How Andra Day Gets the World’s Best Movie Directors to Shoot Her Music Videos

Andra Day never expected M. Night Shyamalan, the Oscar-nominated director behind The Sixth Sense and Signs, would tweet back to her request that he film a music video for her.

But as she says, Andra is #blessed, and he did, and the result of their work together is “Rise Up,” a video that’s meant to show the strength of those who rise up against their personal challenges. Andra, who’s also had Spike Lee direct a music video of hers, writes her music with inspirational messages. Which is why Coca-Cola selected her lyrics to grace 40 million Coca-Cola bottles as a part of their new “I’ll Rise” campaign.

Read our interview with the “Rise Up” singer, stay tuned for her soon-to-be released next single, and catch Andra at the Essence Festival and Bonnaroo this year.

Can we talk about your beauty look in the “Rise Up” video? How were you inspired to style this music video?

I wanted the style to be simple using only a few outfits.  The goal was to keep the focus on the characters and the story.

If you could live in one era of music forever, when would it be?

Definitely in the 40s and 50s with the jazz era. Minus the racial climate, of course.

What’s your favorite love song?

It’s hard to say. I feel there are different love songs for different seasons. I love “Nothing Really Matters” by Lauryn Hill & D’Angelo, “The Man I Love” by Billie Holiday, and “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder. It all depends on my mood.

What role does religion play in how you write music?

I don’t really use religion in how I write music. It’s more in how I live. It gave me the ability to do what I do. For me, it’s a relationship with Christ. It’s the core of who I am.

You also had Spike Lee direct one of your videos. Can you talk about that? Who are you hoping to work with next?

Yes, that was incredible. I see my videos as movies and the way movie directors put things together cinematically is amazing. I would love to work with Guy Ritchie, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Ava DuVernay, or Steve McQueen. I’m a huge fan of these directors. I have very big aspirations.

Do you consider your video sad or uplifting?

I like to think of it as an uplifting video. Sometimes you have to address the truth of a situation in order to be uplifting. I think being open and honest about life helps us to grow and find the positive elements.

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