House of Marley x AfroPunk Fest Recap

AfroPunk Fest was fire! Commodore Barry Park was filled with positive vibes, great music — and STYLE. There are no words to express how beautiful this past weekend was. The people of New York City and beyond came together through art, music, and fashion and blessed Brooklyn with two wild festival days. And the House of Marley “Get Together” and Gold Stage area was the zone! The DJs filled the air with music the crowd could dance to all day long. Thank you Brooklyn!

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Photos by: Eddie Grams

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House of Marley x AfroPunk Fest

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House of Marley x AfroPunkFest 

AFROPUNK FEST IS BACK FOR ITS 10TH YEAR!! August 23rd – 24th, Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NY will be filled with art, culture and music. “The most multicultural festival in the US” as described by the New York Times. Big names such as Lianne La Havas, Body Count, Trash Talk, and Meshell Ndegeocello and more will be blessing this year’s stages. The festival will be filled with delicious food trucks and a market to satisfy your shopping needs, so come ready to have a good time.

House of Marley is thrilled to partner with AfroPunk 2014. We have a lot of exciting things planned for the festival itself and lots of content about the artists, history, and fashion of Afropunk via our social media over the next week, so STAY TUNED! Even if you can’t make it to Brooklyn, you’ll be able to participate with the festival in spirit with The House of Marley.

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History 

When Matthew Morgan and James Spooner joined forces in 2002, their focus was giving a voice to thousands of multi-cultural kids fiercely identifying with a lifestyle path-less-traveled. Morgan, a visionary with 15 years in the music industry, instinctively understood that the indie rock/punk/hardcore scene had powerful appeal beyond the predictable Caucasian audience; the passion evident in writer-director Spooners hours of riveting hand-shot footage was the indisputable proof. The result: 2003’s ‘Afro-punk’, the seminal cult classic film spotlighting Black Punks in America.

AFROPUNK became a touchstone of a cultural movement strongly reminiscent of the early days of Hip-Hop. Alternative urban kids across the nation (and across the globe) who felt like outsiders discovered they were actually the core of a boldly innovative, fast-growing community. The online members have been the driving force behind the exploding AFROPUNK (AP) culture, creating an authentic virtual home in www.afropunk.com, and nurturing the music’s best and brightest via expansion of the Liberation Sessions, a live performance series hosted by Spooner.

In 2005, the very first annual AFROPUNK Festival debuted to wildly enthusiastic crowds at the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Co-curated by Morgan and Spooner, the festival celebrated and unified the cultural cornerstones of AFROPUNK: music, film, skate, and most importantly, the fiercely independent and influential individuals that are the lifeblood of the AP community. AfroPunk.com

Check out some videos of AfroPunk Fest in the past:

House of Marley’s The Get Together: Kingston Sound System

Growing up in England during the 1990s, filmmaker Wonford St. James spent many nights dancing in the field to the rhythms of a backyard-styled “free party.” A music lover, James studied these English parties back to its roots and instantly fell in love with the Jamaican sound system culture that eventually migrated to the UK in the ’60s. “Anyone who has ever danced in front of large banks of speakers to music being played by a DJ can thank Jamaican sound systems for that experience.” The impact this genre of music had on the world was felt far and wide, from having a hand in the birth of American hip-hop to inspiring audio purveyors to deliver louder, more portable speakers. So when the New York-based creative was asked to produce a video coinciding with the launch of House of Marley’s new Get Together Bluetooth speaker, James immediately decided to visit Kingston. In his short piece, Albert “iLawi” Johnson – regarded as the original selector – becomes our host through this sound system experience, which is a journey to a simpler, more peaceful time. Be sure to also scroll down to read our full interview with the talented Wonford St. James.

For more on House of Marley’s Get Together Bluetooth speaker as well as how you could win your very own, please visit here.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Wonford St. James and I am a filmmaker living in New York by way of London and Los Angeles.

How did you get into filmmaking?

Through a love of photography, music, cameras, art and life.

What was the goal behind your video?

