"Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time…one of the best videos of all time!" Kanye West declared at the 2009 Video Music Awards after interrupting her in the middle of her acceptance speech.
The video in question was Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”, and Kanye wasn’t exactly wrong. At 831 million views, thousands of impersonations, and a coined phrase — “put a ring on it” — it’s safe to say it was much more impactful than… whatever video Taylor Swift ended up winning.
Well, now, the Queen Bey is revealing never before details about how the iconic music video came about.
In her new cover interview with Harper's Bazaar, the 39-year-old mother of three reveals she diverted from her team to have the video made in black-and-white.
“I remember being in a meeting discussing analytics, and I was told the research discovered that my fans did not like when my photography was black-and-white,” Bey told the magazine.
“They told me I wouldn’t sell if it wasn’t in color. That was ridiculous. It pissed me off that an agency could dictate what my fans wanted based on a survey. Who did they ask? How is it possible to generalize people this much? Are these studies accurate? Are they fair? Are all the people I’m trying to uplift and shine a light on included? They’re not.”
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She continued, “I was so exhausted and annoyed with these formulaic corporate companies that I based my whole next project off of black-and-white photography, including the videos for ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘If I Were a Boy,’ and all of the artwork by Peter Lindbergh for I Am…Sasha Fierce, which ended up being my biggest commercial success to date. I try to keep the human feeling and spirit and emotion in my decision making.”
The story further confirms her musical prowess and was probably the last time the analytics team tried telling her what to do. She also shared some news about new music.
“With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. I’ve been in the studio for a year and a half. Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies.
“Still, there’s nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio,” she continued. “After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old. Yes, the music is coming!”