Growing up as a teenager in Seattle, Hannah Lux Davis was obsessed with music videos from the early 2000s. She loved pop artists like Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, and she loved making collages out of magazines. It didn’t take long before Davis realized she could combine those two interests to make music videos herself.
Davis got her start as a production assistant and makeup artist on film sets while pursuing a career in directing on the side. Since then, she’s gone on to direct music videos for some of the biggest pop artists of the moment, including Ariana Grande (“Focus,” “Into You,” and “Side to Side”), Fifth Harmony (“That’s My Girl”), and Nicki Minaj (“The Night Is Still Young”).
On this episode of “Videohead,” Davis explains her unlikely path, the challenges and thrill of being a young woman on a video set, her aesthetic influences, and how she found success.
Later in the show, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann shares what it’s like to be on the musician’s side of the camera. Her band, ’Til Tuesday, rose to prominence in the mid-1980s alongside the beginnings of MTV, and their video for “Voices Carry” won Best New Artist in a Video at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1985. She also discusses her work on Portlandia and feminist expression in music videos.
Music videos discussed in this episode:
’Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry”
Aimee Mann, “Labrador”
Jessie J, Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj, “Bang Bang”
Mike WiLL Made-It feat. Miley Cyrus, “23”
Fifth Harmony, “That’s My Girl”
My Former Self, “Like a Drug”