Qwest Milan // MilanStudio.s
The 22-year-old visual artist has been active since 2017, initially doing portrait photography and videography in Greensboro, North Carolina. Qwest Milan gained a following in the North Carolina creative community for producing thirty second photoshoot videos that mesh still photography, animation, and music into a new and extremely distinct product. He relocated to Brooklyn in 2019 and tapped into their underground fashion community, producing even more cutting edge photoshoots with budding artists in the area. Last summer, Milan began directing music videos that incorporated artistic elements from his photoshoot films. His fast-paced cuts are enhanced by quick transitions that briefly turn everything on screen into krinkled, still portraits. This, mixed with his grainy footage, paintbrush filters, and animations, create the feeling one is watching a fast-forwarded, dystopian-urban-western film. In the last year, Milan worked with Moh Barreta, Shawny Binladen, Bobainee, Lite Fortunato, Polo Perks, and PPG Casper. He has one of the most distinguishable video styles out, and his unconventionality will get him even more opportunities this year.
Videos directed/edited by Milanstudio.s - Lite Fortunato feat Charley Osama - HigherThanJimi, Bobainee - Mosquito / Bobainee Sanders, Lite Fortunato - Move How I Move, Moh Baretta - Livin 4 The Moment, Shawny Bin Laden - Sleep Walking
Kody Grace // sheshotyou
The videographer from Washington D.C. has been making videos since 2017, consistently putting out great visuals for what feels like every single trap rapper in the DMV. Since 2020, Kody Grace has uploaded over 45 music videos on her YouTube alone, working with SlimeGoon9, Kayvo, No Savage, Baby Fifty, Cruddy Murda, and Semi Homie. Her clever edits and cutaways perfectly match the tempo, mood, and lyrics of every song she brings to life. Explosions, assault rifles, spaceships, soccer stadiums, doves, and a man running on fire are just a few things one may see flash across the screen in a Kody Grace video. The constant movements and zooms in her camera work heighten the intensity of every perfectly timed bar any artist delivers. Grace’s ability to make people doing ordinary things like smoking in their backyard more cinematically engaging than most feature films, and her rapid output of videos this past year, makes her path to even more success inevitable.
Nam Mac // Lord Stingray
The skater from California, and creator of the 3D animation hub VIRTUA PANIC (FKA PANICWARE), has been uploading art to his Instagram since 2013. Nam Mac started putting out 3D animations in 2020 that were reminiscent of the Animal Crossing video games. He soon turned these animations into full music videos, working with the late Juice WRLD, Bladee, CartierGod, and Lil Darkie in 2021. His nostalgic videos insert the viewer into a Gameboy world that's complexly designed from start to finish. The video's protagonist could be strolling through an enchanted forest and get transported to heaven by devilish looking angels, or be exploring an underwater cave that leads to a psychedelic ecosystem. Mac’s digitized camera work uses grandiose zooms and pans to create cinematic effects that could never be replicated in the human world. Every one of his videos is a full experience that becomes increasingly immersive each watch-through. Lord Stingray has found his niche in the videography world and will only go up for the remainder of this year and all that follow.
Devin Williams Nam Mac // Lord Stingray
Born and raised in the Westside of Detroit, Devin Williams is a photographer, videographer, clothing designer, and a vegan chef. He began his creative output in 2014 doing portrait photography, and became one of the most coveted photographers in the city. He’s worked with Big Sean, Danny Brown, Baby Smoove and Baby Face Ray, alongside superstars that passed through Detroit like A$AP Rocky, Steve Lacy, and Toro y Moi. Williams began making music videos in 2018, often shooting for his friend and frequent collaborator ZelooperZ. He pushed his creative output to another level this past year, directing some of ZelooperZ most captivating music videos. He also worked on videos for Meg Thee Stallion, A$AP Ferg, Na-Kel Smith, and Jhené Aiko. Although he’s collaborated with a long list of high-ranking names, his more personal projects and collaborations are what set him apart from other videographers in the underground and mainstream. Creating self proclaimed “Portrait Videos,” Williams uses offset and grainy footage that is briefly interrupted by eye-grabbing stills that give the viewer brief moments of beauty, lasting just long enough to burn into the mind. His on-tempo edits, creative layering of different video clips, and great selection of location settings make his experimental videos pristine, compact, and professional. William’s ability to mesh his photography and videography skills into his music videos make him one to watch for the rest of the year.
Videos directed by Devin Williams: ZelooperZ - 2 (Two), Zelooperz - Head 2 The Sky, Big Sean feat Ty Dolla $ign and Jhené Aiko - Body Language, Na-Kel- Smith Feat Zelooperz - Henny & Apple Cidar
The LA-based videographer originally made skating and concert recap videos before he started directing in 2018, normally for Bravoo Hunnidz (LilBabyGoat) and Diego Money. In 2020, PG3 picked up his output and became a frequent collaborator of both SIG and Surf Gang. His deep bag of editing skills make his videos excitingly unpredictable. High quality video can turn infrared, grainy, or X-ray at a moment's notice. This is accompanied by intriguing animations like a hand that moves paper cutouts of lyrics onto the screen throughout one video. He also incorporates elaborate intros into his videos; some examples being a person powering up the music video like a Playstation 2, a 3D animation eating the screen, or someone getting pulled out of a trunk. In the past year PG3’s worked with Slimesito, Bobainee, RealYungPhil, Polo Perks, Caal Vo, ATL Smook, Zellyocho, and Dee Aura. PG3 is one the most exciting artists in the underground, and his videos are something everyone should look forward to experiencing this year.
Daniel Mangosing (@danielmangosing)
The animator and videographer, working out of New York and LA, has been creating content since 2017. However, in 2019, Daniel Mangosing began to incorporate high level 3D worlds into his visual content. His work pushes 3D audiovisual content to another level. Mangonsing’s dystopian realms are so detailed and captivating that experiencing his videos feels like one has uploaded their consciousness into the motherboard of a futuristic supercomputer. Whether it is a 10 second clip or a 40 minute livestream, his videos will keep one engaged for its entire duration. He’s worked on videos for Saweetie, ize, Lil Yachty and Prison Religion, live concert animations for London on The Track, Goldlink, Eel Tank, and April + Vista, directed multiple ads for the fashion brand GRVTY, and created a 3D environment for an Adidas X Alexander Wang S6 event. Mangonsing has already received write-ups from notable publications like Boiler Room, Vice, and Pitchfork, and he will certainly receive even more accolades for his innovative work in 2021 and beyond.
The videographer currently residing in the LA-area has been active since 2014, originally doing commissioned illustrations via his Instagram. In 2017, however, Filo5ofi started taking clips from popular interviews and adding quick zooms, reverbed audio effects, and photoshopped images to the videos, making them far more dramatic, exaggerated, and entertaining. Eventually, A***m22 came across his videos and invited him to be the main editor for the No Jumper Exposed! series. The spinoff came to an end in 2018, but Filo stayed in LA and used his new connections to do music videos, photoshoots, interviews, and vlogs. He’s worked with bonafide underground stars like Zelooperz, Cashier Fresh, Tisakorean, and Warhol.ss, while also working with budding artists like Jah$tar, RXK Nephew, and Quadie Diesel. Filo’s music videos incorporate the quick zooms and creative animations he used in the Exposed! series into high-paced action shots that are accompanied by clever plotlines and references. Filo is one of the most consistent and hardest working people on this list pumping out 2-3 videos every week for all of 2021. The sky seems to be the only limit on Filo this summer and the rest of the year.