We went to Jamaica to promote a dance and film it. I wanted to celebrate original Jamaican soundsystem culture and share a glimpse into the source of DJ culture. Jamaican music has had a massive, disproportionate, and well documented impact on global popular culture but the role of the soundsystem in the rise of reggae is not as well told. Anyone who has ever danced in front of large banks of speakers to music being played by a DJ can thank Jamaican soundystems for that experience. I want to shine a little light on the original dancehall scene and the energy, style and attitude that goes along with it.

What was your inspiration?

Growing up in England in the ’90s I spent a lot of time dancing all night in fields at “free parties,” so I’ve had traces of sound systems in my blood from an early age. As British house music evolved through that decade, I got heavily into the Jungle scene that blew up coming out of the early rave days. Jungle added the core ingredients of Jamaican dancehall into rave culture to create a uniquely British sound and subculture. You had rolling basslines and chopped out breaks bouncing along with MCs toasting over the music. Incredible and inspiring times. Going to Jamaica to make this little film was like a trip to Mecca.

How does House of Marley differ from other brands?

House of Marley has the opportunity to authentically celebrate a man and an island place with one of the world’s greatest musical heritage. Reggae imagery and attitudes have been brandalized far too often through diluted and distorted expressions of the culture. I hope that House of Marley are able to shine a new light on the subject that is creative and constructive.

What are you most excited about with your relationship with House of Marley?

It’s an exciting young brand with a great team behind it. I would love to take this project to the next level and work with the House of Marley team on a longer format film that explores the evolution and journey of sound system culture, from its roots in Jamaica across the world by way of hip-hop, house and heavy bass.

When you were approached about the project, what was the direction given and then how did you approach your execution/interpretation?

We were asked to create a film that spoke to the idea of an idea being shared; how ‘one’ becomes ‘many.’ This brief alongside a portable speaker made of wood with the Marley name on it immediately pointed me in the direction of Jamaica.

How influential has music been in your creative evolution?

Music has been the central part of my life and creative journey. The reason I live in New York is hip-hop.

What was it like traveling abroad? What were some of your favorite moments and what was some adversity you faced?

We were blessed to work with original selector and music man Albert ‘iLawi’ Johnson on this project who graciously welcomed us into his home to keep the dance at his yard. With iLawi as our guide we cut a blessed path through Kingston, uptown and down. My favorite moment was when the needle hit the first record at the dance. The soundsystem crackled and boomed into life and the place started bouncing. Alongside iLawi, we were blessed with a local producer Michelle Serieux who ensured that the only adversity we faced was whether we were going to run out of Red Stripe before the Guinness arrived.

What type of camera did you use for the film?

We shot the film on an old Canon camera using 8mm color film. These cameras are small, compact, and create a texture and warmth that fits perfectly with the story we were there to capture. The records crackle as the film rolls.

How receptive were the locals to being captured on film?

Jamaicans are lively, proud and beautiful people who are happy to get up in your face, so we had no shortage of potential superstars to liven up the dance.

Author: Robert Marshall

*Originally posted on HYPEBEAST

House of Marley’s The Get Together: AllDayEveryDay

 

For that brief moment when hasty New Yorkers stop in their tracks and turn into spectators fascinated by a group of break-dancing street performers, the Big Apple tastes a bit sweeter. It is this acrobatic art spawned from the Bronx that unites people around the globe with the joys of laughter, wonder and imagination among many others. For the fourth installment of House of Marley‘s video series highlighting its new Bluetooth speaker The Get Together, Brooklyn-based Director Harrison Boyce chose to look into the personalities of these talented dancers. “I wanted to find out if they really loved dance and the trains were their platform to share their talent with the world, or if they were hustlers using dance to make money, and I quickly found out that they have a deep love for dancing and that the money was secondary.” After checking out Boyce’s film, be sure to read through our full interview with the director below.

For more on House of Marley’s The Get Together Bluetooth speaker as well as how you could win your very own please visit here.

 

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Harrison Boyce and I’m a director and photographer living in Brooklyn, New York.

