Yes, Keone and Mari Madrid were dance-world superstars long before they choreographed and starred in the video for Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.” But many non-dancey people—i.e., everyone from your third-grade BFF to your Aunt Linda—first fell in love with the duo after watching the Bieber vid, which currently has a casual 1.2 billion views on YouTube.
These days, Keone and Mari are busy charming even more fans as contestants on NBC’s “World of Dance.” And when Cosmopolitan sat down with the couple recently to talk about competing on the show, we also got some very interesting details about how the “Love Yourself” video came to be.
For starters, they pulled the whole thing together unbelievably quickly. Parris Goebel, the artistic mastermind behind Bieber’s Purpose dance video collection, “approached us…about a week before the shoot date: She just said, ‘Do your thing,’ ” Keone said. “That week, we were so busy that we couldn’t work on it until the day before filming.”
The couple also didn’t get to see the house they’d be shooting in ahead of time, so they had to create movement that fit the space on the fly. Ultimately, that worked to their advantage. “Sometimes, when you have a lot of time you can overthink things,” Mari said. “Short notice just forces you to trust yourself and make decisions.”
And the part that shows two phones playing footage of them dancing? There wasn’t any technical wizardry involved there—they really did shoot that video on their phones.