MEET The Nigerians Who Contributed To Making Beyoncé “Lemonade” A Hit

by Rachel Ogbu

By now, if you are active on social media or all media for that matter, you would have heard that Beyoncé just released the audio- visual album music titled Lemonade.

The cheating scandals embedded in the lyrics of the song is at the fore front of discussion in the public sphere right now but coming in second place is the unapologetic artistic vibe the video exudes.

One worthy to note is the peculiar body paint on Beyonce and her dancers created by Brooklyn based Nigerian, Laolu Senbajo who specialises in the Sacred Art Of The Ori.

Senbanjo, 34, a former human rights attorney in Lagos has been working as an artist and musician in Brooklyn, using his Afromysterics artwork to create masterpieces on virtually everything: from shoes to jackets and even the human body.

Alyssa Klein for Okayafrica asks: How did the Beyonce collaboration happen?

Laolu Senbanjo: I got a call from management about a video shoot. They gave me an idea it was going to be Beyoncé’s video shoot, but it was top secret, that kind of thing. So I couldn’t tell anybody. They told me like two weeks before. I was gonna go there in like two weeks. And all of a sudden they called back and said “Uh, two weeks is too long. We need you right now.” And I had to travel to New Orleans, where it was happening.

It was crazy because I couldn’t say no. If Queen B wants you… It was so unreal. I just left everything I was doing. I had projects I was working on. And I just left them halfway and told everyone that something came up and I had to leave. So everybody said “What’s a matter with you?” And I said “You’re going to understand later, but I can’t say anything right now.”

So I got on a plane and went to New Orleans. Didn’t know what to expect. I got the schedules, call sheets, the timings, who I’m working with, who I’m supposed to see. Everything was very detailed, the names, everything.

And the Nigerian award wining designer, Maki Oh also added a commendable African fashion vibe to the same music video. The Lagos based designer dressed star, Amandla Stenberg who made a cameo appearance in the music video sitting with Serena Williams, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Quvenzhané Wallis and more.laolu-senbanjo-715x715
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Post Author: Editor

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