Everyone has a story to share. Yet as humans we’re inclined to stick with what we know, to stay in our lane of what feels familiar. It’s a mode of avoidance that works well until we’re required to see beyond our own experiences. But it’s a cycle we can break and should.
To do just this, the creative studio powered by filmmakers, Even/Odd teamed up with Lyft to create “America is an Idea, Not a Geography” — a stirring series incorporating photography and filmmaking to amplify the voices and stories of immigrants.
The project circulates around immigrant families of different national backgrounds, all connected through Lyft as a means for generating a living wage.
A big “conversation” on how immigrants fit into the economic picture continues to exist — American born citizens equating the influx of immigrants to less job opportunities across the board. But one piece of the discussion rarely is addressed: how immigrant workers are carrying the weight of the burdensome, more intensely laborious work. They’re showing up for the work many are rejecting and refusing to own. Most importantly, many are sidestepping the human rights portion.
Lyft’s short film series tackles this very notion in the most ambitious way possible, by passing the mic to their community — the drivers who uphold the services, the oil and wheel to their machine.
The series “Nine Numbers” film, directed by Mohammed Gorjestani and Andrew Batista, follows Cesar Virto’s life as a business man/writer/Lyft driver — he happens to be undocumented. A recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Virto’s story has a weight of unpleasant truth; his youth plagued with barriers due to his undocumented status.
The project features background music from Marmoset artist, Drew Barefoot. The licensed song “The Forest in Bloom” sets the stage for this complex, heavyhearted issue. The song is meandering and reflective — Virto’s story isn’t of defeat but is the glimpse of a long journey, contrasting moments of highs and lows.
Virto’s story is ongoing, he still faces many questions of his status as a DACA recipient. We invite and encourage you to watch & listen to his story here.
While the end of summer lurks around the corner, we’re not about to let it fizzle away without indulging in one last hurrah. Our Living It up in the Summer mixtape is a culmination of rambunctious energy, a triumphant carefree force that will catapult you forward — a reinforcement that yes, your cannonball into the pool was the boldest anyone has ever seen.
So however you’d like to honor this transitioning of seasons, we hope you’ll join us in saying farewell to summer by celebrating it once last time.
Hit play and license the songs that bring out the best summertimes vibes in your video.
“When I do something, I want to be passionate about it,” says Sam Ahmed, the man behind the moniker WebsterX.
Tactile and determined with a creative spirit, WebsterX was born with a natural hustle, a natural inclination toward poetry and music; he’s selective in what he wants to create and say, pouring his energy into things that fulfill his artistic vision, but also his community.
A relentless inventor, WebsterX takes deep care presenting his work. His music videos visual chapters reflecting present yet passing ideations; much like how lightning strikes — impossible to ignore and elusively powerful — the hip hop artist grabs onto listeners’ attention before embarking onto the next great creative process.
In this, WebsterX’s songs and music videos exude a unique style and narrative; still, an irrefutable commonality that ties his visions together, the product of WebsterX working toward deeper meaning and connection.
Inspired by WebsterX’s creative force, our Visual Content team (Josh Brine and Kale Chesney) are heading to Milwaukee to capture his story as an artist. Look into WebsterX by checking out “Blue Streak” and “Lately” below, then stay tuned for Marmoset’s exclusive artist profile video debuting this fall.
Catch WebsterX on Saturday, August 10th at Turner Hall Ballroom for TDM Festival.
Tuning into your favorite podcast, the music queues up as your ears settle in — it’s the start of a blissful hour of zoning out or uncovering a juicy story. As its theme song fades into the background, realizing it or not, the intro song has set the stage for the podcast’s theme.
Since podcasts are truly an audio immersive medium, it makes perfect sense why podcast creators approach music licensing with a keen sense of purpose. It’s also why a lot of podcasters use Marmoset when looking for music, applying custom filters to find a song that dually serves as their podcast’s anthem. Exemplifying this, we look to Bonnie Thornbury’s new podcast series, Gender Blender.
