Superstar Beyonce wanted to create her own "street version" of George Michael's classic Freedom! '90 video in her promo for new song Yonce.
Michael famously featured supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Tatjana Patitz in the hit 1990 release, and Yonce music video director Ricky Saiz reveals Beyonce was heavily inspired by the film for her own track.
The Crazy In Love hitmaker wanted a "contemporary, street version" of Freedom for her promo and recruited models Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Iman and Joan Smalls to join her for the shoot on the streets of Brooklyn, New York.
Saiz tells Buzzfeed.com, "The girls were incredible. Everyone kind of checked whatever ego at the door and we were all there to make something fun and special... We wanted to do something very sexual, but... you know, she's Bey. She's not 21. She's not Miley (Cyrus)."
The audio and video for Yonce was released as part of Beyonce's new self-titled album exclusively on iTunes.com early last Friday (13Dec13) with no advanced announcement or promotion, and Saiz admits he had no idea the project was set to drop.
He says, "To be honest, I was actually in bed when I got an email just kind of saying (Beyonce) was live. I proceeded to stay up until five or six in the morning just kinda checking out all of the madness. It was a complete surprise even to the people involved. No one knew when (it would be released) or to what scale or that there was going to be everything coming out at once. It was very, very much a cool surprise."
Songwriter/producer Ryan Tedder, who worked with Beyonce on the track XO, found out about the surprise release at the last minute, shortly before it hit the Internet.
He says, "I knew 90 minutes before it dropped. Ninety minutes. And I said nothing because I love Beyonce and I don't want her to hate me.
"I heard a rumor and then I didn't say anything. I told my wife, 'I think Beyonce's album is dropping in 90 minutes,' and then I knew that XO was on the album."
Apple's iTunes bosses recently announced Beyonce had shattered download records by shifting 828,773 units worldwide in its first three days of release, and Tedder admits her success has prompted the singer and his OneRepublic bandmates to rethink their future album strategies.
He adds, "Me and my whole band, who are just complete sceptics and like, you know, a bit snobby, we just sat there going (wow)... Like, somehow we have to step our game up and be more like Beyonce."