The premiere of Kanye West’s new visual for “Fade” was definitely one of the most talked about moments from the MTV VMAs. The captivating video featuring G.O.O.D. Music member Teyana Taylor and showcased the artist’s insane moves as she danced around gym equipment in no more than her bra and underwear.
The sensual Flashdance-esque visuals were followed by a series of steamy shower scenes with Taylor and her fiancé and Cleveland Cavs player Iman Shumpert. The video ultimately ended with Taylor appearing as a lioness alongside Shumpert and their baby daughter while surrounded by sheep, which of course, left a lot of people with some questions.
In a new interview with Pitchfork, Jae Blaze, the choreographer behind the video, offered some insight into West’s vision for the project and what exactly that epic last scene might have symbolized.
According to Blaze—who has previously worked with artists like Rihanna and Will Smith—Kanye was very involved in the choreography and was eager to push Taylor to the next level. Blaze said one thing West wanted to incorporate was “bruk back,” a style of dancehall dance that was created by a Jamaican girl group called Outshine Crew, and involves pounding on your back.
Blaze also talked about working with Fonzworth Bentley and Guapo, a previous Taylor collaborator, to help choreograph the moves. “We had her dancing over and over again, and then if we saw something that she did on camera that was really cool and we wanted it her to repeat it, she would do that,” Blaze said. “Gave her direction and she made changes quickly. She was just phenomenal to work with, and she knows her stuff. She used so many different elements in her choreography to bring back from the old school to the new school.”
I had the pleasure of artistic directing on #KanyeWest #Fade video with some absolutely brilliant people. It felt amazing to be surrounded by artists who think outside the box! @teyanataylor you did that!! A true talent!!!! Big up to all those who made this an epic video!! It looked phenomenal!! #GodBlessedPickney #BodyGoals!! #Untouchable @elirusselllinnetz @katheffernan @fonzbentley @reneluv
A photo posted by jae (@jaeblazem) on Aug 29, 2016 at 6:51am PDT
As for that last scene, Blaze thinks it symbolizes Taylor’s fierceness. “She has worked her way into that, and she’s in a great position right now in her life. She has her family. She’s being held down by her amazing husband. She has a beautiful daughter,” she said. “You know, the lioness always protects her baby. I think it really is about her coming into her fierceness.”
To read the entire interview head over to Pitchfork.