms and that Emeli is a prisoner, she will probably be killed … Maybe in “strange circumstances”, not unlike many other uncompromising artists.

In short, if she does not accept the terms of the contract, these men will kill her. She is then reminded of the opportunity she is passing up:

“Success is impatient. You audience is waiting.”

When presented again with the pen and paper, Emeli grabs the pen and begins singing the chorus of the song, confirming that she accepts the terms of the contract.

“I’ll be your clown
Behind the glass
Go ‘head and laugh ’cause it’s funny
I would too if I saw me
I’ll be your clown
On your favorite channel
My life’s a circus-circus
rounding circles
I’m selling out tonight”

The song’s lyrics describe the sadness of an artist who has been reduced to the status of a clown, a puppet that is told what to do in order to obtain material gain. As depicted in the video, the song’s lyrics also convey the fact that she was forced into this contract, which is, when all is said and done, nothing more than glorified exploitation.

“I’d be less angry if it was my decision
And the money was just rolling in
If I had more than my ambition
I’ll have time to please
I’ll have time to thank you as soon as I win”

At the end of the video, Sandé signs the contract (although we don’t actually see her do it) and is taken away by the soldiers. It would seem, therefore, that this is yet another story of free will, freedom, and integrity being forcefully taken away through coercion and power. It is another story depicting the victory of evil against good, of darkness against light. It is another “victory speech” of the Illuminati industry, blatantly showing off how it controls the industry, to the point that it makes its “clowns” sing about their own sad state of puppetry. While Emeli Sandé is arguably more talented and mature than most pop stars, Clown does not convey a message that is very different from what we have seen on this site. The only difference is that this song is aimed at the adult contemporary market, rather than the tween market.

In Conclusion

In this era where an increasingly monolithic music industry is revealing itself to a public that is still clueless, the messages reaching to airwaves are becoming increasingly filtered, similar and upsetting. The themes of rebellion, of the victory of the human spirit over a soul-crushing system, of transcending boundaries through art are silenced and virtually banned from the music industry. Where are these groups that had a message? That stood for something? Who would prefer death to selling out? They do still exist – but they are not in the elite-controlled mass media anymore. Today, stars are either “chosen” from a young age and built from the ground up by the industry, or are talented individuals like Emeli Sandé who are “recruited” and forced to become a “clown”.

Clown is about submission, about giving up, about the victory of oppression over the human spirit, about giving in to pressure, about accepting temporary material gain for success, about signing over one’s soul over to a powerful, oppressive group. For some reason, these messages must be communicated to the public, as if to subliminally demoralize the masses, to make sure that no real role models or icons – those who uphold certain values above anything else – are there to inspire and give hope to the world.

While the song is full of regret and melancholy, it is still a “victory speech” from the Illuminati to the masses. In a very simple and theatrical matter, Clown describes how the industry functions, how it treats its stars and how it forces them to sell their soul. Some might interpret Clown as Sandé “speaking out” against the industry. But the “moral of the story” being told is that she gave in. And now she’s on TV. And she sang during the Olympics in front of a billion people in a ceremony that was tainted with the symbolism of the elite, the same group depicted as forcing her to sign that contract in her video. Before her Olympic performance, perhaps Sandé sang to herself I’m selling out tonight.


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188 Comments on "Emeli Sandé’s “Clown”: A Song About Selling Out to the Music Industry?"

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What’s interesting is her latest single “Garden” off the Long Live The Angels album art is a black and white checkerboard and shes dressed in all black. I guess she made the deal after all

of course she is not going to say I sold out to the illuminati for money and power they need a good speech like presidents YOU NEVER SAW A PRESIDENT SAY WE ARE GOING RISE TAXES AND MAKE PEOPLE MORE POOR of course not they need a good speech like
i want to inspire people to do the same thing like me and i want to be a role model. BLA BLA they are all part of the same group the FREEMASONS

To be honest, my very, very first thoughts on the meaning of the song when I first listened to it (and whenever I listen to it now) was bullying.
I think it can be interpreted with multiple meanings (like all songs) but I've always, at first thought, related it to being bullied or used or laughed at in some way.

