Behind The Lens: Wxllxxm
Written by Greg Harris
It’s been quite some time since we put the spotlight on some of the brightest individuals behind the camera, but we thought it’s only right if we brought back the emergence of “Behind The Lens.” This photography based series brings forth the brightest behind the lens and those who find a knack for finding the perfect shot, whether it’s in digital or film.
Today we resurge the series with Ohio bred, New York based man of many things, Wxllxxm. We began to get hip to his body of work he did with the cultivating lifestyle site, AnimalxHouse and since then he and his friends have emerged into being some of this time’s most exciting creatives who have played the role of curators behind some of your favorite artists such as Nebu Kiniza and Lucki. While growing into his role as being LUCKI’s A&R, Wxllxxm is still on the path of picking the perfect pocket to deliver the best shot he can shoot with his camera. You can see it in his vintage archives of Travis Scott to his captivating photos from this year’s Rolling Loud festival, Wxllxxm has made it apparent in his career he’s a force to be reckoned with.
We recently caught up with him to discuss his upbringing in Ohio, how did he get started in photography, being an A&R, and more. Read below.
How’s Your Modern Life?
Hey whats good, my modern life is pretty good. I would like to say but hey who knows right lol.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up in the morning?
Well I hate to say it but check my phone obviously. Then I like to go outside for just fresh air even though in New York thats hard to find. Then I roll up.
Coming up during a time where it’s a lot of creativity in the city, how was your upbringing in Ohio?
My upbringing in Ohio was cool. I moved to Ohio in middle of 8th grade year and lived there until I moved to NYC. I just happened to think when I was coming up in Ohio with the other creative things happening around me. From AnimalXhouse to Ohio Against The World, it was just a perfect storm of creation that I was fortune enough to be around.
Coming from a place in the Midwest where they aren’t many outlets, how do you feel like you were able to stand out?
I think just as I was stating before it was perfect storm of creatives and creative outlets coming out at one time so I got to showcase what I can do and offer as a creative. Also I didn’t give a fuck about what people thought Of my work. I just did me to be honest.
As far as standing out goes, if you follow the indie scene in the Midwest then it’s apparent that AnimalxHouse has been running things for quite sometime. How did you become a vital part of the AnimalxHouse?
Well I was running with the brand and team called Ohio Against The World. So Animalxhouse and Ohio Against The World were set to throw a party together, I got to present some of my ideas to the forefront and they (animalxhouse) really rocked with it which was tight to be recognized for your work. Its pretty much history after that, been rocking together ever since.
What kind of influence you feel like AnimalxHouse has on modern Ohio culture?
I think a huge influence in Ohio and just midwest culture. I mean we’ve broken Chance, Kendrick, Lil Uzi, 21 Savage and even more in Ohio. Having people travel all over the state coming to support our events, you can really feel and see an influence.
Aside from what you have done at AnimalxHouse, you’re the main man for their photography operations. When did you first start shooting?
I started shooting about 5 years ago and for real start taking it serious like 3 1/2 years. Because at first your just still learning and finding your love for it.
You have a lot of digital photos but you have a strong emphasis on your film photos. Why do you prefer film?
I use to tell people it was because of the colors and how everything looks but really now its about the process of just seeing your photos. Its really like bring something to life that you created with your eye. From developing now to scanning the negatives. I love it all now.
What are some of your wildest experiences while you were shooting?
Um wow lol. So heres one we were at the first Rolling Loud saying in some big hotel in Miami, we find out Lucki is staying like a few doors down from us after that things got pretty wild. These guys come thru with this one girl that happens to be a pretty famous pornstar and yea next thing i suggest is we do a photo shoot in the room with Lucki and the girl. Shit got wild that all i gotta say oh yea and also the people i dropped roll off too didn’t know how to develop black n white film so every photo came out blank. :(
WXLLXXM on using Film: "I use to tell people it was because of the colors and how everything looks but really now its about the process of just seeing your photos. Its really like bring something to life that you created with your eye. From developing now to scanning the negatives. I love it all now."
As you made yourself an established photographer, you’re moving into the position where you are an A&R and managing now. How has that transition been so far for you?
The transition has been easy I mean as you deal in the music industry to start to realize how powerful music is and life changing it is not only for the artist but also the customer. The music is the source for all this cool shit you see, so I like being in the studio until 6am trying to make a hit, i like putting people in a room and seeing what they can create. I love all that shit. We got some big things coming up that people may be surprised by or maybe not. Also the music industry is about to be so wild now that everything is transitioning to streaming. Its about to get out of control
What are some things you want to accomplish in your respective industry this year?
I want to have a solo show soon. So be on the look out. Also some other big things coming I can’t really talk about.
How do you want to elevate as a creative at the end of this year?
I just want to be more official about things and my work. If that makes sense.I think I am but I could do better I believe.
How do you want to remembered when it’s all said and done?
Having a forever changing influence on life and the people around.