When an artist like Beyoncé drops an album that becomes arguably the biggest of the year and a game-changer for the music industry, people start scrambling to figure out how it all came to be. Two years in the making, Beyoncé’s self-titled album has dominated water cooler convos since its Dec. 13th digital release. “My message behind the album was finding the beauty in imperfection… Growth, love, happiness, fun,” Beyoncé says in the mini-doc released with the album. “Enjoy your life. It’s short. That’s the message.”
Since Bey’s big bang, there’s been tons of info and interviews floating the Net and it’s hard to keep track. Below, a cheat sheet of what we’ve learned so far about Beyoncé’s visual album. —Clover Hope
1. Team work made the dream work, but the visual album was primarily Beyoncé’s vision.
“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans,” she said in the doc. “There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”
2. The release date changed multiple times.
According to Hits Daily Double, Columbia Records (led by Rob Stringer) and Beyoncé’s company, Parkwood, worked with iTunes to make sure this CIA-style operation went smoothly and without leaks. In the days leading up to the album’s release, the original cast of four people evolved into three teams.