The elite dnt make it easy for u to refuse, they'l tempt u with anything an everythin, promise u the world, and u'd get it but at a massive cost. Some celebs have had ther family threatened if they try to pull away or in some cases they carry out those threats if they speak against them, there is NO level they wont stoop to, ther is NO easy way out.:-#

Good analysis as always. However, ultimately the artist can choose not to sell his/her soul to the devil. Even if the music industry is totally controlled and you can’t become “rich and famous” if you don’t sign on the bottom line, still you could keep your integrity and still find your audience on a smaller scale. So there is choice…you don’t have to join the machine.

Lupe Fiasco is a decent role model and just used his celebrity to dismiss the policies of Obama at his inaugural ceremony. He bizarrely seems to be friends with Kanye and Jay Z at the same time. Mind you I have some old friends who are right wankers too. haha.

Don't be silly, give him futile praises to create a monster. He's fine, he can write sensible articles, however he is not god and certainly he's not the greatest man on the planet. Encourage him but refrain from boosting his ego. We wouldn't like him to become a self-centered egomaniac now, would we?

Even before coming to this page, I had a feeling it was bout selling yourself to the music industry, he clearly has the talent and hasn’t made it as far as those other artists who show of their skin and don’t communicate any social, positive messages in their songs, just sex, cars, girls, money… Sad but true! Beautiful song!

I hope Sara Bareilles isn't a slave.
I don't care if she's underrated or whatever. But, I think she's talented yet no one pays attention (which she truly deserves) to her talents. Well, I'm glad with that now:)

Actually I don't think she needed to sell out she's a very smart woman! Shes about two years from having a medical degree in the UK, she was smart enough to know that she needed something to fall back on just in case she "never made it". I think this article is a bit to harsh on her and so are the comments seemingly because of the view the article gives. I'm in the US and while I love her music and even though people sing her songs the two that are on the radio they don't know her name! They just think she's Beyonce with a funky beat which is what my friend told me…. These are her own words about the video which is listed in the description of the video on her official VEVO page on youtube. "It's about how I felt when I was trying to… Read more »

and has no-one heard of punk, it's called self-publishing these days…..some of the posters here are fakes, bullies and just as wrong as those in control of the corps who seek only the banal safe 'commercial route' and beliebers, follow your own stars and others who twinkle will apprbelievers

The time of the pragmatic humanists is coming

very sad .. but appreciate your talent and now that it's puppet but I will continue listening to your music with lyrics and videos care is what I do .. also many indie artists are puppets and are not well known … a question now that many have long know what music they listen?, or now as is your relationship with music?

i thought she was different

Just saying… God doesn't exist…

Why not sue the pants off these industry hacks for religious discrimination. If Christianity can't be a precondition for emplyoyment, why are occult practices?

saka urikuti chii nhai emi,,,,so question is DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT SIGN????????

hmmm this article is enlightening. i only heard of emili sande a few weeks ago after hearing her song "next to me" on the radio. i was shocked to hear such a beautiful song about a relationship with God played on mainstream pop radio. I looked up the singer and saw her wiki page and it seemed she was a good, respectable singer for once. but after seeing this article im starting to wonder. i didnt see her on the olympics. she is a talented singer who makes beautiful songs but if she is another puppet its truly disturbing. now the illuminati is not just promoting their own sick agenda of sex, drugs and idiocy, they are using people that sing uplifting and beautiful music to control us too? very strange indeed

why emily why ??

What a sad state of affairs the Music Industry has become. I have the talent to become a great musical artist, but I'm a Christian and I've decided not to sell my soul to the devil. NO WAY.

