24 year old, Holland Gallagher is the mastermind behind a new online series based out of Durham, NC. He grew up in New Orleans and moved to the city in 2005. He’s very in tune with the music production world where he’s produced for rappers and singers in the area. A couple years ago he decided that he wanted to make the show to talk about what was going on in Durham. He funded everything with only $10,000. The series features executive producer Phonte Coleman (Little Brother), and director of photography Bruce F. Cole (Jinn),. The series is centered around a young man, Smiles, who is trying to buy back the house of his adolescent love. When a tech entrepreneur presents him with an opportunity to expedite the process, he agrees, getting mixed into the independent rap and startup worlds of Durham, NC. The five twenty minute episodes of season one where we fund-raised on Kickstarter and shot on location in Durham featuring an ensemble NC cast and crew.
We spoke with Holland to talk about the series + working with Phonte Coleman, Durham’s music scene, favorite artist + more.
You can stream the full online Hype online series here.
Get into our interview with Holland below.
RESPECT.: As the writer of the series are you pleased with the finished product.
Holland: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like it turned out well. This was my first thing, I’ve written on experimental film before this show. So yeah I’m pretty proud of the final product especially with the limited resources we had to make the show. We shot the whole thing on $10,000. Which is alot of money but in the film world it’s not alot. So with all that included I’m pretty proud of it. There’s definitely room for improvement. I think what I’m mostly proud of is that it’s finish. We did it and it’s out there.
How was it bringing this story together as a writer?
Most that was written was of my experience in real-life producing music and also in my life.. I was working for a street-wear start-up called ‘runaway’ so there’s like this large entrepreneurship in the show and alot of that was taken from my experiences doing that stuff in the real world & kind of dramatizing it and figuring out ways for the two to collide which comes out in terms through a concert that the company puts on to show off the investors. So kinda just figuring out ways to bring those two worlds together through the handful of characters that we have. Hopefully making something that makes if feel like it’s from Durham.
How do you think Durham’s music scene is coming along?
I think the music scene and the triangle at large is really blossoming right now. You have a handful of artist alot of them have moved to LA. They’re really doing some cool things along with a bunch of other people. There’s alot people that are doing stuff and that’s why I’m excited about, the idea of having the show because it’s really a vessel where you can bring together alot of different artist into one community for a project. Where in music like you have features I guess on your album where it’s harder to bring a ton of people in it together. That’s one thing that’s interesting and exciting about hype. We have a soundtrack where we include alot of people that are local artist. So we have artist in the area that are acting on the show and people on set, it’s just alot of different ways to get people in the community involved into one singular thing.
You guys received 3,500 listens in the first three days, how was it knowing that people were actually paying attention and checking out the series?
Pretty exciting. We were really fortunate to get Phonte involved who obviously has a bigger platform than I do personally. But from the beginning, we raised money on Kickstarter, we were pretty public facing about the project from the beginning. People have kind of known about it in the area for like a year and a half now. So finally we figured it out and let people see it. It’s been really exciting it’s really encouraging so far and I’m excited to kind of build on it.
So Phonte Coleman is apart of the legendary group the Little Brothers, how was it working with him?
It’s been great so far, we met after the series was done. I invited him out to the premiere, it premiered at the carolina theater which is a really cool historic theater in downtown Durham. I just happened to meet him at LAX a month before so I invited him out and he responded to it and asked if he could do anything to help out. So that’s when our working relationship started I invited him to sign on to be executive producer for the show. So since then we’ve kinda just been talking about what to do to kinda get it out there and build upon it for season 2. So he will have a more active role in production and ideas in the second season. As far as the first season goes he’s been more involved as a loud speaker for the show.
What should a fan who hasn’t seen the series expect?
I would hope that they get out of it kinda a feel for the South and a show that’s a grounded show about ambition, music, entrepreneurship all set in the south.
Do you have a favorite artist at the moment?
Yes I’ve got a bunch. A bunch of albums came out that I’m really into. This James Blake album I really like alot. This Boogie album that came out this week, love that album. I’m a huge J. Cole guy obviously being from the area. J.I.D also he’s apart of the dreamville camp, I’m a big fan of his. work. Just a few.
Since it’s J. Cole’s birthday, do you have a favorite album from him?
I really like ‘4 Your Eyez Only’. Especially the song 4 Your Eyez Only.
Last words for anybody checking out the series.
Just that I hope you guys enjoy and follow the project and see how it grows in the upcoming seasons.