Arcani is a prolific guy. Born Isaiah Carter, the Richmond-based photographer came to RVA from Yonkers, New York when he was in middle school. By his late teens, he was learning to love his new city, which impressed him with its artistic sensibility and unique aesthetic. He was also learning to love photography, and Richmond was a big inspiration for his early work. Other inspirations included video games, anime, and most of all, hip hop.
It’s hip hop he celebrates with his YouTube video series, MinuteMade, currently a part of RVA Mag TV Season 1. True to their name, the MinuteMade videos are only 60 seconds long. They feature rappers, singers, and musicians performing minute-long snatches of their music within computer generated landscapes that feel psychedelic at times and digitally futuristic at others. Arcani records the episodes in front of a green screen, which he originally set up in his living room. These days, though, he’s gone big time, traveling back and forth between RVA and NYC, and building his multimedia brand.
Check out MinuteMade — and everything else RVA Mag TV has to offer — right here. And check out our quick and easy interview with Arcani below.
R. Anthony Harris: You’re from New York; how’d you end up in Richmond?
Arcani: Born in Yonkers NY. I moved to VA for a better education. I’m an all-around creative with a gigantic imagination.
RAH: How did you get started making content before this?
A: I’ve always listened to music and pictured the craziest made-up scenarios. Ninety percent of the time, I had no idea who the artist was or what they looked like. I started in photography and branched out to music videos and commercials. Then, eventually, MinuteMade.
RAH: How did this project come about? What gave you the inspiration to record performers in front of a green screen?
A: Big dreams and empty pockets. I wanted a lot, but I didn’t necessarily have the budget to create my vision. I created MinuteMade and eventually just built the world I dreamed of using 3D software.
RAH: What has been the best part of making these videos?
A: Watching artist shoot in front of a green screen, then receive a link with the [same] performance, but in a completely different universe. Witnessing their reaction. And just every opportunity they get after it.
RAH: What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
A: Expansion. MinuteMade has been mostly [artists from] Richmond. I plan on going on a tour, starting with the East Coast, and helping artists worldwide fully expose their amazing talents.
Interview by R. Anthony Harris. Intro by Marilyn Drew Necci. Additional reporting by Will Gonzalez. Top photo via Arcani.