Princess Of China - Music Video

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Chris Martin on the set of the Princess Of China video shoot (photo released on 23rd March 2012)

On 22nd March 2012 it was revealed that Coldplay were shooting a video for Princess Of China with Rihanna in Los Angeles.

The video will feature Rihanna, and she posted some behind-the-scenes images from the music video shoot. In one of the pictures, Rihanna is dressed up in a gothic-style outfit while 'flipping the bird' at the camera with a long gold nail. The other close-up photo shows Rihanna blowing smoke out of her mouth, while showing off her geisha make-up. She tweeted the images with the words: "Gangsta goth geisha #thuglife #princessofchina."

Once the tweets were released from Rihanna, immediately #princessofchina began to trend worldwide across Twitter.[1]

Pictures of Chris Martin also emerged from the video shoot of him wearing a leather jacket [pictured].



Coldplay released the video for Princess of China online on and via their YouTube videos channel, ColdplayVEVO in the very early hours of 3rd June 2012 after the video had leaked online earlier the day before via video site [2].

Also read: Princess of China (song page)

Video shoot: Behind the scenes

On 12th May 2012, a 'Behind The Scenes' film of the Pricess Of China video shoot was released via the ColdplayVEVO YouTube account and posted to the messageboard. [3]

Media reviews

Spin: Can we agree now that the existence of a collaboration between Coldplay and Rihanna is more interesting than the song itself? The Barbados-born pop singer's presence on the Mylo Xyloto track list helped set the tone for the British arena-rockers' latest album, which has enough day-glo synths and crushing R&B beats to find a home on circa-2012 Top 40 radio, where Adele and Gotye are the recent exceptions that prove the club-friendly rule. The actual track, the shimmering "Princess of China" — which, let's not forget, the co-conspirators performed at this year's Grammy Awards — wasn't even the most Rihanna-like track on the album, as our reviewer smartly noted when the record came out this past fall (that was the excellent "Paradise"). All these months later, it's still unclear what the song has to do with the country of its title ("China" appears nowhere in the lyrics), and the just-released video hardly clears matters up. As in the Rihanna video from Coldplay's tour, the singer appears with the multiple arms of a Hindu deity, despite the fact that Hindu deities would be a bit more relevant for "Princess of India." The rest of the clip is a lavish pseudo-trailer for a kung fu movie, with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-ish aerial fight moves and a love scene between RiRi and Coldplay's Chris Martin. We've seen Rihanna's commanding red-and-purple garb described as "Geisha" style, which only confuses us further — "Princess of Japan"? Are these places really all the same to Western viewers? — but at the very least you're in for an entertaining three minutes (Adria Petty, who oversaw Beyoncé's phenomenal "Countdown" video, and Alan Bibby direct). [4]

Soul Culture: And the wait is over! Since hearing the song back in October we’ve had promo pics and tour editions of the video, and after waiting what seems like a lifetime, Coldplay have finally delivered the full video for their collaboration with Rihanna, “Princess of China.” Taking the China theme and running with it, we see full Geisha attire as well as martial arts battles between Rihanna and Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin. The epic video sees Martin storming up to a building, seemingly on a mission to find Rihanna, battling people on the way. Rihanna’s there waiting upon his arrival, giving her Geisha attire an S&M twist with PVC thigh high boots. The video shows the pair flying through the air with swords and fighting in the desert, as well as getting up close and personal... [5]

Coldplay and Rihanna have been teasing their "Princess of China" video for a while now. On Saturday (June 2), the clip leaked ahead of its scheduled Monday release date. The trippy video is full of surreal images that play on the song's references to Asia, with Chris Martin and Rihanna donning all sorts of ninja and ninja-goddess couture. A desert, the sky and some ancient-looking Chinese palaces all serve as backgrounds. Martin and Rih Rih also do some sword-wielding and ninja kicks, for good measure. In more emotional parts of the clip, Rihanna and Martin, playing star-crossed lovers, kneel in the desert, forehead to forehead, as they mourn the loss of their love. But the moving image soon turns violent as they float through the air and partake in a ninja battle. Much like the characters in the song, the onscreen characters are torn up about their dying love. And while the love story is at the center of the clip, Rihanna's look is also a standout as she appears in several forms: multi-armed goddess, heartbroken geisha and fierce warrior princess. The official June 4 release date had been pushed back from May before leaking to the Net on Saturday, the same day Rihanna dropped some behind-the-scenes photos on Facebook. In the images, her hair is done up in a geisha bun and she wears long, fringe earrings. They're similar to shots she released back in March from the video shoot. "Her bit on our record is my favorite bit," the Coldplay frontman told MTV News last fall about Rihanna's feature on Mylo Xyloto. "When the song came out, it sort of asked for her to be on it. And I think at this point, we have nothing to lose, and so we've been trying some new things and trying to break down the perceived boundaries between different types of music." [6]

