In the next instalment of RTR Features, we interviewed someone who has been a huge help to us since the very beginning and doing great thing across his industry, Steven Phillip aka Phillyflyboy
Steven (@phillflyboy) is a creative director with a focus on music videos and has worked with some of the biggest names in the hip-hop business including Kendrick Lemar, The Game, Rick Ross just to name a few. He is truly an expert in his field and his talent takes him all over the world shooting everything from ads, to music videos and film, check out his page to see just how good he is. We were lucky enough to get the inside scoop on how he got there and tips for anyone who wants to follow in his footsteps.
Click here for an exclusive look at his latest clip below he has done for Rob the Rich featuring the incredibly talented Corey Pieper (@corey_pieper)…
RTR Features, is all about interviewing people in our community who are doing amazing things in the world, people who are an inspiration to us. Whether it is something for charity, business, sports or music we are are on the hunt for anyone who is hustling everyday and makes us and and our supporters want to do the same. We all have it in us, sometimes we just need that extra bit of motivation...
Tell us about yourself and what you do?
My name is Steven Philip also known as Phillyflyboy. I’m a director/creative director of video content with a focus on music videos. I started doing stuff in the music industry like recording or doing photography and graphics when I was around 16 and shot my first video when I was 20. I’m now 35 so roughly 15 years of doing it and it’s all really been self-taught.
Where are you based?
I’m born and raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin and currently reside there but I’ve also lived in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Phoenix. Although, it’s hard to say sometimes as I am on the road six times a month to film in various locations. I’ve gone to almost every state in the country and multiple international locations including Paris, Amsterdam and Columbia to shoot
How did you get started and what have been the key moments to progress?
It was more out of necessity because I ran a record label when I was a teenager with a bunch of my friends. We desperately needed content so I starting creating photos and graphics, then eventually we needed video content so I picked up a camera and just figured it out. This was before high-quality cheap cameras were available so we basically used the old school big cameras on some of our first videos.
Who are some of the artists you have most enjoyed working with?
I’ve worked with a lot of big-name artists but honestly I have more fun working with the hungry independent artists the most. They are more eager to be on set they and have less restrictions time wise. Overall their more open to experimental ideas than some of the bigger artists. Now that being said I fully enjoy working with almost every artist and haven’t had any bad experiences thus far but of course there are some favourites but because I don’t want anybody getting hurt I won’t name names!!
Who are some of the up and coming artists that we should be watching?
One of the artists I feel has a lot of potential that I work with is Domani Harris, he is TI’s son but his sound is very unique to who he is and I feel like he brings a lot to the table. The sound that he has usually comes from a more seasoned artist that has more life experience than a 17-year-old so just imagine when he’s 25.
Where would you like to be in the next 12 months/5 years?
I have goals just like anybody but I also don’t believe in traditional goals. In my industry there is a lot of variables so sometimes there are goals or basically just what you think you want to do but they do not have all the information, there are so many variable that can occur in this industry. These things can change the whole trajectory of your career overnight so not to say that I don’t have goals but I refer to them as general focuses which allows for me to keep my options open when the variables happen. With that being said, I have been slowly moving into the film world and away from music videos so within the next five years I would like to be 90% film, 10% music videos.
What is the greatest success so far in your career?
There has been some very high points in my career but my greatest success would have to be the fact that I can make a living off of shooting music videos and I am from a small town very far from Hollywood or the music industry. I am a prime example of how focus and perseverance applied to something that you love to do can create an opportunity for anyone.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
I would say my father. Not as a direct influence on the actual music video side but in the overall work ethic and creative side. My father always showed me how to be a good worker, how to stay focused and to maintain creativity. Although he does not work in film, his work in graphic design and overall work ethic is what showed me how to be successful.
What is the best advice you have been given and from who?
A line my grandfather said “Education costs money and I’m not talking about school”
What is your favourite quote?
“Less talk more work” or “Shut up and work”
What advice would you give to anyway who wanted to follow in your footsteps?
This is not for the faint of heart. Unless you are OK with not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from but loving the job so much that you don’t care I wouldn’t recommend this. The cool part about this job is that there is no right or wrong way to do it, the bad part is that there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. From a basic stand-point I always recommend people get a regular job on the side while developing their clientele for video. This puts you at an advantage to not be in a vulnerable position of having to take any kind of work just to pay bills. This can help prevent a situation where you hate what you do because your taking any kind of job just to pay the bills and then the exact thing that you love becomes something that you hate. If you have regular income you can pick and choose your work and slowly develop good clients.
A huge thank you to Phillyflyboy for not only giving us some great insight into his world, but also for the help he has given our brand over our short life, we truly appreciate it. If you know anyone else that we should get some gear and talk to, fire us an email on email@example.com
Thanks for reading and make sure you check him out on Insta!