Beyoncé isn't the only powerful black woman commanding concertgoers' attention on the "Formation" tour. Midway through her incredible, almost two-hour set, a face appears on a giant screen onstage. Beyoncé has momentarily left the stage to change costumes and, in her absence, someone else is suddenly preaching to a stadium of 60,000 people: YouTube personality Evelyn from the Internets.
Evelyn didn't know Beyoncé was planning to use her video, which she'd filmed in April to encapsulate her joy at experiencing Lemonade for the first time. You can watch her reaction to realizing her work was being showcased in such an incredible forum here:
In the clip Beyoncé plays, Evelyn talks passionately about wearing her hair how she wants, baby hairs and all. Playing Evelyn's video at her concert was a conscious choice by Beyoncé to allow voices besides her own to be heard.
Evelyn and I chatted via email last week about her career, how she feels about Beyoncé, and where new fans should start watching her work.
What inspired you to start making your own videos?
I've always made videos—shoutout to the old DVDs at my parents' house! I'm also an Internet kid, so posting my face on YouTube back then wasn't scary. The fact that I could post anything and have confidence that at LEAST one other human in the world relates to what I'm saying or doing will always fascinate me.
When did you hear/watch Lemonade for the first time? What are your thoughts on it?
Heard it the day it came out. My friend David had a watch party and made lemon pepper chicken and lemon squares because he means business. Can't sum up my thoughts any better than my reaction video!
When did you find out that your video was being used on Beyoncé's tour?
My friend Bobby sent me a slew of text messages and I realized that was my face on the screen o__o. Because… Beyoncé… played my video on tour… Some people freeze ([that was] my brother's reaction). Some people run. Ha!
Did Beyoncé contact you beforehand about using your video?
She has my permission, yes.
Have you seen any spike in views and subscribers since Beyoncé featured your video?
Yeah! I don't keep a close eye on those numbers per se, but my metrics is poppin'!
What does it mean to you to have Beyoncé share your video?
It means it's time to level up. Get in formation. Activate. I feel energized and ready for the blessings.
What do you hope the audience of the "Formation" tour gains from your art?
Enthusiasm and #BlackJoy and how the visuals have layers of meaning from pop culture to political.
If you could show Beyoncé's concertgoers another one of your videos, which would it be?
Fun fact: I rarely watch my own videos after I post them, so I'd say start with my VEDA 2016 playlist (Vlog Every Day In April) and just explore from there. It gets really weird. You've been warned.
What's next for you?
Hopefully the increase in visibility gives me access to more opportunities to create video and written content. I want to make documentaries and use my skills to reach even more people.
Watch more of Evelyn's videos on her YouTube page.
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.