Melina Matsoukas

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Melina Matsoukas (born January 14, 1981) is an American director of music videos, television shows and commercials. She is a two-time Grammy Award winner for her "We Found Love" and "Formation" music videos.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Matsoukas is of Greek, Jewish, Jamaican and Cuban descent.[2] Both her name and surname are Greek: Μελίνα Ματσούκα. She earned her degree at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and completed her graduate work at the AFI Conservatory (MFA in cinematography). Her graduate thesis was on music videos.[3]

Matsoukas started out at Black Dog Film, then the now-defunct Gorilla Flix film production company, and is currently a director at Prettybird, which she has been signed to since 2011.

Her work is described as, "chock full of bright colors or crisp black and white images, smooth spotlights, and tasteful retro video models."[4] Matsoukas says that expensive equipment is not necessary for a quality video and one should never think that way: "A good video has the right visuals, a well conceptualised story and should be exciting and elicit reaction."[5] In an interview for Venus Zine's Fall 2010 issue, she says about being part of the music video world, "I love it. The quick turnaround, the creativity."[6] Regarding the concept of Solange Knowles' video "I Decided", Matsoukas stated: "This is her concept so I've definitely just developed it and put my mark on it."[7]

In 2016 and 2017, Matsoukas directed several episodes of the critically and publicly acclaimed TV series Master of None and Insecure.


Music videos[edit]











Year Name Artist Notes
2011 Year Off Target / Beyoncé
Fuel for Life Diesel
2012 All Originals Represent Adidas
2013 Change Lanes Lexus
2016 Pop Stella McCartney / Grimes, Amandla Stenberg, Lola Leon, Kenya Kinski-Jones
2017 Equality Nike


Year Name Notes
2016 Insecure 3 Episodes
2017 Master of None 2 Episodes



  1. ^ Okeowo, Alexis (6 March 2017). "The Provocateur behind Beyonce, Rihanna and Issa Rae". The New Yorker. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Females Freakin' The Industry". Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved 2010-05-14. 
  3. ^ Kamuzu Banda, Tim. Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 22:01. "Video queen: Melina Matsoukas", Daily Nation.
  4. ^ "Visionary: Melina Matsoukas" Archived 2008-01-18 at the Wayback Machine., WatchLookListen.
  5. ^ Banda, Tim Kamuzu (2008). "Video queen: Melina Matsoukas", p.2,
  6. ^ "Venus Zine: Melina Matsoukas" Venus Zine Fall 2010 Issue No. 44
  7. ^ "Dir. Melina Matsoukas, on the video concept", Truveo. Archived April 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "One Direction beat Justin Bieber and Rihanna at MTV awards". Daily Telegraph. September 7, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Melina Matsoukas". Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "MTV VMAs 2016: the MTV Video Music Awards – as it happened". Guardian. August 29, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Melina Matsoukas - Awards". Retrieved November 3, 2017. 

External links[edit]