Blue and Bey, plus WizKid, beat out Future and Drake’s “Life is Good” video, Anderson Paak’s “Lockdownn”, Harry Styles’ “Adore You” and Woodkid’s “Goliath” in the Best Music Video category.
The award, which will not be televised, was announced today (March 14) — several hours before the annual award show starts. The Grammy goes to the main and featured artists on the track — making Blue a winner — and the video’s director and producer.
“Brown Skin Girl” was directed by Jenn Nkiru and produced by Astrid Edwards, Aya Kaida, Jean Mougin, Nathan Scherrer and Erin Williams.
Within the video, which was featured on Beyoncé’s Black is King visual album, Blue sings the chorus dressed as a debutante. The concept of the video is a celebration of blackness, specifically darker skinned girls and women.
Before debuting the visual on ABC’s Good Morning America, Beyoncé said, “It was so important to me in ‘Brown Skin Girl’ that we represented all different shades of brown… We wanted every character to be shot in a regal light — Jenn Nkiru came up with the black debutantes. It was important that we are all in this together and we’re all celebrating each other.”
Nkiru broke down the symbolism behind the video in an interview with British Vogue. She explained that her vision involved “indulging aspects of beauty that are not often indulged.” She wanted to portray that with “intimacy, sisterhood, and celebrations,” such as a Black debutante ball.
“We showcase Black women, but there’s a conversation around color that needs to happen in South Asian cultures, and so you see the presence of darker skinned South Asian women as well,” Nkiru said. “A lot of these things again are wrapped up in trying to have this more expansive conversation and really think about how we can stretch people’s ways of thinking. That was very much the ethos for Black is King, and naturally it spills out in ‘Brown Skin Girl’ as well.”
The music video was primarily filmed in South London. It features appearances from Blue’s sister Rumi, her grandmother Tina Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell, Lusitania Nyong’o, and Sudanese model Aweng Ade-Chuol.
“Brown Skin Girl” has already won an NAACP Image Award, a Soul Train Award, and a BET Award, which made Blue the youngest BET Award winner of all time.