In a music industry that is constantly being flooded with music videos and visually-accompanied projects, both photographers and directors are overlooked at times. That’s when creativity comes into play for North Carolina-native Anthony Supreme. The multi-talented artist has worked with the likes of GoldLink, Denzel Curry, JID, Cozz, and many more. Anthony is building a hub for artists, photographers, directors, and more to grow and it all starts with Preme Magazine.
Preme is a Black-owned magazine, featuring big (and little) names within the music industry. Each issue features not only one artists, but several different acts amongst many genres. “Having 3-4 covers each month bridges the gap with the people on the cover with different audiences bases. Mixing the fans and our readers up to discover something new,” Anthony details. Peep the interview below.
What was the decision behind you moving from North Carolina to California?
I’m originally from Monroe, North Carolina. I lost my mother in 2015 from complications with sarcoidosis my mom had for over 10 years and just over those years got weaker and weaker from it. I think I was at a point in my life where my father and sister were all doing good in there life’s. My sister got married and I was still trying to figure out my life. At the time I just got out of the army and also was in school but I was also discovering a newfound talent of photography and Directing. Which was becoming something I enjoyed the most of. While in North Carolina I started to create music videos for all the local talent in Charlotte but started realizing it was going nowhere. I met a few friends who all moved from NC to CA. I kept debating about it for months and how I was going to do it all
I sold a bunch of my stuff brought a Honda element a drover across the country to LA. Where I would sleep in the car and wake up every day to hustle and do emails. It was rough at first trying to find work but I had little to no overhead for income. I would live off EBT and shower at the local gyms when I can.
Then just stay focus on the goals I had set. Do free work and learn from the opportunity’s I had in front of me. Shit was fun and exciting at times because it was a sense of freedom. But I always knew LA was where I needed to be to grow as a photographer and director. Just so I could watch a learn from people who I have always looked up to. I would intern for free just to learn, watch and listen. Then take that and apply to my growth having that I grew extremely fast in my craft. I knew then this is why I needed to be here.
What are the conversations like when it comes to photography?
Photography I honestly picked up one day while living in my car in LA. I never really focused on it to much but knew it was another way to make income given my circumstances. I would just hit people at random and just shoot with them for free just to learn more about my talent. Meet up with other successful photographers and just watch and learn their craft. Again, this was the benefit of living in LA compared to living in NC. Photography is something I self-taught myself and just keep learning and learn more about it. I helped me with my directing and knowing how I want things to look.
Like now “I can see light “ which most photographers would say when they can see the image before it’s taken and create what they see. Photography can be very peaceful to me and there’s a power in capturing real moments for people to see and enjoy. There’s also a responsibility in being a photographer as well.
You can show people bad and good sides of them. You can change how a person feels about themselves as well. We as humans never see our selves in this world as other people see us. We don’t know what our own emotions look like to others or smile etcetera, it’s all pretty scary when you think about. The only way to truly see yourself in the world is if someone has a camera. Photography changed my life for real!
Do you recall your favorite memory, whether it be editing a film or shooting with an artist?
I think shooting the content for J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only was pretty life-changing to me. It was my first time working with Cole. Getting to know a part of his personality. Along with the things that were changing in my life with the death of my mother. Living my life in a different way and actually struggling.
There was this part at the end of the documentary where we met this woman who had like two jobs and a bunch of her children have died senselessly. But she managed to still be happy. It’s was very powerful to share that moment with Cole. Let along he also, later on, shared her story with a bunch of teenagers who were in college. Which then I knew he was affected by her story the same as I. This changed my perspective on my life forever.
Capturing those moments where special to me and I had complete control over what I was capturing. The images for it that album mean the world to me because it’s so me. It’s how I saw him in that world at that time of his life. How I felt about my life at that time. It’s crazy. Which I fucking love so much!
Is there any type of pressure when working with big artists like J. Cole or Young Thug?
Yes and no. Cole and Thug of both pretty private people. I work with Cole mostly but he’s a private person. Most celebrities of his caliber are as well. So it’s always hard learning where to be in it all. Like you know great moments but everything isn’t worth the share. At the end of the day he’s a client of mines and I have to make sure he is happy with my performance. Which is very extremely important to me because I respect him as a human being.
Give me a bit of background on how you came along with the PREME Magazine concept.
Preme, took me a while to understand what and how to do it. Took me forever to figure out the name because of the Supreme brand everyone knows. That was issue No. 1 then let alone my photographer name is that. Even when I made that I wasn’t a fan of supreme. I just liked how it sounds but I’ve had the name for about 10 years now. Issue No. 2 was that there’s a rapper name “Preme” which is amazing by the way!
