Beyoncé: Kenzo Digital

Curator: Lindsay Ballant
date: March 29, 2012
Categories: Entertainment Design, Experience Design, Motion Graphics
Via Vimeo
Beyoncé's “Run the World (Girls)” performance at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards (Creative director/director: Kenzo Digital)

How do you upstage Beyoncé? For that you’ll have to ask director and media artist Kenzo Digital, the mastermind behind her performance of the estrogen-inducing anthem “Run the World (Girls)” live at last year’s Billboard Music Awards. Kenzo took what was normally an art form reserved for the background and brought it to life, as Beyoncé interacts with his graphic creations throughout her live performance.

It’s not often that the set shares the spotlight with the artist—but this is an absolute visual feast as Kenzo mixes graphics and effects that keep the audience guessing as to what appears next. Beyoncé’s energy plays into the graphics, and the graphics play right back. 

I’m very inspired by things I see when I can’t even begin to imagine how they were made. That’s immediately what drew me into this performance. I didn’t even know where to start... I was literally speechless.

From an interview with Kenzo at Wieden + Kennedy’s blog, we find that this was made in mostly Maya 7 and After Effects, this was his “side project” (he's a creative director at W+K by day), and no coffee was consumed in the making of this piece.

If you want to check out some of Kenzo’s other work, check out his vimeo page, and an interview on Jay-Z’s Life and Times blog (yeah, he rolls deep) about his labor of love to hip-hop culture, City of God’s Son.
  • Rosie Fitzgerrel

    I love this. I can’t believe this was just a side project. The energy of the graphics matches the energy of the song and Beyonce’s own energy – they all play off of each other and work well together. And really the graphics are pretty simple – just black and white for the most part, never trumping Beyonce’s own image. I’ve really thought that her recent music videos have this same sort of look and feel and it’s encouraging to see such a huge star taking risks with visuals like this.

  • Victoria

    Thank You!!!! Inspiring!

  • Francesco Monaco


  • Melissa

    Beyonce performed the hell out of this number, but it’s worth mentioning that there was a little controversy about whether or not Beyonce and Kenzo Digital stole the concept from Italian pop star Lorella Cuccarini. Some people argue that it’s inspiration and not a direct copy, but I really think that there are way too many similarities to ignore. Not sure who Cuccarini’s design team was and perhaps Beyonce/Kenzo did step it up a notch, but personally I’m giving credit to Cuccarini and her team for this awesome concept.

  • Anaulloa28


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