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Karena Evans | The 22-year-old Rising Star Behind Drake’s Music Videos

Drake just dethroned himself at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with “Nice For What” sending “God’s Plan” to No. 2 on the charts. Now although Drake’s new tunes are absolute bops, let’s be honest… a large part of his success must be credited to the songs’ music videos directed by 22-year-old rising star Karena Evans. And just in case you’re not already up to date on this career-goal scoring girl crush, NBGA is here to enlighten you.

Photo via Imdb

Karena Evans is a 22-year-old Canadian woman who started interning for veteran music video director, Director X, and rose to the position of director at his company in no time. Recently, Evans directed two of Drake’s music videos, “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What”, which skyrocketed her career even further, making her one of the most sought-after video producers in music today. As if that weren’t enough, she recently became the first female recipient of the highest music video honours in Canada: the Prism Prize’s Lipsett Award. Karena is also a talented writer and actress who stars as Heather in the Canadian comedy-drama Mary Kills People. Although Karena boasts some pretty major projects at such a young age, we’re sure “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What” are just another couple of notches on her belt and we’re so excited to see what the future has in store for her!

Creating the music video for “God’s Plan”, Karena followed Drake around Miami and filmed as he handed out almost 2 million dollars to those in better need. It’s such a simple concept, yet it gained some major momentum with opinions ranging from “cheesy” to “amazing”. Regardless of what people think of Drake’s on-camera generosity, it’s a pretty major thing that he headhunted a young, black woman for the production of this film.

As for the “Nice For What” music video, I don’t know about you, but it blew me straight out of the water. I’m pretty sure I stand for at least 100, 000 of the video’s 35 million Youtube views. And I mean, who can blame me? The song is about the ever so relevant topic of female empowerment in the digital age. @champagnepapi calls into question why women are held to such a high standard of respecting men when we don’t get that same respect in return. As if the message of the song weren’t enough, the accompanying music video features talented and beautiful women such as Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi and NBGA favourites Elizabeth and Victoria Lejonhjärta. With these women being portrayed through the lens of another fellow woman, Karena manages to add a new dimension to the representation of female empowerment. Scantily clad women showing off their perfectly sculpted bodies is great, but emphasising a woman’s sexiness is not the only way to pay homage to female power. It seems Drake got the memo and together with Karena Evans, they have created a music video that celebrates women in a much-needed, new limelight.

Film production is still such a male-dominated industry. And it’s about time the baton is passed on to women, especially women of colour. There are so many narratives yet to be shared from a diverse range of perspectives, and with Karena at the forefront, I do believe we are witnessing the future of storytelling.

 

by Michelle Hallstrom