It was one day when while LA again crashing at my friends Phora’s mansion in LA. I was coming up with merch ideas. Jesus is the co-founder of Yours Truly brand and just being around him and Phora I realized how important it is to create a brand when you have a platform to do so. Jesus was the one who told me to run with the name “PREME” I absolutely love what Phora, Jesus, and Anthro are doing. They’re like young talented guys who are making millions doing it how they wanna do it. I created a zine a while before which sold over 300 copies but average readers were like what is this there are no words. Haha. I was like really? Their suggestion wasn’t to make it like a reader digest but something to let someone who didn’t know who this person was, give more information about them. I took those ideas as good advice.
I also realized by working with Cole and Dreamville they allow me to have some type of following. With that, I would try and pitch my images around to find placements in other people’s magazine. I chase down creative directors for magazines and never get an answer. I would get upset, then, in conclusion, I realize I could just do this myself. I have a strong following and I represent a community of photographers. Plus I’ve been in the music world for over 10 years so knew how it all works. My father had a major stroke last September which also made me have to figure out ways to still be active but not move and hustle as much to help with him with his recovery.
So I started Preme Magazine with the concept of doing what the fuck I wanted to do. Giving people opportunities to bridge a gap in there careers with amazing opportunities. Giving everyday creators the opportunity to express there selfs, however. At first like all things it was hard. Creating something I’ve never done before. Finding who would be involved at this point. Lucky Jinx & JMSN wanted to be involved. Which was crazy because I’ve been a fan of both of them for years! The cover was something else!
Since the start in January, Preme Magazine has grown a lot. Now having over 16,000 readers over ten million impressions and the features just keep getting bigger and bigger. Have about 5-6 contributing writers. 15-20 different photographers and stylist around the world. So it’s a bunch to maintaining and keep it all under control at times. Being a manager of the brand. Creative directing it all and running social media. But it’s super fun to me because I’m doing what I wanna do! Plus, it helping people grow in their careers.
Preme magazine is Independently Black-owned Magazine but, I don’t like that to be at the forefront of everything because I want it to Appeal to everyone. Thus why our covers feature artist from all around the world, not just America. I want the magazine to have a world audience. Having 3-4 covers each month bridges the gap with the people on the cover with different audiences bases. Mixing the fans and our readers up to discover something new.
How long did you hold onto it before putting it together?
Not too long. I’m the type of person where if I have an idea and I feel like it will work. I just try and put out the energy/idea out. Especially, if I’m the only person or thing controlling the idea/energy. I know with everything you do in life it just takes fucking time to get it right. So you have to keep doing it over and over to you figure out what works best for you. So I had to start this magazine and learn and grow with it.
That’s everything in life I feel. You just have to start. Don’t overthink it. It’s never going to be perfect. But if it works then you got something. Something for yourself. Something you don’t have to run around a chase to be apart of or fight for it to want you. You create something you can have for yourself. That’s extremely important to me at this point in my life.
The magazine will be releasing its very first physical cover pretty soon, how does it feel?
Correct! Super excited about it! We currently do print of demand but nothing at newsstands at this point. There’s a whole process of being on newsstands. Which I’ve had several conversations with distributors about but have been on a hold. It cost more to print than to distribute it I’ve learned. I’m self-teaching myself about all this stuff.
I want to grow more brand awareness around the magazine. Work on the story of the magazine and then slowly work my way into the newsstand print world. Get people to understand when you buy Preme you buying this story of my life and the individuals who are apart of it. Young new creators who just want to showcase their talents to the world. But no one will give them the opportunity. Preme magazine is creators doing what the fuck they wanna do! It’s not a bunch of ads and stuff. It’s great images that represent the culture today! People say it’s like the old Source & XXL magazines back when they first started. Which is awesome!
There’s this amazing collaboration we plan to do with one of my favorite brands. Where we do our first print for our 10th issue in September/October to be distributed around the country. We have some amazing things set up for Preme Magazine for that. Something all the artist, photographers and people help get to this point can be apart of. Reana who does styling for J .Cole came up with the idea of doing this collaboration with the magazine. Which she has been helping me put this all together over the last weeks. Which is extremely important!
Where do you see PREME going in a few years?
Preme Magazine will be on newsstand starting more next year. Which will feature bigger talented artists. Growing our podcast and YouTube content. Becoming an agency for photographers, directors, stylist & music artist to grow.
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