On a cold February 15th morning, I got a DM notification on twitter saying “Hey man. Shot you an email. Due to the weather we can do a Google Hangout or something if you’re more comfortable with that. If you’re in route it’s all good we can still meet but figured I’d try to catch you before you headed out.” I appreciated the sincere offer but immediately I knew that I was not about to let that happen considering I just drove back through a snowstorm from North Carolina after attending my great grandmother’s funeral the day before. I quickly sent a message back saying the shoot was taking place. Shortly after that, I decided to pack up my gear and started heading towards DC with whatever energy I had left for that day.
Now this has been one hell of a year, considering that this winter has had 70-80 degree days mixed with unpredictable snowfalls and ice. If you mix that with an awesome conversation on how to bring people together through music and film you’ll find yourself in good company when chatting with Brandon Russell, Founder of The Beat & Path. “TB&P is a community of artist that comes together to form a digital collective,” says Russell. Obviously for many people, this might be confusing at first but after sitting down and speaking with Russell about his vision for TB&P it became much clearer to me what he’s after.
As I sat across from him during the interview you could find him constantly checking his phone, shooting off e-mails to his partners, and looking for the next big hit. He admits that he’s not necessarily from just one place as he is every definition of an army brat. After struggling with the decision on whether to move down to the nation’s capital he admits that he was not really sure about the move but after getting involved in the creative community he is more than satisfied with his decision to move to the District of Columbia.
To give more insights to some of the things that he’s been able to accomplish with TB&P, he’s proven to create an awesome web series titled, Walk of Shame, which he describes as being a visual mixtape (a short-film with great exclusive music in it that connects one episode with the next). Along for the ride is his good friend DJ Amen Ra who assist with the music supervision for the project and all things TB&P. When asked about who is helping him make all of these things come together, Russell smiled and quickly said, “Thanks to DJ Amen Ra, Danielle Williams, The DJs, and Actors we work with things have been coming together quite well.” He also explained that the mixtape culture kind of changed within the past few years as oppose to where it was before, “It use to be that before if you liked a mixtape you’d buy a mixtape from your favorite DJ but now people are so use to be downloading mixtapes for free and that changed the game.” “We’d like to do the same thing with our web series within the film industry…there’s not many film companies giving away quality free content and we want to do just that.”
Now Russell’s ambition goes way beyond just producing a web-series but he’s hunkering down to make TB&P a household brand name around the world. As for some of the things he has in the pipeline includes hosting and creating several live music events around the world, growing the web series, and bringing film and music together as one. When asked about what makes him a Stereo Champion he quickly mentions, “I’m the kind of person where I can’t sit idol, I start to feel like I should be contributing. I should be doing something, at times it’s my weakness, but at times, I feel like that’s my greatest trait.
The first time I checked out a visual mixtape it was pretty awesome and I have to say some of the things that are up Russells sleeve as far as the next moves he’ll be making in the future will be awesome. Yup you heard it here first he’s young, hungry, and full of great ideas and you’ll soon see them if you’re lucky to tune in soon. Speaking of projects he has in the pipeline you’ll definitely want to check out The Beat & Path podcast and their recently release mixtape titled, Into the Cratez, with their most recent one mixed by Jon Kwest.
Into the Cratez is a mix series they’ve created to showcase the natural art of the DJ. “Any good DJ will take you on a journey through music, regardless of what your expectations are,” says Russell. He heavily articulated to me that one of the earliest inspirations for, The Beat & Path, was the DC moombahton scene. One stalwart in the scene has been Jon Kwest. “I’ve always been a huge fan of
“I’ve always been a huge fan of his, and was shocked to learn that such a talent was right here in our city. I can remember spending long nights listening to moombahton tracks of his.” —Brandon Russell
In their first installment of “Into The Cratez” Russell admits that he only felt it was appropriate to start off this with Jon Kwest unique sound. In this mix, Kwest merges his Moomba sound with that of B-more Club and showcases a few of his original productions. Moombahton though not as popular as it once was has a special place in the heart of Russell and his team. As most music heads in the city know the sound and BPM of Moombahton have been infused into every EDM genre at this point and really has fueled a lot of the newer styles we hear today. Kwest’s mix is an excellent showcase of how it’s evolved. This mix is straight fire for your ears and feet mang!
You’ll definitely want to keep your ear to the street as to what TB&P will be up to next and knowing that it’ll be nothing short of great. As with most great creatives, I can truly say I enjoy connecting with Russell at the early stages of TB&P because the growth potential is large. Definitely be sure to follow everything Russell and his team is up to, on and offline. Be sure to also download their latest mixtape here.
Into The Cratez: Volume One // Jon Kwest
1 Larj Jonez X ChuCko – Vamos A Perrear (Original Mix)
2 GTA – Blow Up
3 Whos John & MaxX & EJ – BLACATAH
4 JSTJR – Drop it Low
5 ETC!ETC! – Parti Don (feat. Sanjin)
6 Yazzer G ft. Dezz & YoungTwista – Kinky
7 Happy Colors Ft Dj Bekman – Esto Se Baila Con El Culo Y Los Pies
8 Godwonder – Ay Que Rico
9 Chris Major – Azota
10 Kiji – Low
11 Godwonder – La Campana (Munchi Edit)
12 Jon Kwest – Clear
13 D’Maduro & Tropkillaz Ft. Bounty Killer – Murdara
14 LosXL – Twerk
15 Crvckin Bailo Beatz Remix
16 Acting Damage – Unbreakable