Videographer 10Daniel16: With The Lens Off
Onehunga creative Daniel Ropati-Mather would rather observe and capture the action of local talent in his area than be the one entertaining the camera. The 22 year old rising videographer is a soft spoken, selflessly driven force behind the scenes of Auckland’s underground rap scene.
Between working on his new self made video platform One Track, directing visuals for local artists and contributing to creative spaces like NAH ZONE, even after dropping university to focus on his craft Daniel is busier than ever before - showing how much Auckland needs him. He’s unfazed about clout or being the centre of attention, and instead his heart lies with making sure the abundance of Auckland talent is recognised in the right way. While the young creative stays true to his Onehunga roots and chooses to pursue a career path on his own terms, his ambitions expand much further than the 312.
We had the pleasure of having guest writer Laura McInnes interview 10Daniel16 for NAH ZONE to get to know the man behind the lens, learn about his side of the story with no filters or effects attached, and give credit to the local scene where it’s often overlooked.
You dropped out of uni to pursue directing music videos, right?
Yep. How did you know that?!
The power of Twitter, haha. It’s super courageous to go against society’s route to success, succeed on your own terms and so dope to see more creatives taking a stand this way. What were you studying at university?
Business. I’m actually thinking of going back... just because Study-link pays me. It depends, because some artists have more of a budget to work with, which is better for me. But other times they’re starting at the bottom too.
Was there a moment when you kind of realised that your university degree wasn’t really helping you to get where you want to be?
Pretty much when I was just sitting in class and I wasn’t even thinking about what they were saying. I feel like when you’re in university you should be there for a purpose and there to learn. If I’m not really interested in what they’re teaching me there’s no real point in being there.
Hard out! Especially when you could be teaching yourself your own craft in that time.
Yeah! I’m still only young, there’s plenty of opportunities for me to come back in the future. So I was like fuck it, I’m gonna go pursue what I’m happy and passionate about and if it doesn’t work out I can always go back.
You’ve directed videos for local artists like KOME, Arch One and Lukas. What excites you about being a part of Auckland’s upcoming rap scene?
I think just seeing everyone grow. It’s exciting to watch everyone develop and kinda just build relationships and friendships with the people I meet because we’re all very like minded in a way, with similar interests in music and culture. Just having something to do, it keeps me busy. I like watching people who are passionate about their thing, because it reminds me of myself. I like to see everybody doing well.
How did you get into music video directing? First off you were creating concert montages shot on your iPhone, right?
With the music stuff, that’s how it started but as for making videos I got started when I was like 8 years old. We had a family computer and I noticed one of the programme’s was this weird video software. It was a free one, and I was playing Runescape at the time as well so I started making Runescape videos on there.
As I grew, I got into soccer and I started making YouTube tutorials on how to do tricks. I was always watching YouTube growing up, watching the different trends and shit. I was always involved in the online community. With the music stuff, I found this guy on Instagram called Gibson Hazard who does tour videos for big artists in America. The videos I watched were really compelling, he does a lot of 3D work and animation as well as concert recaps. So I kinda wanted to recreate that in a way. The goal is to do tour videos with artists, because it’d be cool to travel as well.
Tell me about your new creative project One Track.
So One Track is my platform, it’s heavily inspired by Cole Bennett’s Lyrical Lemonade. I looked around at the culture around here. There’s so much talent, especially like at the Nah Zone showcase but these people don’t really have a presence online. Also, my friends at the time weren’t really checking out any New Zealand stuff and once I stumbled across the talent here I was like I wanna help.
And where do you plan on taking it? Is it just you working on it?
Yeah. My partner helps out with social media posting and stuff, but I pretty much create all the content. I just wanna show the world what the talent is like here. And expand into doing shows, podcasts and a bunch of other stuff.
You have a very distinctive graphic video aesthetic. Where do you get inspiration from?
Usually just from other music videos I watch and just things I like. I do a lot of watching - in music videos and movies if I see something that I think is cool or if it stays in my mind later on, I try to see what I can do in a similar way to try recreate that feeling.
If you could direct a music video for any artist, who would it be?
SWIDT... but I’ve already done it. It’s for a new song. They’re from the same area as me so I always wanted to work with them and then they finally hit me up on instagram. It was cool, it was like I was just with people from high school. We were all cracking jokes, it was never scary or serious. It was a bunch of fun. That was one of my main goals, those are dudes I really look up to.
Finally, what’s your current favourite track by a local artist?
Church & AP - Alladat.
Check out the new SWIDT - Who Run It music video directed/edited by Daniel. If you want to keep up with his journey you can follow him on any social media platform under 10Daniel16 or his creative platform, One Track.