‘Roxanne’ Video Is Arizona Zervas’ Homage to ’90s Movies ‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘Trainspotting’

February 14, 2020 2:05PM PT

The video for Arizona Zervas’ viral hit-turned-legit smash “Roxanne” is, in its own way, a trip through ’90s movie history. The clip directed by Nick Jardona and released earlier this week references such classics as 1993’s “Groundhog Day,” 1994’s “Pulp Fiction” and 1996’s “Trainspotting” — in addition to 2003’s “Kill Bill” and 2004’s “50 First Dates.”

Transported in time, the video follows Arizona Zervas (known colloquially as AZ or Arizona) as he’s trapped in an infinite loop where he dies each day only to wake up the following morning to live again. Roxanne is the common thread to his experience — channeling Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace, she and Arizona speed through parties complete with afros and “far out” 1970s decor — because as the song says, “all she wanna do is party all night.”

Today, having the right visual is “essential,” says Columbia Records VP of Video Production Saul Levitz, who commissioned the clip more than a year after the song was first released in Oct. 2019 (its life-to-date tally is 2.1 million song project units, according to BuzzAngle Music). “It’s a different kind of challenge,” Levitz says of having to apply a treatment to a song that’s already taken off on a visual platform: TikTok. “This has become the new norm. These songs have saturated culture so the video has to engage the audience in a new way. In this case it was about uncovering some mystery about him. He had no previous videos, people didn’t even have many still photos of him.”

Indeed, the music video was “step one,” adds the executive of first meeting Arizona soon after his signing to the Sony Music label. A native of Maryland, Arizona had Jardona in mind. “We’ve worked with Nick a few times, we had great trust and faith in him.” As for the treatment: “Nineties movie culture is and will continue to be a huge inspiration for young music video directors,” adds Levitz, “but it was based off of Arizona’s concept. He was very specific of how Roxanne needed to be portrayed and a conceptual hook with her constantly being this source of bad luck and him being stuck in this perpetual ride with her.”

Watch the “Roxanne” video below:

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