Saturday, 4 January 2014

Watch: Self-Titled – the Making of 'Beyoncé'

After about three weeks of intermittent YouTube uploads, Beyoncé's released all five parts of her "Self-Titled" video series. In the clips, she talks through the conception and execution of her eponymous, surprise-surprise fifth album, dropped without warning in mid-December. In case, for whatever reason, you weren't aware that she unleashed 14 songs and 17 videos for the album on iTunes, all at once, she and her team have used these little videos to take viewers behind the scenes of the whole secretive affair.

As a post-release marketing technique, it's brilliant — sort of a welcomed antithesis to Katy Perry's Prism or Gaga's never-ending, torturous campaign for ArtPop (which, in the end, failed to deliver commercially). Nope, instead of inundating fans and the press with video teasers and Instagram teasers and Facebook fan page photo teasers, Bey was busy posting pics of her vegan cupcakes when Beyoncé landed on iTunes at midnight on December 14. Fair enough.

Amidst the "is she a real feminist? Can she ever be a feminist? What even is a feminist now?" thinkpieces that rose to the surface in the days after the album's release, these videos came to represent a polished, yet honest explanation for some of the record's eyebrow-raisers (she has sex! And she sings about it! etc). After enduring her HBO documentary when it first came out, something about these three- to five-minute videos seems more earnest and less over-thought, and in a way becomes a more worthwhile glimpse into her process as a creative and a businesswoman. So dive on in.

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