Beyoncé insisted on filming her ‘Deja Vu’ video on location in New Orleans rather than in a studio


No matter how much of a superstar she becomes, Beyoncé will always remember her Southern roots. The Houston-raised singer has paid tribute to the southern United States throughout her career. Even early in her career, the Grammy winner insisted that her appreciation for Southern culture (especially Southern black culture) should be evident in her music videos.

Beyoncé | Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Beyoncé’s song ‘Deja Vu’ was a comeback single

In the mid-2000s, Beyoncé was preparing for the release of her highly anticipated second solo album. B’Day. His first solo album, Dangerously in love, was released in 2003, and the budding BeyHive wanted to hear what Queen Bey had next.

Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, who produced the song “Worldwide Woman” and the first single from the album “Deja Vu”, reflected on his work with the young superstar in an interview in 2021 with Variety commemorating the 15 years of the albume birthday. “She was actually looking at different people she was considering hiring as directors,” he recalls. “When we weren’t recording she was thinking about all that stuff, and I was lucky enough to see that side of her.”

Jerkins and fellow producer Jon Jon Traxx were inspired to create the track by listening to Michael Jackson’s hit song “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” on the radio. Jerkins had worked with Jackson in the past and wanted to create a Beyoncé hit that was on the same level.

Beyoncé herself wanted it to be a big record because it was her big comeback on the music scene. Jerkins and Traxx incorporated live horns and other instruments on the track, and Beyoncé fell in love.

Beyoncé performs at Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII halftime show

Beyoncé | Kevin Mazur / WireImage

She insisted on filming the ‘Deja Vu’ video in New Orleans

Beyoncé wanted to pay tribute to the beautiful city of New Orleans in the song’s clip. For the occasion, she hired Sophie Muller, a Grammy-winning music video maker. Muller was blown away by Beyoncé’s vision for the video – and her insistence that they shoot on location.

“I remember we had various discussions about things like, ‘Should we try to recreate the idea of ​​New Orleans in a studio? And she said, “No, we’re definitely going to New Orleans, and that will be the backdrop for the video,” Muller recalls. “I really respected the idea she wanted, and I took it in hand.”

The video was shot at several locations in New Orleans. The city was still reeling from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall a few weeks earlier.

She has a special connection to New Orleans

Although she may be a proud Houston girl, Beyoncé has a special place in her heart for New Orleans. In his groundbreaking visual album from 2016 Lemonade, Beyoncé shed light on various parts of New Orleans as well as the surrounding area.

Inside the city, Beyoncé featured the popular Rue Bourbon in “All Night” and other arteries such as Avenue St. Claude. The “Formation” featured images of a marching band from a local high school in the Algiers district. And much of the visual album included plans for the Destrehan Plantation outside the city and the former Confederate stronghold of Fort Macomb. Jay-Z and their daughter Blue Ivy even play together on the grounds of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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