Ibra Ake is a Nigerian-American artist. He has worked as a director, screenwriter, producer, photographer, and creative director. He is best known for his work as a writer on the FX show, Atlanta, and director on Beyonce's visual album, Black is King. In 2019, he won a Grammy as a producer on Childish Gambino's music video, This is America.



Ibra Ake started off as a portrait and fashion photographer, shooting for various Condé Nast publications, beauty brands, and music acts.[1][2]

Childish GambinoEdit

Through photography Ake met Donald Glover at a time when Glover was still a rising musician under the name Childish Gambino.[3] After becoming friends, they started to share ideas and Ake became Glover's creative director.[3] This collaboration led to countless other projects with Glover, as well as with the other members of the collective, Royalty - their creative group that was formed in 2012.[3] Ake has served as creative director for almost all of Childish Gambino's albums and tours.[4][5]


Ake has written numerous episodes for the first three seasons of the Emmy Award–winning series Atlanta.[6] He also directed an episode from season three, "White Fashion," and has also guided the show's marketing outreach.[4][7]


Ake was a producer on the short visual film, Guava Island that was shot in Cuba by Hiro Murai and starred Donald Glover, Rihanna, and Leticia Wright.[8][9]

In 2020, he directed and consulted on Beyonce's visual album, Black is King, specifically the videos for "Brown Skin Girl", "Water," and "Keys to the Kingdom."[10][11][12]


Notable creative direction projects include: Tiwa Savage's 49-99;[13] Spotify's RapCaviar Pantheon;[14] Adidas, Donald Glover Presents;[15] Pause with Sam Jay;[16] SNL; and Pharos.[17]


At the 61st annual Grammy Awards in 2019, Ibra Ake won a Grammy for Best Music Video, as a producer for Childish Gambino's viral and acclaimed music video for This is America.[18][19]


Ibra Ake is the son of Claude Ake, a renowned Nigerian political scientist.[20]


  1. ^ Hahn, Rachel. "Behind the Scenes of Donald Glover and Rihanna's Guava Island". Vogue. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  2. ^ "Photos: Models Ink". Vogue. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Ibra Ake Is On a Mission To Show African Creatives the Value of Ownership & Telling Honest Stories". OkayAfrica. 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  4. ^ a b "Introducing Royalty, the Collective Behind 'Atlanta' and Childish Gambino". GQ. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  5. ^ Miller, Hayley (2018-05-09). "'This Is America' Producer Reveals New Details About Childish Gambino's Viral Video". HuffPost. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  6. ^ "Ibra Ake Atlanta screening and Q&A". Cal State Monterey Bay. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  7. ^ "Perspective | How 'Atlanta' tapped into social media to create an all-encompassing viewer experience". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  8. ^ "Behind the Scenes of Donald Glover and Rihanna's Guava Island". Vogue. 2019-04-13. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  9. ^ Dry, Jude (2019-07-04). "'Guava Island' Behind the Scenes Videos: Meet the Cuban Talent in Donald Glover's Film". IndieWire. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  10. ^ Sisario, Ben (2020-07-30). "Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Is No Secret, but Still Comes With Mystery". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  11. ^ "Ibra Ake on the Importance of Showcasing African Excellence in Beyoncé's 'Black Is King'". Complex. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  12. ^ Adams, Sam (2020-07-30). "A Guide to the Directors of Beyoncé's Black Is King". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  13. ^ "#Watchlist: Meji Alabi On Directing Tiwa Savage's "49-99"". Zikoko!. 2019-10-25. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  14. ^ "Cardi B, Jaden Smith, Juice WRLD and Gunna Inducted Into Spotify's 2019 RapCaviar Pantheon". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  15. ^ "Donald Glover and adidas Originals officially launch Donald Glover Presents". news.adidas.com. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  16. ^ "Ibra Ake". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  17. ^ "Childish Gambino Assaulted The Future With The "Pharos" Experience". Okayplayer. 2016-09-04. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  18. ^ "Jason Cole, Hiro Murai and Ibra Ake wins award at the 61st Grammy Awards in Los Angeles".
  19. ^ "Ibra Ake".
  20. ^ Adams, Sam (2020-07-30). "A Guide to the Directors of Beyoncé's Black Is King". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-21.