How did you get into filmmaking?

It all started through BMX. I rode BMX throughout my whole childhood and ended up being a sponsored rider, then working as an art director for a company, as well as starting one of, if not the first BMX blogs called Defgrip. I was always filming and making videos with my friends, but it wasn’t until I started making short docs and creating content for Defgrip that I really started to get into film making. It was just a hobby for me at the time, but once I moved to New York, I started to get a lot more directing jobs and over the years have transitioned from working as a designer in the BMX world to a director focusing on fashion and commercial work.

What was the goal behind your video? What was your inspiration?

Living in New York I pretty much ride the subway every day and kept seeing these kids dancing in the trains. I had thought about doing a project about them, but it was only in the back of my head and I didn’t really have an outlet for it. So, once I started talking with Alldayeveryday about this project with House of Marley, it made perfect sense to put something together with the dancers for this project.

The goal behind the video for me was to find out who the kids were who were the first to start dancing on the trains and to showcase them as people. To share their personalities with the world and tell their story. I wanted to find out if they really loved dance and the trains were their platform to share their talent with the world, or if they were hustlers using dance to make money… and I quickly found out that they have a deep love for dancing and that the money was secondary.

What are you most excited about your relationship with House of Marley?

House of Marley has been incredible with this project because they just let me do my thing and supported my vision 100%. A lot of time brands can really get involved and almost take over the creative process, but the guys at House of Marley essentially laid down the foundation for a dream project and let me do my thing the whole way though with nothing but support. A perfect partnership.

When you were approached about the project, what was the direction given and then how did you approach your execution/interpretation?

Allday approached me, and I asked if I’d be interested in putting some ideas together around the idea of “getting together.” They really wanted to leave it up to the directors to bring ideas to the table, so it was really open as far as the creative goes.

I just worked on a few different ideas around the idea of “getting together” using music as the main ingredient that actually brought people together.

How influential has music been in your creative evolution?

Music has been a huge influence in my work and it really drives my creative process, especially in the edit. I grew up in a musical family and music has always been something that plays a part in anything I’m doing creatively. Specifically with film, music becomes such a big part of telling a story, creating emotions, and setting a flow and an arch… I like to work with the music first, building a foundation to edit on and everything else really falls into place if you have the right music or soundtrack.

Was there any issues with filming on the subway?

I wasn’t sure how it was going to be bringing a Red camera down there, but we didn’t have any problems at all. I’m pretty good with filming in random situations and can just roll with the flow and the Waffle Crew definitely knows the ins and outs of performing on the subways. We tried to keep moving and not stay in one spot too long and I think that definitely helped us not run into any problems.

You’ve worked on everything from commercial films to short films and fashion films – which of the projects would you say is your favorite to collaborate on?

I think my favorite thing is the fact that I’m able to work on so many different types of projects. To me it’s more about the people and the experiences I have making my work, than the specific type of genre I’m working in. I really like to learn about people, explore new places, and basically do anything I can to learn something new each day. So I feel super lucky that I’ve been able to work on so many diverse projects with such a broad range.

Author: Robert Marshall

*Originally posted on HYPEBEAST 

House of Marley’s The Get Together: NYC Lineup

 

As a tribute to its newly released wireless speaker as well as the history of portable audio, House of Marley enlisted four filmmakers to create a video piece that could speak to the very essence of this speaker and its ability to bring people together. For this installment, New York-based director Sam Fleischner explores the impact of music on the life’s of those struggling to exist in the chaotic world of a concrete jungle. Not only does music provide a sense of serenity, but as it is depicted above, it allows people to forget their differences and join hands in celebrating the simpler joys of life. Check out Fleischner’s short film above and be sure to read through our full interview with the director below.

For more on House of Marley’s Get Together Bluetooth speaker as well as how you could win your very own please visit here.

 

Can you introduce yourself?

Sam Fleischner, film director.

How did you get into filmmaking?

Westerns, believe it or not.

What was the goal behind your video? What was your inspiration?

