In producer and DJ Jax Jones’ latest track “Instruction,” pop star Demi Lovato provides steps for the listener to wine to the left and sway to the right, but even with the easy to follow cues, the new video has Lovato looking uncomfortable on screen.
The singer has been making her comeback to the charts this year thanks to collaborations with Cheat Codes and now Jax Jones, eventually releasing her first solo single in July with “Sorry Not Sorry.” But in Jones’ new video, Lovato does her best to follow along with the dancehall beat and unfortunately remains a few steps behind for the entire video.
The new video shows Jones playing the drums with a drumline in a Caribbean setting while Lovato is backed by dancers in an rare setting for the singer. As for Stefflon Don, the rapper appears near the end of the video in traditional Caribbana attire and in the final Los Angeles party scene with Lovato and Jones.
Lovato’s vocals fill up the majority of the song and while her impressive pipes can seemingly take on any genre, including the dance hall vibe of “Instruction,” Lovato quickly feels out of place once British singer Stefflon Don delivers her verse. Lovato’s dark tan for “Instruction” is likely to draw a few eyebrow raises as well, with Demi already criticized for cultural appropriation earlier this year when she sported dreadlocks in the “No Promises” video with Cheat Codes.
Lovato continues to declare that she doesn’t care what others think, with a mixed message of independence cluttered with the idea that having money makes you important. Whereas Lovato made a triumphant statement of self-love in 2015’s “Confident,” the “Instruction” lyrics like, “you’re bossy ’cause you are the boss / Buy anything, you don’t care what it costs” aren’t quite the empowering follow up we hoped for.