Could you introduce yourself?
I'm YGA. I'm a director.,special effects coordinator, I'm a liver, not like the food, I'm a liver of life.
When was like the first time you knew you liked making things?
I mean, I was the only child, so I was always tinkering with shit. Cause I didn’t have any siblings to fuck around with. So I just be in a crib drawing or like playing video games, Just try to do something to keep myself entertained. Drawing or making forts.
When were you introduced to filmmaking?
Well, I got to filmmaking through music actually. I used to be a producer and DJ and the dude I was making music for, he was kinda like a street artist. But I had a lot of ambient type sounds and beats that he couldn't really wrap on. But I still feel like they were fire. So I was like, well I just got all of these five beats that just sitting here. So I started shooting videos to my instrumentals and that's kinda how I got into the camera.
When did you get your first camera?
My first camera. It was my neighbor. My neighbor Cam. He let me borrow his camera ‘cause I was going to LA and I wanted to document the whole thing. I left it in LA though...My bad bro, I left it in La and the AirBNB. That was my first camera, I lost it.
Then I just started shooting all like little Handi-cams and shit after that because I was like, alright let me not lose another $2,000 camera. But I got over that and ended up being a real thing.
So did that kind of affect the way you saw cameras, did you think you had to use the best camera to make something cool.
At first I did. You think you gotta have at least a certain thing for your shit to be taken serious. So you want to get the highest quality, the biggest camera. But after going through that phase of shooting with lo-res shit shit and people still rocking with it. I was like, wait, you don't even need that. It's all in your talent, it's all in your brain. Like what you can see, what you can make happen. If it's fire, it's fire, you know? And at the end of the day, it's like going against the grain is fire in general.
What the first thing you do going into making a music video?
First, the songs gotta speak to me. After the first time I’ve listened to the song, if it don't speak to me. I can't do it. It would be forced after that. But if I'm rocking with it, I'll get high and start writing and treatment.
When you're shooting, do you always have everything planned out
Well it depends, of course, you gotta have some sort of knowing what you're going to do. So after the treatment is written I present it to the artists, I go location scouting. I try to get the location closest to the thing that I see in my head when I hear the song. Then I get my team together, which is me and a couple of the homies. It's not just one set DP. I got a camera, my bro got a camera, my bro fucking two blocks away shooting with handycam on 30 times, zoom,. We all just be working like that.
We go through all the footage and we stay up for about two, three days, no sleep. Just because you get to that primal state where it's like you don't think, you just do it.
Does living in New York affect a mindset at all?
Yeah, definitely. New York definitely affects my creative process. It definitely further instilled the go-getter mentality that I already had. Because I'm from the south, most people think of the south, it's like slow pace, laid back, easy going, sweet tea and collard greens, Which it is, but it's a lot of people down there doing their thing. But I had to bounce from out of there because I felt like I reached the glass ceiling.
So once I got up here it was like new frontiers type shit. I feel like Sacgawea. I was like, Yo, I gotta get it. ‘Cause all these people that are here get it on a daily.
You are what you surround yourself with. If you're surrounded by people on the go or everybody doing some fire shit, it's only gonna push you to do fire shit. And you do the same thing for them.You got to match the hustle. So you are your a product of your environment. You around some lazy ass niggas, then you ain't gonna do shit, but if you surround yourself around some go-getters, y'all only gonna elevate each other.
What are your goals?
I just want to live comfortably and be able to create freely and I have to answer to nobody. Very simple.