Try to do something fun with the potential of a portable speaker. Dancing is good for health.

How does House of Marley differ from other brands?

Well in terms of making commercials, they were a great combination of supportive and hands off. They were also generous with their product and let me give each of the dancers one of the speakers.

When you were approached about the project, what was the direction given and then how did you approach your execution/interpretation?

This was a lot of fun for me because I got to come to write the concept myself. Usually with these kinds of jobs, the creative comes to you already developed to some extent so it was fun to start with the seed. I had three very different ideas that we were all excited about but we settled in the “line”. This process really picked up steam when I got Cynsei Sohbet on board. We worked out the choreography and flow together. She is a great leader, or in this case, “Rasta-fairy”.

How influential has music been in your creative evolution?

Music is one of my pillars. For this project I worked with my friend Matt Werth at RVNG. He hooked me up with the hypnotic Secret Circuit track that drives the piece.

When you’re not working on big brand campaigns, what sort of passion projects do you like to work on?

I spend a lot of time in my garden, and working on non-commercial feature films like Stand Clear of the Closing Doors.

How did you cast the subjects for this video? Each individual is so interesting because they don’t, at face value, look like they would be dancers yet they all have a strong motion and rhythm. Was that the intention?

Yea, that was part of the concept. Everyone’s got a groove in them but it can be hard to find sometimes.

Where was the filming done? It looks like an abandoned, really sterile bank or something.

It was filmed at Anthology Film Archives, which is sort of like a temple for experimental cinema, but originally the building was supposed to be a court house. They show some of the best film programs in the world there. I worked there as a projectionist when I first moved to NYC, so it was a really fun place to shoot.

 Author: Robert Marshall

*Originally posted on HYPEBEAST 

 

House of Marley’s The Get Together: Kingston Freestyle

When House of Marley recruited PSYOP to reinterpret Bob Marley’s ideals alongside the elegant Get Together Bluetooth Speaker, the character animator-turned-filmmaker looked to his love for dance hall videos and Japanese anime for inspiration. “For The Get Together I wanted to characterize the affect of music and how a good vibe can multiply from person to suddenly a whole block party.” Scored to Major Lazer’s “Watch Out For This (Bumaye),” Ding handed out the bamboo-constructed speaker and captured the infectious free spirit of Jamaica take hold of those around him. After checking out the short film above be sure to read through our full interview with the director below.

For more on House of Marley’s Get Together Bluetooth speaker as well as how you could win your very own please visit here.

 

Can you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Gerald Ding I am a Director at Psyop in New York and live in the Lower East Side with my wife and our French Bulldog, his name is Bob.

How did you get into filmmaking?

I started as a character animator and was so focussed on owning a series of shots as my part for a project. To me that was like my first chance at being a storyteller, but I wanted to tell the whole story in my own way and not just a piece of it.

What was the goal behind your video? What was your inspiration?

A lot of times in advertising when there’s a product, brands usually characterize what they’re selling and try to give it a personality. For The Get Together I wanted to characterize the affect of music and how a good vibe can multiply from from person to suddenly a whole block party. I really loved Dance Hall videos and Japanese Anime so I mashed them together this time.

How does House of Marley differ from other brands?

Almost every brand, especially in the beginning, tries to build content for what they’re selling while Marley House is built on the spirit of Bob Marley and Reggae music culture.

What are you most excited about your relationship with House of Marley?

I’m proud that I got to collaborate with Gabe and Tracey, friends I’ve known for years but never had a chance to work with, and on a project that visually encompasses many of my favorite things.

When you were approached about the project, what was the direction given and then how did you approach your execution/interpretation?

The creative brief was very open and trusting, they wanted to know how I’d interpret Bob Marley’s ideals without making him as the focus, and how do we portray one becoming many. I know that Psyop was in this mix since were known for a certain visual storytelling and look, but I wanted push this idea I’ve had going on in my head and see how it’d actually look like.

How influential has music been in your creative evolution?

