Hype Williams isn’t the only iconic music video director out there. Melina Matsoukas, profiled this week in the New Yorker, has directed such iconic music videos as Beyonce’s “Formation” and Solange’s “Losing You”. She also directed a few episodes of Issa Rae’s Insecure, including the pilot. Matsoukas was even there with Lady Gaga in the beginnings of her career directing “Just Dance”.
Matsoukas is from New York and her signature style is colorful and unique. Her work has also been political, especially of late, as she talked about the intersectional identities of black women after directing some songs for Beyonce’s “Lemonade” in her New Yorker profile:
“It’s an unfair struggle that only black women can understand and relate to,” Matsoukas said about how often Black feminists have struggle with fighting for both women’s rights and African American rights — and the video for “Formation” meets that political urgency of the intersectional identity of black womanhood.
As one of the few women of color working as a director, she has faced her fair share of men trying to rule her out. She told The New Yorker that, “People will challenge you and try not to listen. The director of photography will try to get over you and say, ‘Oh, that’s not possible—we can’t light this way,’ and I know what the possibilities are.”
Melina Matsoukas is a provocative and daring director who continues to change the game.