As many creatives can attest, it’s not always the first act you try out that molds into your full-time career. Oftentimes, your early interests can help lay a foundation for what your passion organically evolves into as you learn more about yourself, your talents and different ways to execute your ideas.
For Los Angeles native Joel Melchor, he initially gravitated towards learning the art of music production, teaching himself the ins and outs of various software and making his own beats. When the time came to apply to college and focus on a specific area of study, he realized that his love for music could be applied in a variety of different forms. When deciding against majoring in music outright, he became encouraged to try his hand out in multimedia. By using his own instrumentals to soundtrack music videos he’d make, he unexpectedly discovered a new passion that would pave the way for his professional life today.
Upon graduating, Joel began lending his talents to a variety of clients, helping companies tell their stories through visuals tailored to social media and showcasing how video is a powerful tool to communicate the brand's point of view. He has since built a vast portfolio that spans industries, such as creating promotional material for real estate companies, capturing sporting events and working to highlight the work of esteemed barbers in Los Angeles, to name a few. While working with a diverse range of clients, he also is dedicated to developing his work as a director, with a focus on music video production.
Joel's love for music and videography has led to many full-circle moments, further solidifying his path as an emerging talent in the music industry. From creating original conceptual visuals to accompany songs, such as Filthy Peralta's "Peace of Mind" video, to interviewing up-and-coming artists about their craft, Joel's passion comes alive when music and visuals merge. Joel recently took a moment to chop it up with the DropLabs team about his love for music, how teamwork comes into play and where his creative inspiration comes from.
What do you do for a living and what helped you get started?
I went to college and I graduated from multimedia and so right there, they taught us different aspects of media, whether it was web design, graphic design, video editing, videography, that sort of thing. I basically just fell in love with the video aspect of things mostly and decided to continue onto that. I would do projects on my own on the side while I was working on school projects and things of that nature, and it grew from there.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I'm working with different brands to work on all kinds of things, like interviews or promotional work for social media. I'm mainly interested in the music side because that's where I get most of my inspiration from. I have my own YouTube channel and I would like to grow that channel to be mainly hip-hop music videos.
Do you have an early memory of when you first realized some of your creative passions?
I was mostly interested in music production. I remember in high school I would watch a lot of YouTube videos and learn how to get started with production on programs like FL Studio and Logic Pro. I would make beats and experiment with music engineering. I fell in love with that first but then once I went to college when I was trying to decide what to major in, I didn't really find any programs tailored to music production specifically. I didn't know how to play any instruments so I didn't want to major in music, but because I feel like video and music go hand-in-hand, I decided to start making videos and would use my beats in the videos. I started out making videos for Instagram and stuff like that. Back then, they allowed for 15-second videos so that was a good starting point.
Where would you say your creative inspiration comes from?
I'm really trying to get more into directing music videos so watching other people's work on YouTube and listening to music is my main source of inspiration. I try to visualize how to direct a big artist's song, and I like to come up with ideas that stem from listening to their music. Another way I get in my creative zone, I like to go to the gym a lot so that's another passion of mine. I feel like that gives me a little break from editing and once I get back from the gym, I have a different state of mind that inspires me to get back to working on my projects.
What surprised you the most about trying out DropLabs technology for the first time?
I first tried it out at the Basement event series in Los Angeles and what was so cool is that we were able to experience the live concert differently than we normally would have without the shoes. While we were listening to the artists, we were able to feel it in our feet so I feel like that was a whole different experience, especially because we were further away from the stage and it felt like we were right there. You feel it in your body and it makes you want to dance, it's really awesome.
How would you describe the DropLabs experience to your friends?
I would like to try it out in different capacities but I feel like in general it just makes the experience a hundred times better. It feels like you're right there with the artist. I don't know how to best describe it actually but once you try it out, you'll think differently about listening to music.
Through frequently shooting with DropLabs, I've been able to experience other people's reactions to the shoes. I was at the NAAM conference this month and I was able to see everyone try out the shoes for the first time, which was really fun. I think it's a great product and it's cool to see how everyone reacts in their own way.
What is your favorite part about being a videographer?
My favorite part is working together as a team with others. It's never a task to be done alone. That's always fun being able to work with an artist and bouncing ideas off one another and thinking of creative ways to film. On the editing aspect, I like being locked in on my own and I love seeing everyone's reactions to the final product.
What is an important mantra that you live by that helps keep you motivated?
Believe in your own ideas. I feel like that's very important because, especially with directing music videos and being able to put out your own ideas, you have to be confident in your work and believe in your own ideas. No one else will if you don't.
What are some of your goals for 2020?
Going back to my YouTube channel, in addition to working on more music videos, I also would like to work on sharing original interview content. My brother and I started a series where we interview up-and-coming hip-hop artists. We already have a few videos from last year that we're currently working on so the goal for this year is to hopefully grow the channel and continue posting more frequently. We would like to get our own set-up as well because right now, we book a random studio in downtown LA to conduct our interviews. The goal is to get our own set-up this year with our own logo in the backdrop and stuff like that.
As innovators by design, the team behind DropLabs Technology is dedicated to supporting and elevating members of the creative community. Together, we aim to serve as a platform highlighting different creators as they work towards achieving visionary excellence and inspiring others along their path. To nominate a creative leader you’d like to see highlighted on our website, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.