MEMPHIS, TENN. | (Divine Army News)
written by Shariee Jones, Contributing Journalist |
The time was a little after 1300 hours or 1 p.m. on May 1, 2019 when this interview took place with a friend. The 37-year-old, former Senior Producer of The Fader Magazine and former Media Producer at Karmaloop TV, graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Computer Science. His level of skills could possibly have led him to high places but not like his drive and passion for showing the world what he’s capable of once given the opportunity.
Operating within in his purpose was his goal. It was about putting his dreams into action. He’s about Show-Me the money without focusing on the pursuit of money but pursuing purpose. The Bengali American filmmaker is co-founder of the creative collective business called Illusive Media based out of Virginia Beach, Va. His name is Mahfuzur “Shomi” Patwary.
The Makings of a Multimedia Talent
Shariee: So what is Illusive Media?
Shomi: It started out as a collective of friends out of my bedroom office when we were just in college. It supposed to have been a record label called Illusive Records. It evolved into a multimedia company. We were doing everything from print, design, marketing, video and web design. It was a full scale media company.
As years went by, I was feeling like that I wasn’t mastering any of those (skills) and decided to do video only. I moved to New York to work at Karmaloop TV and Illusive Media was put on the backburner while I was working a 9 to 5. I was learning the video style by really experiencing it full-time (with Karmaloop).
Then I worked at The Fader. I began to build enough confidence to revive Illusive Media. It’s now more of a production company in video. We’re now thinking about going back to where we started as a multimedia agency. We are a collective of friends from Virginia Beach. Now I feel like that I have the clientele, and a lot of my friends are supper talented, I can delegate the work to them.
Shariee: Okay, nice. So, how long did you work for The Fader and Karmaloop?
Shomi: The job at Karmaloop.. my friend Julian was really trying to bring me in because he was already at Karmaloop but it was Pharrell’s co-sign that sealed the deal for me getting the job at Karmaloop. Same thing with Fader, my friend Joseph Patel was the VP at Fader but the CEO called Pharrell and Pharrell said “Shomi is that guy. Get him in your company.”
I only worked for Fader for half a year (2014 or 2015) and Karmaloop for 2 years (2012 to 2014). I wasn’t feeling the 9 to 5 hustle anymore. I was grateful for the experience but I wanted to do my own thing. My wife, Punom Patwary, is the executive producer and partner of Illusive Media with me.
Working with Pharrell Williams
Shariee: Very cool. So, how long have you known Pharrell?
Shomi: I was a huge fan of N.E.R.D. The first time that I ever saw the video Lapdance, I didn’t realize that they were from Virginia Beach. Something just connected in me with what N.E.R.D. were doing musically and visually. Soon as I found out that they were locals, I had a high school friend connect me with somebody that was working with this new artist at the time, Fam-Lay (Hip-hop artist). Through him, I connected with one of Pharrell’s really good friends Doug Dozier aka Doug Life. He was my link to Star Trak (Entertainment).
Shariee: How long have you worked with Pharrell?
Shomi: I met Doug Life when he was an A&R in 2004, and that’s when I joined the Star Trak family helping them out with little (projects) that became bigger (projects). Doug Life connected me with Fam-lay’s manager and they threw me in as a College Rep working for Star Trak. It went from handling the Clipse (Hip-hop duo artists) mixtape to handling their videos for Star Trak. We did everything for the Clipse. Mainly Fam-Lay and Clipse was holding it down in Virginia Beach.
It’s all under Pharrell and Chad’s roster and we took care of that roster (as a team). In Virginia Beach, we were doing everything for them from graphic designs to video work to web design. We got in where we could fit in. If it was a video, that’s what we did. If it was a website, that’s what we did. Whatever was needed, we did that. It wasn’t about the money. It was about the experience, knowledge and the portfolio that we gained from it all.
Pharrell inspired us and he gave us the co-sign that we needed to be where we are at today. Anytime we went to see Pharrell, it was like a humbling experience because he was all about the community. He’s opened so many doors. Throughout the years at the studio, at his house or at an office meeting, he showed us nothing but love and appreciation.
Something in the Water Music Festival
Shariee: Something in the Water is a 3 day annual music festival and cultural experience that took place this year from April 26, 2019 to April 28, 2019 in Virginia Beach, Va. What role were you involved in with SITW Music Festival this year?