Next To Me

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Songfacts®:

  • Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds married Nico Vega frontwoman Aja Volkman on March 5, 2011. He wrote this pensive romantic anthem for his wife.
  • "Next to Me" was referred to as Imagine Dragons' first love song during an interview with Beats 1's Zane Lowe. Reynolds explained:

    "I started writing when I was about 13 years old and it was a source of an escape from school from depression from feeling lost and it was never a romance. So for me this is some of the first times that I've really explored diving into my mind and musicality and sonicality of romance."
  • Reynolds is candid about his failings and frailties within his relationship with Aja.

    Stress lines and cigarettes, politics and deficits
    Late bills and overages, screamin' and hollerin'
    But still you, still you want me


    He told Lowe the powerful ballad is "something everybody can relate to," which is the "feeling like you are going to fail sometimes in a relationship and the true value of a relationship is what happens then."
  • The song's music video is a 12-minute mini-movie crafted by director Mark Pellington (Pearl Jam's "Jeremy"). The clip shows Dan Reynolds trying to pawn his engagement ring after being dumped by his fiancée, portrayed by his real-life wife, Nico Vega singer Aja Volkman. Enraged, the vocalist ends up killing the clerk at the pawnshop (played by Imagine Dragons guitarist, Wayne Sermon).

    "I wrote this song about the strains of the relationships in my own life and the beauty of enduring love. After late night conversations with Mark Pellington about life and his passion behind his vision for the film, we knew we wanted to take the journey with him," said Reynolds.

    "The film is a complex and slightly surreal fable about forgiveness and redemption. It is a story of a man, and a projection of one fantasy colliding with the dark realities of fate," Pellington explained. "It asks, can a person who has made a terrible mistake ever be forgiven by their loved one or even by themselves. It is an ambitious music film, taking the traditional music video and breaking it apart, pushing it into film territory. I wanted to create something new, a narrative piece that was thematically complex and musical and I knew it needed to be longer."
  • When it comes to music videos, some artists like to hand the keys to the director and let him (or her) drive the concept. "It's mostly me interpreting the idea, and then sometimes, it's a 50/50 collaboration where we really roll up our sleeves," Pellington told Songfacts. He describes this one as "very much a collaboration with Dan Reynolds."

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