PopCrush: Though the video wasn’t scheduled for release until this Monday (June 4), the video for Coldplay and Rihanna‘s collaboration, ‘Princess of China,’ hit the Web today (June 2). The clip is designed to look like a classic Asian martial arts film and features all the elements of one: a trip through the desert, a forbidden romance, sword fighting and gravity-defying combat. We get to see the full spectrum of Rihanna’s bizarrely beautiful costumes that were first got a glimpse of in the video’s stills, behind-the-scenes footage and tour promo clip for the song. From her heavily sculpted hairstyles to her talon-like nails (and multiple moving arms), it’s a truly stunning visual, whether RiRi is lounging on a silk chaise in PVC pants or sailing through the sky in flowing white robes and sandals. Though the plot is a bit tricky to follow, the gist of it is this: Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and Rihanna love one another … and also try to kill one another (this seems to be a common theme for the Bajan beauty, though this is far more artistic and romantic than anything she’s done with ex Chris Brown). There’s ninjas, a moonlit sword battle, deserts and dancers in between. Grab some chopsticks and tune in! [7]

Direct Lyrics: At last! Was the long wait worth it? Click 'play' and find out now! Coldplay have finally world premiered the music video for their new single, the Rihanna-assisted "Princess of China", a track lifted from the band's "Mylo Xyloto" album - Filmed back in April in Los Angeles, the Adria Petty & Alan Bibby co-directed visual pays tribute to old kung-fu movies. You'll see RiRi as a samurai ninja, who meets Chris Martin at her sanctuary to fight in sword-wielding flying scenes and have an intimate moment in the desert. Enjoy! [8]

Stupid Dope: Rihanna and Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, heat up the screen in the new video for their hit single, “Princess of China”. The video has a China cultured theme of course, and features Rihanna playing a hot, geisha chick! If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Check it out! And if you have seen it already, do you really need an excuse to watch it again? The sexy and edgy singer, Rihanna, has been on a steady rise since her music debut in 2005. She’s been turning heads and blowing minds with both her musical talents and her mesmerizing beauty for the past few years. And with all the hype that’s surrounding her and the success that she’s so well earned, it was only right, and natural, for British band, Cold Play to feature her on their album. [9]

The Oracle on the Princess Of China music video

June 7, 2012 - submitted by Gabriela, Paraguay
Q. Hi Oracle!
I was wondering what do you feel about the Princess of China video? It seems to be a lot of mixed emotions about it. Personally I can't find the connection between the video and the song's lyrics. Also I've been reading that a lot of people are questioning the fact that there are Ninjas in the video, which are originally from Japan so.. I guess there's no relevance in their appearance. Anyhow, hope you're doing well and I'll wait for a possible answer! Thanks!
The Oracle replies:
Videos aren't necessarily a literal visual translation of the audio. They may sometimes take a line or a theme but it's not set in stone.
I think the PoC video is great by the way - like a short film. Looks very classy and I've always loved the song.

May 8, 2012 - submitted by Grace, United States of America
Q. So far in the preview of the video Princess of China, only Rhianna is in it... where is Chris and the rest of the band? :(
The Oracle replies:
What you've seen is not a preview of the PoC video; it's a stand alone video for the live shows only - hence it only featuring Rihanna as the band are there in the flesh. I'm not at liberty to give any details away but I will tell you that the entire band aren't in the PoC video - only Chris.

May 1, 2012 - submitted by Joshua, United Kingdom
Q. Oracle, It has recently been rumoured that the official Princess of China music video will be released during the London gig on 2nd June. Can you confirm this?
The Oracle replies:
I can't confirm when the video will be premiered but I can tell you that it wouldn't be at a show mid-tour. They will have already played London the night before not to mention Coventry a few days earlier. It wouldn't make sense to show it at their 3rd UK show so no, that won't be the case.

March 28, 2012 - submitted by Johanna, United States of America
Q. Shalom. The other day I saw a post on Rihanna's Facebook page that said she was on the set of Coldplay's Princess of China video. But I haven't seen anything about it from Coldplay. Are they making one? THanks!
The Oracle replies:
PH (Phil) did actually post a photo of Chris on Coldplay's twitter a few days ago.

Princess Of China music video - discussion links

  • Princess Of China - subforum [10]
  • PoC video [11]
  • Multimedia: Princess of China (Official Video/Behind the scenes) [12]
  • Coldplay filming Princess Of China video with Rihanna in Los Angeles - latest news [13]
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