DRAKE, RIHANNA, CHILDISH GAMBINO, BEYONCÉ… ARE THEY MOVING OVER TO FILM?

Beyoncé and her Homecoming, Drake with Euphoria, Rihanna and Childish Gambino with Guava Island… It’s very clear that they’ve all seen the window of opportunity in the film and audiovisual world. But, is this an opportunity to explore their creativity or is this just another opportunity to make more money?

There’s nothing new about this. The Beatles made their movies. Whitney Houston made The Bodyguard. The Spanish group Parchís did what they did… So, how are we suddenly in shock by the fact that currently, most American musicians are entering the film industry? We shouldn’t be surprised by it at all. But we should recognise the fact that there’s something different about it. And that thing is being started (like many other things) by Beyoncé.

The oldest Knowles sister marked a before and after in the industry with the launch of her homonymous album in the year 2013. It is not accidental that this album is known as The Visual Album, as Beyoncé took us all by surprise when she released it in a shocking format: each song had its own music video and, in fact, if you see them in the order of the album, it’s very clear that the artist was building a unique and specific kind of imagery. This tactic has been repeated by many others after her, but what’s important about the tactic is that is has proven that we are living in a purely visual world and that, if you want to be a relevant musician in the year 2019, it’s mandatory to have a solvent visual proposal.

Within this framework, it’s not at all surprising that Beyoncé ended succumbing to Netflix with Homecoming, an extensive documentary in which her now iconic performance at Coachella 2018 has become an excuse to keep broadening the limits of her audiovisual proposal. Its premiere has been one of the most successful ones of the VOD platform’s history and, therefore, there are rumours that Beyoncé has signed a deal with Netflix to release several other audiovisual pieces.

Similarly, a few months ago there were images floating on the internet that seemed to show Childish Gambino (or so to say: Donald Glover) and Rihanna working together on what seemed to be a movie. In the end, Coachella 2019 was where they chose to début Guava Island, a musical with a script that Glover himself wrote and directed by Hiro Murai who has become one of the stars of the season on another VOD giant: Amazon Prime Video.

But there’s even more: HBO, the third VOD giant, also wanted a piece of the action, and that is why they’ll be coming out with Euphoria, a show that has been cosigned and produced by Drake, starring Zendaya. Not much else is known about this production, but it’s clear that given the context, something’s going on. And that is something that, in this 360º panorama in which we live in, where the business is only business if it expands in all directions, American musical artists know very well, which is that there’s money in the audiovisual. And, if there’s money, they’ll be there.