I love the match cut style in Major Lazer’s Get Free video it’s awesome, so is the song to. When I imagined the 3 stories I wanted to show, nothing else seemed to work so perfectly as Major Lazer did, so we edited with “Watch Out For This (Bumaye)” and couldn’t imagine anything else.

How different is film directing from strictly animating?

It’s a different kind of trust when you’re working with your artists and crew but the storytelling aspect is the same to me. In film I’m collaborating with cinematographers and actors and other crew members that are going to give me a performance that may or may not turn out the way I saw it in my mind. It’s a different kind of collaboration that becomes something different or even better than I imagined it in the beginning. This could be the same for animation also but outcome is much more refined and honed in, basically each frame can be manipulated and I have complete control if there’s enough time

Author: Robert Marshall

*Originally posted on HYPEBEAST

NYC’s Underground Ring Leader – Bekim Trenova

Bekim Trenvoa – DJ, promoter, model and Renaissance Man. Atlanta, Georgia is where he was born but NYC is his current hometown. Bekim is the ring leader and the man behind “Fight Night” and if you’ve never heard of such a thing, today is your lucky day. Who doesn’t love a great boxing match? And who better to put together an underground extravaganza than Bekim Trenova. House of Marley was blessed to be able  to sit with Bekim and pick his brain. Check Out: TRANSMISSION presents: FNT http://issuu.com/transmissiononline/docs/fntfinalshrinktiny

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When did you first hear or connect with the House of Marley company?

I first connected with the House of Marley through Tracy Anderson. I connected with him when I threw a secret Skrillex party in 2012, weeks before he won his Grammy.  Tracy was at WeSC at the time and they were the main sponsor for the event.  I actually got that job because of the rep I had throwing the underground fights. Since then, Tracy has been a massive supporter and fan of the fights and has taken his work to the House of Marley. I’m super excited for him and have the utmost respect for what he is doing for NYC and The House of Marley. There is no bigger name than MARLEY if you ask me. I’m honored to work and have them sponsor Fight Night.

 

What does Marley mean to you? 

When I think Marley, I think “being together” , “unity” and “love”.  I want to  live that way and provide that for my community . I adore bringing people together. No who’s cool this and that, we are all human. I love all the communities out there and try to be friendly and literally dive into all of them.

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When did you start hosting parties, and what was the wildest party you threw when you first started?

Man, I’ve been hosting parties from my high school days.  Slip and slides, BBQ bangers – you name it. I’ve always seemed good at it, and I guess it has somewhat translated to my real life career. It’s kind of scary, because a place like NYC doesn’t stop and my energy doesn’t seem to either. With nicknames like Thumper and Mogli, I just have accepted “I gots the wild style”.

 

Why boxing? What made you choose to host boxing matches over other sports?

Boxing came from two friends of mine joking about it in 2009, and it just so happened that I knew a couple of people that could help pull it off. This has all been a ride of faith, synchronicity, and magic. I didn’t choose it. It chose me.

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FNT was clearly a huge success out in SXSW. Now with the rise in popularity do you think it will be more difficult to keep the events “underground”?

No, I don’t think so.  It really depends on the attack and angle we use to take on NYC or other cities.  Our NYC fan base and team knows the routine. “Quiet….Shhhhhhhhh.” At SXSW we were at a real gym and felt comfy. So we exposed it.  It really depends, I trust myself enough to know I can make the right decisions.

 

I read in your Societe Perrier interview that you are going to have an event at Art Basel? Do you see yourself taking FNT overseas anytime soon?

I can’t wait for art Basel. Miami vs NYC is going be out of control.  The idea is to go to cities that have a festival where we can pull bigger and wider ranges of influential audiences.  We will 100 – percent be going to Europe and overseas in 2016.  Imagine London vs  NYC. I have our run of the next two years mapped out and it’s about to get real fun.

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In your Carpe Diem interview you talked about the diversity of NYC and how you wanted different groups of people at your events. From skaters to Wall Street execs, models to music heads. How successful have you been with bringing out different crowds?

100 – percent  successful, sports do that and It makes me so happy when everyone is together.

