As great as songs are, you know what’s even better? Music videos that bring these songs to life. They are a significant part of our consumption of music, art and entertainment; as well as the biggest reason we spend hours tumbling down a YouTube rabbit hole.
Since it dropped on Saturday morning, we’ve added to at least 100,000 of the 8million views the video currently has on YouTube, because it’s just that good! The brains behind this amazing video, Karena Evans, is quickly becoming one of the world’s most sought-after directors.
She’s a triple threat, as she is a multifaceted director, actor and writer, who began her rise as an intern for veteran music video director, Director X. Her visual style is cinematic, narrative-heavy and completely full of human spirit — as we saw through her work in Drake’s “God’s Plan” video and, now, “Nice For What”.
Karena is only 22 years old, and at such a young age has smashed the glass ceiling. In the past, she has worked on projects such as CBC Arts’ Heartbreak to Art 10-part series, a Nike Air Max campaign, and she also presented a heartfelt documentary, Black Lives Matter, which was a social commentary piece.
She was the first female recipient of the Prism Prize’s Lipsett Award for her innovative approach to directing music videos, and this is one of the highest music video honours in Canada. Through her work, she shows why it’s so important to have female music video directors — to give them a bit more range than simply having scantily-clad women in a club with the men flaunting their riches.
“Nice For What” is a great song on its own, but the music video definitely adds a lot to its appeal. The video pays homage to famous women such as Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, Michelle Rodriguez, Letitia Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rashida Jones, Yara Shahidi Jourdan Dunn and many others. This matches the lyrics where Drake affirms to women that we don’t have to be nice to men, and while we don’t need his permission, we like having it anyway.
Not to undermine male directors, but the sheer brilliance of the video has a lot to do with the fact that the director is a woman, as she manages to connect to many other women by showing these stars, who we look up to, looking great. They’re not sexualised or idealised, and are shown in their true element which definitely resonates more — Issa Rae commanding caucasian men to sit down is a forever mood!
Karena is definitely a trailblazer in this field and we are even more proud of her because she is a black woman! We’re definitely looking forward to hearing more from her, and if we’re going by how we felt from these music videos, we’d like to see her working with our faves like SZA, Cardi B and Beyoncé !