Kubiat Nnamdie on Photographing SpaceGhostPurrp: "Great Vibes All Around"
It seems Kubiat Nnamdie knows no creative boundaries. It's like he's in a persistent state of focused productivity, working in photography or sculpture, performing, writing music, or singing. The 21-year-old began both singing and photographing at age 13. He's basically self-taught, but his industrious nature, creative eye, and conceptual mind have provided him with opportunities many artists can't claim in a lifetime. This includes showing his work all over the world, including at Milan Image Art Fair, Sofia Design Week in Bulgaria, Preteen Gallery in Mexico City, during Vienna Art Week 2012, and a sculpture in Buenos Aires next year.
Though Nnamdie is still actively making music, he spends much of his time shooting photographs of other musicians. He says of this decision, "I felt like I needed to highlight my photography first so that I could have a platform for myself to work upon." As opposed to other visual artists, his fellow musicians are what inspire his work. "I take my nods from nature, performance artists, and musicians," he says, "I'm also influenced by music videos I watched growing up." Nnamdie considers the shoots collaborations, where together the subject and the artist work out the details of the photos.
"I'm really extending my service to other musicians that I respect, and I build a friendship with them, and we work from there."
Kubiat and SGP at the video shoot.
South Florida JAZZ presents: Christian McBride Trio
TicketsSat., Jun. 10, 8:00pm
TicketsThu., Jun. 29, 7:00pm
Roger Waters: US + Them
TicketsThu., Jul. 13, 8:00pm
Shawn Mendes: Illuminate World Tour
TicketsWed., Jul. 26, 7:30pm
Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams Tour
TicketsMon., Aug. 28, 7:00pm
Nnamdie was born in Nigeria, but when he came to South Florida, "I was approximately one second old," he says. He then shuttled back and forth between here and Houston and now works out of Pembroke Pines. It was in this part of Broward County that he recently shot Miami-bred Spaceghostpurrp while he filmed an upcoming music video.
He notes of his collaborations with musicians, "Beforehand, maybe we'll talk about their ideas as far as music. I'll let them know my ideas, and we'll shoot ideas back and forth." He does this sort of prep work with all of those he photographs.
He and SGP have had an ongoing creative conversation for a while now. "I've been following his career from the start," Nnamdie says, "and I reached out to him, and he reached back." He sent the rapper ideas that came to him after hearing Blackland Radio 66.6.The visual product of these back and forths will end up in an upcoming edition of Brooklyn-based magazine Dossier Journal.
"So yeah, shooting with SpaceGhostPurrp was great vibes all around," the artist relays. "We shot ideas that he and I had planned out. I usually set my shoots up so that they can fall apart however it is meant to. He had some ideas he wanted to shoot on the spot, and I was more than happy to collaborate and knock 'em out." He adds: "We both have strong visions."
And there were pyrotechnics -- well, fireworks, at least. "He was really happy that we were doing exactly what we were talking about wanting to do. Things that we wanted to happen. He was just very good energy." The artist says both he and SGP were thankful for the experience to collaborate.
Local hip-hop group Shade Boy Ones in the forest.
Follow Kubiat Nnamdie at @afriKONartist.
Get the Music Newsletter
Find out about upcoming concerts and special offers happening in the South Florida music scene.