Thornbury opens their series with “LOVE // WARRIOR” by Frankie Simone. Besides the energetic opening, the song complements the show’s theme of gender exploration; it’s an example of applying background music to guide the content’s narrative.
Fans of Gender Blender and Thornbury’s positive initiative toward bringing this conversation into the podcast stratosphere, we sat down with Thornbury to find out more.
Marmoset: What inspired you to create your Gender Blender? And what are some topics listeners can expect to encounter with your series?
Thornbury: I first started thinking about gender after taking a Gender 101 course in my undergrad, which opened my eyes to the millions of subtle and overt sways gender impacts our lives and started my own journey of coming out as gender queer.
I found it so fascinating that I eventually did a graduate degree in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. I've since had thousands of conversations about gender with people around the world and realized that even though it's so central to our lives, many of us are at a loss in how to talk about gender, how we feel about it, or how it impacts us. Gender Blender is a platform where everyday people can ask questions and explore what gender means to them!
M: As a woman, I feel fortunate to be among a generation that's empowered to speak out — have you found in your own life that talking about issues to do with gender identity or toxic masculinity has helped those around you (and yourself)?
Thornbury: Definitely! And I so appreciate you sharing your perspective too. I likewise feel fortunate to be part of a generation — millenials in my case — where we're looking at the gendered expectations that have been presented to us and questioning, challenging, and embracing the parts that do and don't work. And I really think that applies across the board — this isn't just a feminist movement, or a women's movement, or a queer movement — it's a generational movement.
We're all looking at gender critically and exploring new ways of being and relating to one another. As a queer, I feel so much support, love, and respect from and for our generation. It feels like there's space, we're trying to make space, for everyone. We've had enough of intolerance and division, we want a better world for everyone. It's a hard time to be — there's a lot of hurt and healing — but I likewise feel fortunate and I think the future looks bright.
M: The podcast's first episode delves into what it means to "be a man." I thought this was really interesting and great to have a guest who's on the "other side of topic" (someone who isn't directly affected by the aforementioned issues etc). How do you approach having tough conversations with people who aren't always allies or aware of their own lack of education/awareness?
Thornbury: I love this question — thanks for picking up on that! I think we're all affected by gender, although of course in different ways depending on our experiences and backgrounds. One of the people I spoke with (episode coming soon! ) talked about his experience when he's walking at night around or by women walking alone and can sense their unease. He's so very far from a predator, but he feels like that's how he's perceived in certain situations, and he struggles with how to respond to that, how to amend that both for himself and the people he's encountering, and for society as a whole.
I think so many of us can relate to that — whether being mis-perceived, not knowing how to get around gendered stereotypes or realities, or feeling uneasy in certain contexts because of gender — and at the end of the day, I think we all want to feel safe and seen.
In having so many conversations about it over the years, I think it's safe to say that we've all been impacted by gender in one way or another. Sometimes the conversations are indeed tough, but I truly believe everyone is a gender expert — everyone is an expert in at least their own gender, and gender is absolutely unique to everyone. I think the first step to becoming gender aware is empowering people to learn and speak about their own gender, and asking people how we can be allies to one another.
It's not only women or queers who need allies — we're all grappling with these issues. I'm trying to be really intentional about reaching out to all kinds of people — kids and elderly people, men and women and queers, people with different cultural experiences... I'm genuinely curious about how different people think about and relate to gender, and I hope to expand the conversation to make space for everyone's voice.
M: What's something you hope listeners takeaway from Gender Blender?
Thornbury: First and foremost, everyone is a gender expert — we all get to define gender for ourselves, but that's not something we've been asked to do before. It's been sort of assumed we all mean the same thing when we say we're a woman or man or queer or whatever. I hope to get people thinking about and talking about gender.
M: Where do you envision for the future of your podcast series?
Thornbury: As my first guest Jennifer suggested, translated into many languages, accessible to people around the world… good to have lofty goals to strive toward, right?