She needs no introduction (or even a last name) – there is no one quite like Queen Bey. Becoming the music industry’s biggest star didn’t happened over night though.
More than two decades after she exploded on to the scene with Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé is undisputedly bigger than ever. Not just starring as Nala in this year’s blockbuster remake of The Lion King, Beyoncé also composed the entire soundtrack, and somehow found the time to direct her own film, Homecoming for Netflix. A music documentary, Homecoming trails Beyoncé’s life amidst her epic performance at the Coachella in 2018. Whilst Beyoncé reportedly wrote, directed (with the aid of Ed Burke) and executive produced the film, as with everything Beyoncé there was a huge team behind her making sure that it happened seamlessly.
One of the most instrumental figures in the impeccable ‘Beyoncé brand’ is Lebanese art director Andrew Makadsi. Whilst Homecoming has been nominated for six Emmy awards, one of them was dedicated to Makadsi for Outstanding Production Design – a testament to his outstanding art direction for the world’s biggest pop star. Although this is Makadsi’s first Emmy nomination, he is no stranger to the star-studded world.
Moving from Zahle in Lebanon to the US in 2007, Makadsi read film at Ohio’s University of Toledo. He soon moved to New York to enter the fashion industry, and it wasn’t long until his creative talent was noticed by Queen B herself.
He was hired to work on a selection of her large-scale projects, such as the Formation World Tour, and was then taken on to be the art director of her music videos. Makadsi continues this role, alongside Beyoncé in her rise to fame, and for 10 years has been employed as art director and senior editor at Beyoncé’s entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment.
Now with over 11k Instagram followers, Makadsi has gained quite a cult following through his signature Beyoncé vids. However, he still keeps grounded to his Arab roots, sharing archival images of regional royalty like Fairuz and Um Kulthoum, alongside documentary portraits from his regular visits back to his home country.
Most of his feed features street snaps of regular citizens with style from the streets of Morocco, showing how the eye at the forefront of Western pop culture isn’t entirely divorced from North African aesthetics. With Beyoncé set to make a new album and tour in 2020, we’re waiting with baited breath to see if Makadsi will once again bring it home for the region.