Explain who you are for those who don’t know you?
I go by @kybalionvfx for everything visual. I am a photographer, music video director and a dude that is really good at finding cool stuff.
Where are you from?
I am from the East Bay Area.
What is it like growing up where you’re from?
Man, I can’t imagine being from anywhere else. We are literally an hour away from any climate possible. There’s always something going on. I was fortunate enough to have family all over the Bay Area so I always got to see cool stuff around me. The Bay was always gritty and I appreciated that about it. It taught me a lot about the world, you consistently meet different types of people that come from all different walks of life. I’m glad to have lived through what I consider the golden years of the Bay. Nowadays there’s no culture left. It’s become transplants that come to our cities to work in tech. The tech industry has destroyed the Bay Area, rents are absurdly high and people from here can’t afford to stay here for much longer.
How did you get into film?
I wanted to create things for a long time. I couldn’t really draw. I still try to draw all the time but I never really got better, it’s absurd. They say you can do anything with enough effort but I still can’t draw. Eventually, you have to find the way to cure the itch to create. Mine was film and photography. I feel like anybody can get good at this with enough practice and dedication.
What made you get into the music video realm?
Initially, I wanted to be a journalist. I always listened to a lot of hip-hop/rap from a young age and I had a site where I’d interview rappers. It did pretty well, I don’t really know what happened or why I stopped that but I didn’t really have the drive anymore. I still listened to bunch of music and was up to date with everything but didn’t create much for any rappers for a minute. In retrospect, this was probably a good idea because I was focusing on creating for myself and practicing with the camera. One day I just wanted to get back into the groove of things and working on stuff for other people. I hit up K.E.L.L.S. to film a music video and everything just came together.
What are your goals?
I follow one rule and that’s trying to make myself better everyday. That’s my only goal is to be better than yesterday. Other people’s work doesn’t concern me. I’m just trying to earn my own stripes and help the people around me in any way I can.
What are you currently working on?
I have literally 5 music videos I’m editing along with a few hundred photos. It’s going to be a tough week, I’m gonna have more than a few 4AM nights. I like the challenge though, it gives me an opportunity to see how efficient I can be.
How do you feel about the current state of HipHop?
It’s a never ending debate. I feel like everything happens for a reason. I’m not saying I enjoy listening to a lot of the guys that are on the radio, so I don’t listen to the radio. There’s still a lot of good music out there, I think the state of hiphop bad reputation because it’s evolved into so many different genres. Just last year alone mainstream wise we had phenomenal albums with Kendrick, Hov, Tyler, Rapsody. I don’t see the problem. Listen to what you feel like listening to and hey if you don’t like the rap on the radio, don’t listen to the radio. There’s great music everywhere, you just gotta do some digging. I don’t mind searching for gems at all. It’s funny, sometimes I get songs I have to film that I’m not the biggest fan of. I’m not saying no, I like what I do and I leave my door open so anybody can get it.
What makes you DOAP?
I work harder than most people. Seriously. I don’t think anybody is putting in the same amount of energy or hours in a day that I am. I take criticism and listen, I’m trying to get better by any means necessary. Too many people think they’re at the top and don’t wanna get better. I always got my ear on the ground and apply what people tell me. There’s no ego, there’s no emotion involved.
Anything else that you would like to add?
Yeah a big thank you to my guys K.E.L.L.S., White Dave, Sndtrak, Zenan, Clif Soulo for being great people.