Jeremy Biggers: Earning His Closeup
Photograph by: Marty Olivo
With Dallas artists signing to major labels (Bobby Sessions to Def Jam), working on Grammy-nominated albums (Justus on Dr. Dre’s Compton), and joining legendary rappers on tour (hip-hop artist -topic opening up for Flying Lotus), it’s a peak in our city’s history worth documenting. Multi-hyphenate visual artist Jeremy Biggers is way ahead of you. The filmmaker, designer, muralist, and painter has been making avant-garde music videos on the Dallas music scene since the city’s renaissance began in 2013.
“Being able to work with these people has definitely allowed me to grow as much as it has because of the caliber of talent I am working with. Being able to work with Blue, The Misfit., Sam Lao, Sarah Jaffe, and Bobby Sessions has pushed me to grow as well and hone my own craft. As much as I have been documenting their growth visually, it has also helped me grow as a creative as well."
Biggers believes the hip-hop community is gaining momentum, with Sessions’ recent signing to Def Jam leading the way. Biggers and Sessions have been collaborating for a while, but their recent work on the music video for “Like Me” brought Biggers national attention for his visual direction. It’s the type of national attention Biggers is now focused on. While he acknowledges the city’s growth, like any hungry artist, he’s hardly satisfied with staying in Dallas for long.
“The music industry in Dallas (as with all creative communities) is growing, albeit at a snail’s pace. It’s hard for people like me who have been working day and night for years honing in on my craft, yet the city can’t always fully support the impact of emerging arts because Dallas is still trying to figure out it’s own identity."
Outside of a minority within major markets, videos for “local” rappers stay in a standard, boring lane. They tend to rely on street tropes flashing stacks of $1 bills made to look like $100s, tire shops, chicken shacks, and visits to dark and gritty strip clubs. Biggers is more interested in reflecting on the art form in three-minute films. His work balances the surreal with minimalist subtleties.
“I hate for it to look like a typical Dallas music video, where I know exactly where the scenes are shot at. I want people to feel like my videos are not necessarily from Dallas; I want them to compete on an international level. I try to make sure creativity is at the forefront of what I’m doing so I don’t fall into the trap of shooting downtown Dallas from the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge."
One of the artists he frequently collaborates with is...
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