January 19th 2021 // Interviewer: Shane Allen //Editor: Cameron Skidmore // Music
Photographer: Halimotu Shokunbi
"I damn near ended up making a whole new genre of my own. I just took sounds that I've accrued over my whole time and made that situation."
So the first time I heard of you, I saw you at this show that Yung Jake threw. It was in an art museum, you were performing on top of a cage that the audience was in with an RC car track around the outside of it. It was actually pretty crazy. How was that show for you?
That was so dope for me it was a totally different experience. That actually inspired me for how I do my shows now. He has some cool ideas, I respect his creativity. All of his stuff is really cool, but just from that show, I was fucking with him. That's all it took. I don't talk to him on a regular basis, but I would love to have a friendship with him.
I know you were a pretty creative kid. What were you into growing up?
When I was a kid, I was dancing, my dad was too. Everybody in my family was on something. If we were in the house, everybody would get up and move. So I've had rhythm since the young age, I guess that's why I try to put some rhythm in everything I do.
But yeah I was dancing, but my dad was also into the computer. He would teach me stuff on the computer and then we would watch movies together. So the whole time we were watching the movie. I'm thinking to myself "I'm gonna be a young director." I just wanted to be the director of some movie. I had this feeling from a young age like an energy in me, that always made me go, You know what? I'm going to make something, doesn't matter what it is.
You remember any family gatherings that stand out where everyone was dancing?
My mom, she had uh... I actually, I wasn't supposed to be there. My mom's had a party, I was supposed to get picked up by my cousins to go somewhere but they never came and got me, so I just stayed in my room, When I left my room and I walked through to my living room, I was like, Dog, what is going on in here! [Laughs]
It was a reggae party, they were playing a bunch of Jamaican music and reggaetón. But I knew from the music and from the energy, I was like, yeaahh, this is it. This just paved the way for me. They were playing Buju Banton. I can vividly see those images from the party. That stuck with me.
Being somewhere you shouldn't be. That's always how you find out about things.
[Laughs] Oh yeah!
You said you wanted to be a director when you were young. You ever think about directing a short film or anything like that?
That's one of my goals, I have written down. Yeah, this year I do want to do a short film. Really, I'm a cinematographer, I like to deal with lenses and angles. Ultimately I want to be a director and be behind the camera. I always try to mimic films in my videos.
I want to do a bit of it all. Another thing I'm pretty big on is this thing that I’m doing next in 2021. I’ve been calling it #2027. I want to damn near guesstimate what 2027 will look and sound like, and try to bring it here in 2021. Like people in the future will be like “You remember when Tisa was doing this?" Now we are trying to do that now.
Look at Twitter, Twitter wasn’t going on in 2010 and now it's like the biggest thing ever. If you told somebody about Twitter back then they’d look at you crazy. I don’t have to be correct but that's how I’m trying to approach things.
Stay ahead of the curve. What are some directors you look up to?
Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, JJ Abrams, M Night Shyamalan...oh the Wachowski Brothers, I’m a huge fan of The Matrix. I can’t remember dude's name, but he directed The Shining.
Yeah Kubrick, I was just watching some Kubrick movies.
You ever watch 2001, A Space Odyssey? That's a crazy one.
Nahh I haven't, but the internet's always telling me to.
What your favorite Christopher Nolan film?
I like the trilogy. I saw the Batman trilogy and I just fell in love with it, it's crazy I was young and I was so attracted to this movie. But aside the point that he was Batman. I guess that's why I started to watch it but stayed because of Christopher Nolan. I love that movie because of what he did to it,
What are some of your favorite music videos?
I'm kind of biased in this, because Pharrell Williams is my favorite. I like the Number One video with Kanye West. With me, it's all a feeling. Everything is about feeling. It's not about the quality. I know when I watched the Frontin video with Pharell it gave me a feel every time I watched it.
I'm not even the biggest big effects person. The videos I like the most are the videos, with no effects. In the Frontin, they're skateboarding inside of his house and that told me more of a story than anything I've ever watched.