Try 'Get Up' [Affirmation] by Beverley Knight, or some of her other songs.

well while i agree the video is disturbing this illumaniti crap might be a stretch.

if true how does this hurt me as a music listener.
why she needed this when truly her talent is exceptional
would the powerhouse let her do this video if all this crap was true.

but honestly i would like her to say something


click above link to see photo shows Emelie Sande in animal print. (reference to kitten pgrming)

wait, but isn't the record labels that pick and choose singles? and fund music videos? Why would they all this sort of exposure to what they are doing behind the scenes? Seems similar to what Kelly Clarkson and Clive Davis are fighting about.

I'm sorry but I don't get all this hype about her. I mean I heard her songs before and her voice is good but is not so great like everyone says. Like everyone is so into adele aswell I mean they both are good singers but I still don't get the hype. Its said that she sold her self now but hey she didn't leave college to become a singer for nothing so she problly was like hey I came this far might as well sing the contract and not waist it all

I'm so fed up with the music industry of today with all of it's symbolism and attempts to brainwash it's listeners.
It was so refreshing to find the music band Muse from England, when I went through their lyrics and their music videos, and no matter how hard I tried, I could for once finally not find any subliminal messages or any Illuminati worshiping going on. Instead, in fact, their songs are warnings regarding the elites agenda, with songs like uprising and exo-politics. Found this great video about them with three of their strongest political songs, with lyrics, and I can only say it is worth spending those 12 minutes watching!

Let's just say, I am not a big fan of Muse and their work.
It is so refreshing to find a band that instead of just following with the elite, actually tries to warn us about them!

* I am NOW, not "not a big fan", wow, sorry about that!

C'mon, these guys must be kidding me! One more symbolic spectacle shown by VEVO (this one, "Dark again", of Gold Fields): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-YzfAUsj1o

Please, someone explain me WHAT THE HECK IS THIS song video! ("How Long?" – How to Destroy Angels)
COMPLETELY DISTURBING! http://www.vevo.com/watch/how-to-destroy-angels/h

VC, it would be great if you make an analysis on this song!

I'm pretty used to the symbolism and everything now. Of course it's not something I'm happy about, but I'm glad I'm not a sheeple. Whenever there is a new music video analysis, I always watch the video beforehand to see how much I can pick up on myself. On this video, I pretty much got everything. Either it's becoming more and more blatent, (which I'm convinced it is) and/or I'm not as immune anymore. I'm only 13, but my mom has researched this stuff ever since I was little, so it's sort of been imprinted on me at a young age. My whole family pretty much knows the truth, my uncle, mother, father (sort of), cousin, aunt, grandmother, etc. My sister is completely oblivious though, and it's almost as if she is deliberately avoiding the truth. I cringe whenever my nephew comes over and I see all of the little… Read more »

There still seem to be ways to be not into the Illuminati. Look at Sara Bareilles (US), Mumford and Sons (England), Gavin DeGraw…

This is from YouTube on what the song is about…HMMMMM!!!
"It's about how I felt when I was trying to get signed, I was going for all these meetings and people were looking at me like 'What do we do with you'? It's about not allowing yourself to be judged by others or to be taken for an idiot. I feel the video reflects that" Emeli Sande 2012.
However with all of the symbolism and the "anywhere in the world and the solar system." Yes she did sign and so sad.

Great explanation, VC, as always! 😀 And I finally figured out why they let the artists sing about it: BRAGGING! "We own everybody who IS something!"

I don't pity the woman at all. She willingly "wanted" what they offered her, regardless of whether it was coerced or not, and she signed her soul away. The video more than anything proves that people will swallow all sorts of evil for fame and money.

George Orwells black fascist uniforms are changed to a lighter colour; it looks like a creamy colour.

Sad, I really liked her music..

Clowns give George Noory the creeps, he always talks about that. With me its dolls.

Emile Sande. Hurricane Sandy. Sandy Hook.
Just saying…

Kansas’ “Mainstream”, Billy Squier’s “The Stroke”, and Tom Petty’s “Refugee” are all slams against the music industry.

