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How producing beats made Calmatic one of the best music video directors

Watching an ATM endlessly dispense cash on a wild and lucrative journey across the cityscape of Los Angeles with Anderson .Paak, prompts one to question, who exactly is the creative mind behind the dope visuals for the music video, “Bubblin?”

The answer is, Calmatic; a Los Angeles born filmmaker and artist.

If you do a quick Google search, you will find that Calmatic has an impressive and long list of collaborations with artists.

Calmatic has made music videos for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Khalid, Anderson .Paak, Vince Staples, Esperanza Spalding, Jhene Aiko, Lizzo, Mehyhem Lauren, The Internet, Zayn, Kosher Kris and Overdoz.

Calmatic, however, got his start through producing his own music.

Back in the day when Myspace was the go-to social media platform, Calmatic would share the beats he produced on his account page where he began to develop a small network of followers and artists.


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Big shoutout to Zayn and Luti Media for bringing me onto this project and trusting in my vision. Many more to come. ✊🏾 #ZAYN

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Music has always been important to Calmatic and his creative process, in an interview with Madame Noire, he said,

“Music is the medicine for the heart, brain and mind.”

Still, it was only after acquiring his first video camera that Calmatic was able to marry his love of music with visuals.

Calmatic frequented open-mics around Los Angeles, filming rappers on stage, in hopes of finding an artist or group he could create music videos for, free of charge.


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His visits paid off, ultimately linking up with the LA group Overdoz (a hip-hop group whose sound and vibe have been compared to OutKast and N.E.R.D), where he made several music videos for the music collective.

The collaboration was twofold. It created the necessary visuals for an emerging hip-hop group and also aided Calmatic in developing his own editing style and visual authorship.

The open-mic circuit was also where Calmatic crossed paths with the Anderson .Paak, who at the time, was still an up-and-coming artist.

Blown away by his flow, unique sound, and the funky percussive beats he produced on the drum set,  Calmatic connected with .Paak and created a music video for him.

The two had kept in touch over the years.

Evidently, .Paak’s fame has grown significantly. Since, their first encounter, the Oxnard artist has collaborated with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Dr.Dre, Snoop Dogg and more. When the time came to make a budgetless music video under Dr. Dre’s label, Aftermath Entertainment, .Paak reached out to Calmatic for the “Bubblin’” project.

Calmatic notes that his directing and editing style are instrumentally shaped by musical background. He refuses to conceive visuals and sound as mutually exclusive.

A break in the beat is viewed as an opening, an opportunity for improvisation and for the filmmaker to insert his own artistic signature. In an interview with Madame Noire, Calmatic said,

“I treat editing like I am making a beat. I do all my cuts in like the little in-between, intricate sounds that people don’t really hear. Like to me, the edit has its own beat to complete the beat of the actual song.”


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Calmatic has now stepped through the doors of the West Coast hip-hop and rap scene.

For sure, his early days of trying to make it as a music video director are an admirable model for aspiring music video directors to take note of and follow suit.

TIDAL X Brooklyn used dope music to raise awareness about prison reform

On Tuesday night (October 23rd), 20,000 fans gathered for the fourth annual TIDAL X Brooklyn benefit concert at Barclay’s Center.

The event brought together major stars, emerging artists and activists in an effort to stand up and advocate for criminal justice and prison reform.

Headlining the concert was Ms. Lauryn Hill, Lil Wayne, Nick Jonas, Lil Kim, Meek Mill, Anderson.Paak, with the lineup also composed with the likes of Kaskade, Kodak Black, Normani, Teyana Taylor, Black Thought, Tom Morello, Queen Naija, The Lox and more.


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A night we’ll never forget. #TIDALXBrooklyn 2018. Link in bio.

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It was a party with a purpose with 100% of the proceeds from the star-studded event going to the four non-profits, #Cut 50, Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project and REFORM, aiding each organizations’ reformative projects that seek to put an end to mass incarceration.

The concert was also punctuated by keynote speakers such as Democratic Senator Cory Booker, CNN presenter Van Jones, Angie Martinez, Angela Rye and finally, director Ava DuVernay.


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#TIDALXBrooklyn x

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Each speaker delivered powerful and moving speeches on the pressing and crucial need to stop mass incarceration in the U.S, highlighting how the issue disproportionately impacts black and brown communities.

DuVernay’s presence at the benefit concert was particularly notable, given that the filmmaker’s critically acclaimed Netflix documentary, 13th offers a comprehensive investigation of the constitutional loopholes that have led to the current prison-industrial complex.

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In addition, DuVernay presented an award to Tommie Smith, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Gold Medalists’ powerful and iconic Black Power salute at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. In accepting his award, Smith urged the Barclay crowd to make their way to the polls for the upcoming elections and to never give up the fight for equality.

But with such a huge lineup of talented artists, there were, of course, major highlights to the concert.


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More #TIDALXBrooklyn. You been watching the #TIDALXBrooklyn livestream for #REFORM? Link in bio.

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Dressed completely in vibrant red, Teyana Taylor popped on the concerts’ stage and opened the special event with her stunning vocals, singing her track, “Rose in Harlem.”

Andeson Paak exhibited his rich talent and artistic versatility, rapping his latest single “Tints” while also producing groovy percussive beats when he took his turn on the drumset. Just when his performance couldn’t get any better, .Paak brought out Too $hort to the stage, where the two artists dished out the lyrics to “Blow the Whistle,” that was met with roars from the crowd.

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The crowd went off during Normani’s set, with her performance of “Checklist” (originally featuring big-name DJ Calvin Harris). Normani thrilled audiences by premiering her new single, “Waves,” that truly showcased the artist as destined for big things.

The show ultimately closed out with super-star Lil Wayne. The hip-hop heavyweight rapper delivered his first live performance of his insanely popular new track “Uproar, ” while also teasing audiences with verses and beats from his iconic track “A Milli,” and later transitioning to the tracks “Don’t Cry,” and “Let It Fly,” on his newly released album, Tha Carter V.

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