On Thursday evening, Adele’s somber — and frankly, quite stunning — “Someone Such as you” video premiered, and after we had finished wiping the tears from our eyes, we quickly realized that director Jake Nava really deserves a video Oscar or something.
Not only did he deliver a video that completely matches the song’s heartbroken, haunted feel (not a very simple feat), but, whether you recognize it or not, the British-born Nava has also been chargeable for one of the crucial greatest pop clips in recent memory, only adding to a resume that stretches back to the early ’90s (and includes work for everybody from System of a All the way down to the Spice Girls).
And sure, while the eye-catching clips being churned out by Lady Gaga are likely to grab the headlines (since, you know, it’s Gaga), what makes Nava’s work so impressive is that, rarely, if ever, does he make the similar video twice. In fact, should you didn’t take note of the credits, you’d probably do not know who was responsible … he isn’t just one of probably the most malleable directors within the business, he’s also some of the unassuming, and really, that is what an excellent director have to be. The video is ready the artist in front of the camera, after all.
So, in celebration of a person who doesn’t get the credit he deserves, we’ve compiled a listing of Nava’s most iconic music videos. Because, as you will soon learn, whilst you would possibly not know his name, you almost definitely know his work.
Beyonce, “Single Ladies (Put a hoop on It)”
The rare instance of an iconic song being married to a very iconic video, Nava’s “Single Ladies” is as notable for its simplicity (literally, it’s just Bey and two of her dancers positively killing it) because it is for everything it inspired (literally 12 bazillion YouTube parodies). Fittingly, it raked within the accolades, being named the fifth-best video of the last decade by Billboard and taking home the award for Video of the Year on the VMAs. Of course, most oldsters only remember the latter for Kanye West’s hissy fit, but given Nava’s low profile, it seemed slightly fitting that he’d be overshadowed yet again.
Sex and swagger personified, like the song, Nava’s “Milkshake” is little greater than Kelis cavorting at the counter of a Brooklyn diner (fun fact: It’s now a Mexican restaurant!), and yet, it is usually her most iconic video, let alone probably the most decade’s best. And never simply because of the suggestive use of over-easy eggs, either.
Shakira, “She Wolf”
Arguably essentially the most booty-riffic video of all time (or a minimum of essentially the most flexible), “She Wolf” sees Shakira at the prowl, but it is the moments when she’s caged behind gilded bars where the clip takes on added, uh, significance. Shaki shakes and struts, proves she’s probably double-jointed, and pumps her posterior to eye-popping volume. Just like the song, it’s kind of pulpy, a tad glittery and just slightly cheesy, but all within the easiest way.
Beyonce featuring Jay-Z, “Crazy in Love”
A breakneck song requires an equally breakneck video, and on “Crazy,” Nava keeps the camera moving so quickly that it nearly gives the viewer whiplash. A hyperkinetic, hyper-colored joy ride that fits the song’s blissed-out sentiments (after which some), it’s one in every of Beyonce’s best, especially the bit where she karate kicks the highest off a fireplace hydrant. Or when a car inexplicably bursts into flames. It is a testament to Nava that, when the location demands it, he can get as over-the-top as anyone.
Britney Spears, “My Prerogative”
At one point, Britney drives a Porsche right into a swimming pool. What else do you want to know?