When Zayn Malik’s “Like I Would” video dropped, rapper Azealia Banks compared the video to her video “Yung Rapunxel.” The rapper was more than miffed about the similarities in color scheme, but as it turns out, Malik didn’t take a page out of her book for the video.
According to Entertainment Weekly, who sat down with Director X, the man behind the video, he admits that there was some inspiration behind the video, but it wasn’t from Banks. Instead, the director revealed that he and Zayn Malik were after R&B singer Usher’s “Yeah!” video as a palette.
In the interview, Director X explains his influence for Malik’s “Like I Would.” “If I could go back in time, I would have made ‘Yeah!’ all laser. So this is my chance to do it.”
He continued to explain how the idea came for Malik’s video. “Zayn’s manager originally had an idea that it was going to be lots of dancing and then they went and got what they call the Cyclone, that big laser rig that’s in the video that he’s standing underneath, they found that.”
Director X continued to explain his own expertise when directing. Just for reference, his credits include Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and Rihanna’s “Work.”
“I’ve done a bunch of laser-themed music videos before. I did Usher’s ‘Yeah!’ and I’ve been wanting to redo that video for a long time. I’ve got, what, 10 years of thinking about what I could have done differently? Something like that. So I brought in all that old experience and the Cyclone, and we started building it from there. ”
When asked specifically to explain the “Yeah!” influence, he said that both themes are about lasers, and that in general he gravitates towards themes in music videos, rather than “a thing that happens.”
— Just Jared Jr. (@justjaredjr) May 10, 2016
As for whether or not Zayn Malik had input about the music video, Director X said that his team had input. “Zayn really has a good team around him that he communicates with. He definitely has an opinion on set and very much into how he’s performing. ‘Okay, I can do this, I can do that better.’ He’s involved.”
Something that Zayn did have a say in was his appearance. Everyone took notice of Zayn’s orange contact, and according to the director, that was all Zayn’s idea. He said that the singer came to set with the contact already in. He was surprised by Zayn’s appearance, but he went with the flow. Of their collaboration the director said, “I’m very much a believer in people owning their department and I think an artist really owns the video. I trust their instinct and their tastes, because their taste is what their audience likes. I go with it.”
As the Inquisitr reported, the video did get attention for its in-your-face look, but most of the attention of the video came from Azealia Banks’ racist rant at Malik after she accused him of stealing her look. Director X hasn’t come forward to address Banks’ comments, and for the most part neither has Malik, but they did support each other and the video in a series of tweets.
Sick interview!???????? https://t.co/s7i6sZ4mmk
— zayn (@zaynmalik) May 10, 2016
Director X also retweeted the following article:
— Jessica Goodman (@jessgood) May 10, 2016
As a result of Banks’ racist rants towards Malik, she has already been dropped from one music festival gig and Twitter has decided to suspend her account, to the celebration of many users.
Celebrity status does NOT equal special privileges to use twitter to be abusive. Good job Twitter! #AzealiaGotSuspendedParty
— The Mad Scrapper (@syntharoboto) May 12, 2016
— Brandon Mason (@Bmason2020) May 12, 2016
LOL and she tried to make a new account & Twitter still suspended it! They are not playing #AzealiaGotSuspendedParty pic.twitter.com/SPDdyMuzg4
— Sāvion (@SavionWright) May 12, 2016
[Photo by YouTube]