 

Are you the only person putting on these types of events? And do you see a rise in similar events due to your success?

There are definitely other outlandish things going on. I will say that BANG ON NYC is exactly how I like a massive party to be. Carnival performance, weird freaks, all sorts of music. I’ve been working closely with them for almost 5 years now, and I’ll never leave their side.

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Who is the coolest person you have worked with so far? And if you could pick any artists to perform at your events who would it be?

The coolest person I’ve ever worked with so far is hard.  I mean Bassnectar , A$AP Mob, and Skrillex are big names for sure.  They all seemed to be peaking at the times I  got to experience them. I’ve worked with so many cool people in different worlds for different things, modeling and acting etc. I guess breaking down cool and who’s got it, the coolest would be the A$AP Mob. They are actually the only artists I kind of got butterflies being around them the first time. I mean they took NYC and the world by storm. Coming from Atlanta, I love hip hop so much and it seemed like NYC rap was dead for awhile. Then A$AP Rocky’s mixtape came out and holy shit,  the NYC streets were on fire. It was an exciting and motivating time for me. Migos, out of my hometown Atlanta, Georgia, is our number one target right now for the next fight night. They have taken over hip hop/rap and even the A$AP mob on the cool factor right now. The amount of mixtapes and hits they are putting out is kind of  mind blowing.

 

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Photo Credit: Diahann Williams

 

Photo Credit: Dylan Forsberg

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The Good Life x House of Marley World Cup “Get Together”

GOOOOOOOOOOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

The World Cup is back and the best sport in the world has taken over your television screen and your local haunts. Don’t be surprised if you see a few of your coworkers taking an extended lunch to watch these matches.

The Good Life and House of Marley have set up shop at the Cardinal (234 E. 4th St) for you crazy soccer, I mean FOOTBALL fans.

The East Village is the perfect haven to watch a game over a cold drink. As you can see from the photos, not having a seat doesn’t stop these fans from enjoying a game. We’ve got three House of Marley sound systems pumping audio, so you’ll enjoy the games (and the music afterwards) with pristine audio quality, no matter how packed it gets. In the back alley there is a mini pitch for those who want put their skills to work. So, put on your favorite jersey, grab some friends, and head to the Cardinal (don’t forget to tip the bartenders)!

 

Check out: wearethegoodlife.com

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Photo Credit: Eddie Grams

House Of Marley Invades SURFER Poll 2013

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At this year’s SURFER Poll award ceremony, sponsored by SURFER Mag and yours truly, the House of Marley, the greatest surfing stars of the ASP Pro Tour and beyond aligned for one magical night in Oahu. Legendary riders like Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning hung out amongst breakout stars including Nat Young and Coco Ho and celebrated another killer year of surfing.

Honoring the best and brightest in 2013, the SURFER Poll annually gives out awards for Best Male/Female Surfer, Best Barrel, Worst Wipeout, Best Movie Of The Year and other sick surfing achievements. Voted on by the readers of the illustrious surf mag, perennial favorite Kelly Slater won the honors for Best Male Surfer in 2013, while upstart Alana Blanchard beat out world champ Carissa Moore for the women’s award.

The 2013 SURFER Poll party was a blast and it was great getting to hang out with all of the best surfers in the world. If you weren’t able to attend or watch the event, fret not! Slap on some of our earth-friendly headphones,  crank up the SURFER Poll/House Of Marley playlist below and check out all of our recap photos from the event below.

SURFER Poll 2013 from surfermag on 8tracks Radio.

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Photo Credit: Bryce Lowe White

House of Marley Approved: John Brown’s Body

JohnBrownsBodyWith their revolutionary take on reggae, John Brown’s Body have created one of the genre’s best albums in 2013 with their release, Kings And Queens. The band’s new record may be their tenth full length, but they have hit a stride of meshing electronic and hip-hop with the sounds of Bob Marley’s Jamaica. Check out “Starver,” a track off Kings and Queens and feel the rhythm when John Brown’s Body hits your town as they tour America throughout January and February.