Hi brother, It is a pleasure to be able to ask you a few questions as we have been following what you are doing for a long time with great interest. We were surprised when you told us that you have Italian origins, so can you tell us about your family, where you grew up and where are you living now?
Yo yo thank you guys for having me. It’s an honor! & Yes I’m Italian. 100% and i was hyped to find out y’all were Italy based haha.
My family is a huge Italian family that used to have dinners every Sunday. My nonna (grandma) would cook enough to feed an army. Lol miss those times. My nonno (grandpa) was from Avellino and nonna (grandma) was from Naples.
For the people that don’t know, the pizza slice was created in Naples. So I’m no stranger to a good homecooked meal. I grew up In Long Island, Elmont, New York but spent most my life at my grandparents house in Flushing, Queens. I live In New York still and travel wherever this camera takes me.
Where does your passion for cameras and video-making come from? Do you remember the first time you handled one?
So, my passion for cameras came from actually making music a while ago with my homies that are rappers still and just wanting to expand our vision because we couldn’t really afford big budget music videos and dope content like that. I took into my own hands and stepped into that role of production. I actually started with a go pro camera and a drone. That’s it.
Did you study to do what you do or are you self taught? And what were your first professional experiences before doing what you’re doing now?
I am self taught and just being inspired by things I like and grew up on. And you could google anything these days lol but I’ve done drone work for the New York Islanders Hockey Team and I’ve also done drone work for an ESPN+ documentary W/ Chris Brickley. Also content for local restaurants and other food spots.
Were you then able to combine your passion for video making with Hip-Hop…How did you make it succeed? And where does all this come from?
I always knew I wanted to be in the music business one way or another and when I started taking pictures the way that I do with my style I think it just went hand-in-hand.
Whether it’s them in the studio, them in at a show. Smoking a blunt. It’s not just a still. It’s a moment, that moves. It’s intimate and you feel like you’re there. I just wanted to be different. I wanted to add to the culture.
You made a name for yourself today thanks to these mini videos – portraits of people related to the world of hip-hop, among the crazy underground scene of these days, but not only, of which you have brought us some dope samples. How did this concept come about? Why and how did it become “popular” among artists and successful from your point of view?
Basically what I was just saying like I wanted to be different and just add another element to my repertoire. I have my own custom formula.
I came up with this concept before the “reel” era on Instagram right before the pandemic. it was a breath of fresh air. I started taking those shots of 1000Words and other public figures and it just started gaining popularity amongst our community and everyone wanted parts.
Also, I recently turned my “click clack” sound that you hear on my gram into a “song” on Apple Music, Spotify, etc. It’s called Went To Vegas By New Vegas.
Obviously this is the format that made you popular, but you’ve also shot a lot of music videos and stuff, right? What other types of videos did you make, which are maybe less known? What is the work, if you had to choose one, that you are most proud of?
Right Right, it’s crazy because a lot of people don’t know I shoot music videos like that’s how I got my start in this and i still do shoot music videos. Absolutely fire ones.
There’s a bunch out there that are on my website (newvegasfilms.com) I’ve done a bunch of promos for brands and public figures. I really do all mediums of visuals. I have a bunch of documentaries in the works with artists and about my life. That’s all long term stuff that needs proper budgets. Lol really movie sh*t.
My favorite music video I shot has to be for the legend Curren$y at his crib in New Orleans. It’s called “Chainsaw”: we shot at his crib while it was being renovated and we were chillin in his driveway, smoking, talking about all his whips he had and just vibes. My homie Sinematic was with me too. That was legendary to me cuz I remember going on L rides listening to Curren$y and years later at his crib shooting with him. Yea wild.
You also brought us portraits of some of the strongest graffiti artists in New York and beyond. What is their story and on what occasion did you shoot these portraits? Do you have any ties to the New York graffiti scene?
I love graffiti. New York is filled with it and some of the best artists in the world come from here. I wish I could do half the shit these guys do. Lol But I just love it and respect it.
I have some ties with the graffiti world. Sometimes they are at these hip hop events and shows because they love the music. The art is everywhere but the artists themselves are hard to find. They don’t like showing their faces. I’ve taken shots of Claw Money, Chino, ABSTRK, NECKFACE, Eric Haze, SKUF, SHEEFY MCFLY, and actually a few official rappers that are also writers like Starker and Al Divino.
We know that not everyone likes cameras… And other artists that you have “portrayed”, on the other hand, have such a status that it’s not easy to approach them. What do you usually do to have their consensus ? And has there ever been a time, without naming names, where your camera has caused you problems or dangers in your career?
Very true, I think it’s all about the energy you give off. I honestly ask politely. I just wait for the right moment in time and just ask them to get a few shots backstage or wherever.
I don’t just pull the camera out and give no discretion. Public figures are regular people too. All you gotta do is ask. They might say no and that’s cool. I don’t really like taking candid pictures anyway unless it’s intentional.
Most of the people I shoot, I’m a fan of them. I genuinely wanna take a picture of them and they know that. I don’t think my camera has caused any problems yet. Only added value to situations. I’m grateful.
Sometimes you work with a photographer who, we can say, has had a similar journey to yours. 1000WORDS. How and where did you meet and what is your relationship?
Sh*t I would say most of the time lol that’s my brother from another mother. Foreal Foreal. Me and 1000Words been through so much in this industry. He threw me in the mix of this community we’re in now and it’s been history ever since. I’m forever grateful for him.
We met at a chicken finger place called “Stickys Finger Joint” while I was shooting content for them full time. Me and him just hit it off. Have mad things in common but the thing we had in common most was this thing called hip hop. Hip hop really changed our lives.
It’s all we got. He been there for my struggles and vice versa. We’ve been everywhere. We made the word “Outside” hot again. Bronx is my second home. Werd up.
What’s on your bucket list related to the world of video making? Working with someone in particular, shooting some kind of video or what?
For the most part, I think we have everybody that’s everybody. or atleast the people we like. I wanna get into movies honestly. But I think i just need a shot of Jay-z and Kanye and I’ll be content lol, no but I would say keep an eye out because you never know what we gonna do next. It could be a movie, could be an album, sh*t I might be in the movie. I don’t know… I just wanna keep making dope work and contributing to the culture.