Karena Evans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Karena Evans
Born (1995-12-17) December 17, 1995 (age 23)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active2016–present

Karena Evans (born December 17, 1995) is a Canadian music video director and actress. She is known for directing the music videos for Drake's 2018 Billboard Hot 100 number one singles, "God's Plan", "Nice for What", and "In My Feelings". Evans is the first woman to receive the Prism Prize's Lipsett Award for music video direction. She won the Much Music Video Award for Best Director at the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs.

In addition to working as a music video director, Evans has acted in the television series Mary Kills People and has starred in two feature films, Every Day and Firecrackers, the latter of which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.



Evans started her career in the music industry as an intern for Director X.[1] She was eventually signed as a director to his music video production company, Popprok.[2][3] Since then, Evans has directed music videos for numerous artists, including Belly and Sean Paul.[4] She has also directed commercials for Nike, Inc., including a Black Lives Matter short for the brand.[5][6]

Evans garnered attention in early 2018 when she directed Drake's viral "God's Plan" music video; the song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the video shows Drake donating their $1 million dollar budget to the people of Miami.[7] She subsequently directed his "Nice for What" music video, which also reached number one and garnered critical acclaim from several publications.[8][9] Vogue lauded Evans as "surely destined to be the starriest young video director in the firmament".[10] Later that year, she became the first woman to win the Prism Prize's Lipsett Award for music video direction.[11][12]

In May 2018, SZA released a music video featuring Donald Glover for her song "Garden (Say It Like That)", which was directed by Evans.[13] Evans signed with WME later that month.[14] That summer, she also directed the music videos for Drake's singles "I'm Upset" and "In My Feelings".[15][16]

In late 2018, Evans earned Much Music Video Award and MTV Video Music Award nominations for her work on Drake's videos.[17] She ultimately won Best Director at the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs for her work on "God's Plan".[18]


As an actress, Evans began her career in 2016 with a role in a short film called WhiteWoods. In 2018, she starred in two feature films, Michael Sucsy's Every Day and Jasmin Mozaffari's Firecrackers, the latter of which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.[19] That same year, she also performed a recurring role in the Canadian television series Mary Kills People.[20]


Evans is the younger sister of Jordan Evans, a producer who has worked with several successful artists, and was inspired by him to pursue her passion.[21] Evans has stated that she is heavily influenced by Melina Matsoukas, whom she called her "hero" in an interview with Billboard.[17] Evans hopes to be an inspiration for other young black women from her hometown of Toronto.[21]


Year Song Artist Notes
2017 "Mumble Rap" Belly
"The Come Down Is Real Too" Belly
"Run This" PLAZA
2018 "God's Plan" Drake
"Nice For What" Drake
"D'Evils" SiR
"Garden (Say It Like Dat)" SZA
"I'm Upset" Drake
"In My Feelings" Drake
"Tap Out" Jay Rock


  1. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About Drake's 'God's Plan' Video". Billboard.
  2. ^ "Karena Evans – Popp Rok". popprok.com.
  3. ^ "Meet Karena Evans, the 22-Year-Old Music Video Director Behind "Nice for What" – Verge Campus". April 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "Anders' "You for You" Video Showcases a Side of Toronto You've Never Seen". Complex.
  5. ^ "22-Year-Old Filmmaker Karena Evans Helmed Drake's Star-Studded 'Nice For What' Video". shadowandact.com.
  6. ^ "Karena Evans joins M ss ng P eces, RSA signs Sophie Edelstein".
  7. ^ Martin, Emmie (February 20, 2018). "Drake gave away entire $1 million budget for God's Plan video". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Kimball, Whitney. "Karena Evans's New Video for Drake Puts Pop to the Bechdel Test".
  9. ^ "This is everything important about Drake's 'Nice for What' music video". April 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Is Drake's "Nice for What" a Problem for Instagram?".
  11. ^ "Meet Karena Evans, the first female recipient of Canada's music video direction honour The Lipsett Prize – CBC Radio".
  12. ^ "Karena Evans Named Winner of 2018 Lipsett Award".
  13. ^ "SZA Gets Close To Donald Glover in Karena Evans-Directed "Garden" Video". Okayplayer. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (May 23, 2018). "WME Signs Director Karena Evans". Deadline. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "All the Videos From Drake's 'Scorpion' Album Ranked: Critic's Pick". Billboard. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "Drake Drops "In My Feelings" Video". Complex. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "The New Wave of Music Video Directors Is Here: 10 Fresh Talents Shooting For Drake, Dua Lipa & More". Billboard. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "Shawn Mendes Dominates iHeartRadio MMVAs 2018". Billboard. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  19. ^ Erbland, Kate (August 1, 2018). "'Firecrackers' First Look: Jasmin Mozaffari's Female-Centric TIFF Premiere Challenges the Patriarchy — Watch". IndieWire. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  20. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About Drake's 'God's Plan' Video". Billboard. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Epstein, Rachel (August 23, 2018). "Karena Evans Dropped Out of Film School—Then Started Making Music Videos with Drake". Marie Claire. Retrieved April 26, 2019.

External links[edit]