How did you get started? Tell us everything!
My name is Shavalya Smith. I was born in Anniston, Alabama. I started shooting videos when my cousin Jayboe, who started to get a buzz from rapping. We wanted to build a team together so I started learning how to shoot/edit videos. I didn't grow up doing it: I started in January of 2018 but didn't take it seriously until November of 2018. I love shooting videos because I love music and I constantly listen to it. I'm creative and I feel like this is the best way to show my creativity. Some of the biggest moments in my career are meeting/networking with upcoming rappers signed to big labels.
What is your experience in the music industry? Do you have any formal training or schooling? If not, are you self-taught and how did you learn your craft? What is your learning style? What are your favorite educational resources (ex. college, Youtube, etc.)?
After graduating high school in 2016, I went to college for a few months during the fall semester of 2016 before realizing it wasn't for me. I then started teaching myself how to shoot/edit music videos by watching Youtube.
What are some credits and achievements that you have? Who have you worked with? Who have you collaborated with?
Some achievements that I have is working with some upcoming artist such as Yung Mal and Quill. I'm currently in the works of forming a film team with some other great videographers based out of Alabama.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry?
A few big obstacles for me has been finding a new upcoming artist to work with to help build my brand. Also, making sure my time is not being wasted. I'm big on deposits and making sure I am as efficient as possible when it comes to scheduling, booking, and shooting videos.
What are some of your goals this year?
By the end of the year, I want a 1 million+ views video under my belt and to be able to work with some of the biggest artists out right now.
Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?
My all-time favorite rapper is Chief Keef, so of course, if possible, he would be my first choice along with Polo G and Lil Uzi. But videographer wise, Ryan Lynch, YC Imaging, and Cole Bennett are all videographers I learned how to edit from, so I would love to eventually be able to work with them.
What kind of equipment do you have and why?
I currently own and operate a Panasonic GH4 with a Ronin M Stabilizer. I love the look I get by using the GH4, but I plan on upgrading to something bigger and better soon.
What is your creative process like?
It's kind of hard to explain. Once I get into my zone and block everything out, nothing around me can take the focus away from the video I'm editing until it's done. I always edit to the beat (whether its the 808s, snares, etc.).
What’s your favorite go-to order?
Definitely would be Zaxby's Wings and Things meal covered in hot honey mustard sauce with a strawberry Fanta.