Reel Talk: Levi Maestro Discusses Setting Trends With The Camera Lens

The Gentleman's Project

People know the amount of quality they'll get when they turn to a Pharrell or ...

levi-2

People know the amount of quality they'll get when they turn to a Pharrell or like a Kanye West. For this urban culture that we all play into, there's only like, a few guys. And then you have underground guys like me. That's why I think I'm working with Hennessy right now. When I went down to Brazil for that piece, they made it as a commercial on me. When they released it, on the top of the page it had Nas talking about Wild Rabbit and I was like "Wow!" To be working with Hennessy and alongside Nas was really dope.

Obviously we're like two way different levels of following and respect. But they kept an eye out for me because they feel I have the potential to be somewhere like that. It's pretty deep to me. A lot of people hate seeing people in commercials. They figure once it hits the mainstream, it's not cool anymore. I don't feel like there's such a thing as a "selling out." There's always a right and wrong way to do things.

There's nothing that can get too big. You just have to be really skilled at presenting it so the concept doesn't get stale.

Hip-Hop Wired: Do you wake up in the morning feeling that you have to function as a brand?

Levi Maestro: That's a really good question. I don't know. I think that happens more so when I putting my work out there in the world. When I'm filming or editing all day, I'm just in a zone. I want that piece to feel like somewhere is there with me so I dedicate my all into the creation.

Hip-Hop Wired: A lot of people lose their insight on a sense of fashion after high school. How were you able to keep it going, especially to the point where you built a brand off of it?

Levi Maestro: I think that's just what I'm into. Some people would look at me and think I'm corny, you know? It's really just a niche. I think it seems more apparent because I'm spreading it out with a camera. When I hang out with a basketball player or musical artist, they're hanging out with me because they like what I make not just because I'm some "style guy."

Hip-Hop Wired: Even to have the awareness of various boutiques on where to stay up on fashion is a feat in itself, no?

Levi Maestro: But you know...I actually envy the "regular person" sometimes. I ask myself why do I have so many shoes or why do I have so many jeans when I don't wear all of them. So when people have a dedicated uniform they wear in their job, it definitely can make things easier.

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