From Mother Theresa to Malala Yousafzai and from Audrey Hepburn to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – they and and a whole range of iconic women are portrayed by the Dutch singer Anouk in her music video for ‘It’s a New Day’. In total, the artist pays tribute to 28 different women from the worlds of science, politics, art, sports, activism, fashion, media and even royalty, all while remaining her recognisable self: one of the Netherlands’ biggest music stars of the past 25 years.
‘Sometimes you hear a song and before it’s finished, you have an idea,’ says director Victor D. Ponten about the video. ‘Anouk liked the treatment and chose a number of women from my longlist that were inspiring to her, I added some more names and together we made the final selection.’
Sometimes you hear a song and before it’s finished, you have an idea.
The video is dedicated to ‘the ones leading the way’. ‘Some of these women are the first to be acknowledged in their field of expertise,’ writes Anouk on the YouTube page of the video (which also lists all of them), ‘some had the courage to stand up for themselves and take the first step towards gender equality and some are present day leaders and activist, but there is one thing they all have in common: they all fight for what they believe in and therefore set a great example to today’s society and are an inspiration to young girls all over the world.’
In preparation for the shoot, Victor chose one image of each person being portrayed and showed those to stylist Esmée Croqué and make-up and hair artist Irena Ruben, to base their look for Anouk on. Victor: ‘Because we didn’t want it to become some kind of circus show, Esmée suggested we present Anouk herself as the base image, dressed in a white tee and jeans. From there, they could style her as all the different women.’
Where, on a normal shoot, the actors wait for the camera and lighting to be ready, this time it was the other way round. Victor: ‘There was often at least an hour of hair and make-up before we could shoot another couple of lines from the song. I had never worked like that before. In total, it took about two-and-a-half days to get all 28 looks plus two of Anouk as herself.’
Each time Anouk was in make-up, she would practise her look and pose for the shoot, based on the photo. ‘Anouk was easy to direct,’ comments Victor, who hadn’t met the singer before the shoot. ‘She has great energy.’