Its Ironic how we now all know Emeli due to her featuring on Professor Green's 'Read all about it"…. She should have listened hard to the words of his song " DOLL" She knew what awaited….. PROFESSOR GREEN "DOLL" Lyrics I don't know how long I can remain composed All I did was say a flow, In life I was always told You should play your part, but I never said I'd take the role Now every f*****g thing I say's a quote And they take s**t out of context, I'd be lying if I said I was not vexed, Pick up a paper flick a page and see a picture of me on my latest conquest F**k it, it all helped I'm not just gonna stand here making out its all hell And all's well and good if I put on a pair of rose tints Yeah bare arms,… Read more »

I pointed this out on the Youtube video. AITWASS is Anywhere In the World and Solar System. AIWASS is the name of the demon who appeared to Aliester Crowley. Hmm.

Selling out is for low lives who wanna live the 'high' life, but 'He is richest who is content with the least.' Socrates.
Sorry to come across all quotey but another fitting one is from George Bernard Shaw, 'Music is the brandy of the damned.'

Wikipedia may be 'useful' for those too lazy to conduct valid research. Based on the fact that it can be edited by anyone, this will create a Chinese whispers effect on information.

I was utterly dismayed this week since my 6 year olds teacher, who I perceived as 'traditional' and 'old fashioned' used Taylor satanic Swift's 'Trouble' song as an example of poetry!

She and her voice are very beautiful. This greatly, greatly saddens me. 🙁

All of this makes me have a deeper respect for a band like Fugazi. When I was a teenager I couldn't understand why they never signed w a major label. Now, I get it. They wanted no part of this industry…and for good reason!

She wrote for Rihanna, she played both opening and closing ceremony at the Olympics (not even music royalty were bestowed that honour. And as a Brit, I was wondering who the hell she was). Oh and the advert for her album which was shown on TV showed loads of triangles going across the screen. When I saw that I thought that her management were trying to show her as being connected to the illuminati imagery for clever promotional reasons, I didn't think that she was really part of it. But her multiple appearances at the Olympics confirmed her as an illuminati slave to me. Also, some of you are saying how talented she is, etc. She's just being positioned that way. She's the 'thinking person's' illuminati idol of choice. She'll go the way of Dido. I.e. disappear. Final point to those questioning VC's analysis of 'abide by me'. He/ She… Read more »

Haven’t watched the video, but for some reason this article reminded me of Sic Sic Sic by Queens of the Stone Age.

We didn't see her signing the contract, maybe she didn't?


“What use is freedom … if you live in the gutter”

…what use is living on top of the world…if you have no freedom??

Hey VC, please please PLEASE do an article on the Windows 8 commercial "Everything At Once" performed by Lenka! Please do so, because there is definitely some Illuminati crap going on there. The cover of the song on YouTube features Lenka's one eye hidden and during the commercial Lenka and her co-dancers dance with a 'one-eye' painted into each of their palms. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE review and post an article about this on your page VC!!

I think VC has done enough articles for you to dissect these things for yourself… Now, stop being lazy and go find other sources of information. Think for yourself, and stop waiting to get spoon-fed by VC.

Well, you didn't have to be rude. I completely understand your point, but I just wanted to know from VC if what I thought was correct or not and if such symbolism in an advertisement for an IT giant such as Microsoft could possibly mean something. That's all.
P.S.- I haven't been lazy at all and have already scanned a great number of articles on or relating to the subject. But thanks for the concern.

Please do an India specific post

VC is not interested in one sixth of the world's population 🙂

Interesting that by the end of the video, she is not seen signing the contract and is escorted out! It is an accurate depiction the artist as nothing more than a clown! I'll be interested to see what happens next for her. She's blessed with a great voice…but we know how that goes.

Ok what I don't understand…why would they let her release a song liek this where she is calling them out and making it obvious?