What is one to make of Salvatore Ganacci’s “Horse” music video? In the clip, the Bosnian-born producer plays a well-dressed superhero who enacts vengence on some straight-faced animal abusers. He rides not in a fancy sports car, but in a motorized, oversized shoe. His justice is swift and exact, set to the rhythm of the song’s relentless beat. It’s kind of funny, but mostly it’s just bizarre.
Fans, though, have come to love Ganacci for his weirdness. The DJ made headlines with a viral performance at Tomorrowland in 2018. He was caught jumping, dancing and doing handstands all over the stage, like a court jester who just chugged seven energy drinks. That sort of honest, in-the-moment abandon has become Ganacci’s calling card.
“Nothing of this is a conscious choice. I just feel like I’m doing what I’ve always been doing,” Ganacci tells Billboard Dance. “As John Cleese once phrased it, ‘There is a huge misconception that being serious and being solemn are the same thing.’ They are not. Of course, I’m serious.”
We caught up with Ganacci via email to hear more about “Horse” and its wild music video. The concept was a team effort between Ganacci and video director Vedran Rupic. The pair work together often, relating to each other as Bosnian immigrants living in Sweden.
“I was raised on Slavic culture and that way of storytelling, where the moral of the story sort of overrides all other story elements,” Ganacci says. “My message is always about love, but I really love to experiment with what love can be. Is revenge [okay] in order to protect love? It is. Or it could be.”
Ganacci says some people have reacted brashly to the clip — mostly the first part, wherein the stoic country people drive cars or slam trunks against the animals’ heads — but he says to do so would be to miss the point.
“One can react strongly to the imagery, but not to the message,” he says. “You can’t dissect a story by just looking at a single element – or you can, but it’s not the right way to do it. It’s like watching the first minute of surgery and being mad that the doctor stabbed the patient.”
As for that shoe car? It’s personal. “We grew up in cliques of young, frustrated immigrant boys,” he explains. “The older guys we looked up to had pointy shoes. Today, we interpret it as a symbol of virility. I can’t arrive in a car. It’s just not virile enough. I’ve grown up.”
The YouTube comment section for “Horse” is full of love and support for Ganacci’s mind-bending message. Ganacci promises to expand on his surreal universe “exponentially” in a few projects to come. He won’t get specific, but he says there’s “a load of stuff” planned for the coming months. For now, you’ll have to get your fix of the strange with “Horse” below.