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How director Dave Meyers is setting the new standard for visuals in music

In 2017 “Humble” won the MTV’s best video of the year award. One year later, in 2018, “Havana” by Camila Cabello, won the same price. And, in 2019, Taylor Swift’s “Me!” won the MTV Europe award for best video of the year.

What do all of these have in common?  The legendary director Dave Meyers.

The man behind the camera

If the name does not ring a bell, you might recognize him for his talent.

Director Dave Meyers is the prolific mind behind a record of legendary videos including, “I’m Real” by JLo, “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott, “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish and many other award-winning music videos. 

Not to mention the director’s most recent work with Drake for his “Laugh Now Cry Later” video.

Dave was born and raised in Berkeley, California, Dave developed a passion for film making at a very young age. He had been watching Star Wars and realized not only that he wanted to tell stories, but he wanted to be part of another universe.

Thus, when the time came, he studied Film Production and Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University.

Seeking to enhance his directing abilities for movies, he started working on music videos. At that time, Gus Van Sant (Director of Good Will Hunting), had encouraged him to explore the music video industry as well. Thus, what started as “practice” for movie making, ended up being his vocation. 

He debuted his music video career with E-40 in 1998. He had an affinity for hip-hop as he had grown with it and cultivated a devotion to making hip-hop accessible to a larger audience. 

Instantly, he grabbed the attention of the entire industry and began collaborating with other big-name artists. From Christina Aguilera to Jay-Z, to Blink 182, Dave jumped between genres developing meaningful relationships and building his name.

By 2000, he had already worked with Britney Spears, Pink, and Lil Wayne. However, in 2009 his career sparked after directing the video for the song “B.O.B” (Bombs Over Baghdad)” by Outkast.

This was his first million-dollar video and the start of a sweeping MVPA award collection.

From director to visual Architect

But, besides having two Grammys for Best Music Video of the year, four MTV Awards for Video of the Year,  and a slew of other nominations, Dave’s appetite for creativity has brought other additional rewards to his career. Beginning with his collaborations.

In 1999,  he worked with Jay-Z for the first time, directing “Do it Again (put your hands up).” A lasting relationship which expanded his career. “Jay had a natural sense for marketing,” explained Dave.

He [Jay-Z] understood the culture and knew how and when to release a video, thus taught Dave how to understand his audience.

In the years to come, Dave broadens his career to the advertising scene. He started working with Apple for their “iPod Silhouettes Campaign,” and inducted his mastery in the marketing and advertising world.

Eventually, in 2004 he won the Bronze Lion: Dance Award at Cannes for his project with the “Apple iPod” project and a number of different awards.

And, having an affinity for talent, Dave has also helped many artists through the brick of their breakthrough.  In 2000 he directed “Lucky” for Britney Spears — a first video that portrayed Britney as a mature artist, and one which eventually would grant her recognition as the Queen of Pop.

His most noticeable work is with Missy Elliot, whom he has collaborated and evolved with through the years. Their collaborations illustrate the growth and evolution of Dave as a creative and taste-maker within the world of music videos.

Still, one of the proudest moments was working with Ice Cube. “I was one of the kids affected by  N.W.A.” Working with him represented his growth as a director and the power of his creativity.

Slowly but surely, Dave has become one of the most influential visual architects of the decade.

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