Milky Wayv has over the last year garnered an incredible fanbase and a slew of talented artists. We talk to Marz, Milky Wayv's Creative Director, about her vision and approach to the branding and visuals we've come to associate with Milky Wayv.
For those who are not sure who you are, tell us about the collective/label.
Marz: Milky Wayv is a record label and collective here in Houston. It's a lineup of singers with individual sounds and aesthetics. Oh, and me, behind the scenes. But, I don't sing or make music. I just try to document how cool these people are. Lol
Who are the creative minds (the people) behind the visuals we have come to recognize as Milky Wayv’s signature?
Marz: I guess I am. I feel too cocky saying that but it's the truth if we're talking the last year or so. It also depends which visuals. I don't shoot or have my hand in every single thing but most things. Bobby (the executive) usually likes what I come up with or enhances the ideas to make the visuals solid. I'm his creative partner as corny as that sounds.
Visuals (whether photography, graphics, or videos) are central to Milky Wayv’s identity and branding, how would you describe the style of visuals you put out? For instance, psychedelic pop art, futuristic, minimalist, etc
Marz: photography wise, I take a minimalistic approach and allow it to evolve into whatever it wants to become in post. It usually ends up being some futuristic/spacey (inevitably) type sh*t but it wasn't intended out the gate. In everything, I try to think "if I saw this, would it make me want to learn more about what this is" or "would I think this is cool".
The photos of artists can range from high fashion (re: lita styles) to candid/personable (re: peyton), how do you decide on the concept for each of the artist?
Marz: the process usually includes getting together with the artist, seeing what their ideas are and making something cool out of it. Depending on which artist it is, I can say "hey I came up with a tight idea for your song" whether it be a music video or a Photoshoot concept and they'll trust me creatively. With Lita, there's always a new look she wants to try and we both have a fashion background so we usually feed off of each other. For Peyton's upcoming release of Peace In The Midst Of A Storm (November 16), it had to showcase who she truly is as with everything; an effortless approach. Each Milky Wayv artist is pretty open-minded but I try to observe their personalities and create something they would be proud to share.
The music videos have evolved into high quality, color filled, pieces of art. How do you come up with concept and look of the music videos?
Marz: wow, thank you! I have a pretty vivid imagination. I will usually listen to the music by the artist to visualize what I think will captivate people and make them want to hear the music, or the artist themselves will explain to me what they want to portray and I just conceptualize around it. For the "Can You Feel It Too" music video I played the song over and over every morning in my car on the way to work and imagined myself watching the video as a finished product. I imagined how the camera would move and how the scenes would switch. I can hear a song and if it's really good to my ears, I can visualize it simultaneously. I like concepts that are thought provoking and I like the look to be cinematic. Way too often do we see music videos with the same idea of the artist walking around outside somewhere singing or rapping the song. I like visuals that take you on a trip. Wait until you see Eros' video for Lost; you'll see what I mean!
What are some of the tools you use to create? Thinking specifically about posters, gifs, album covers, and so on
Marz: We use pretty generic branding tools. I implemented the use of gifs; I think the twitchy movements grasp people's attention especially with the Boomerang craze. Bobby likes to show 15 second visuals with snippets of the song that loop perfectly to excite the artists' fans. We also do moving flyers like what you saw for Lita's single release for "Force" and Peyton's album listening party. We make flyers, take photos, make videos, so the tools I guess are pencil, paper, a camera, and a computer. Haha
What advice on visual branding would you give emerging artists?
Marz: Pay attention to how technology evolves and use it. Make something original and don't be too critical of it that you don't put it out. If it sucks, people will appreciate the authenticity, and you will grow from it. Presentation is key. Be transparent and showcase who you really are, and hopefully it is a breath of fresh air; It's the best aesthetic to have. Don't force anything down anyone's throat. Put it out because you want to see it, and not because you want to impress people and it probably will.