Marmoset’s Video Content Director, Josh Brine tells us about WebsterX and the making of this Artist Profile short film in his own words below.
JOSH: I first met Sam Ahmed, also known as WebsterX, in the spring of 2019. We spoke that summer on the phone, through email, text messaging, FaceTime, for countless hours as I immersed myself in his world, preparing for this documentary. And I still haven’t cracked the surface.
Sam is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met. I spent 5 days filming him in August 2019 in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He introduced me to the home he grew up in, food from his Ethiopian roots, the school he dropped out of, his friends, his community, and the city he loves so much. And you really feel it when you’re with Sam. Everything he does is for the betterment of Milwaukee. And as I learned in my short time with him, his music is just the beginning.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sam is co-founder of a youth organization called FreeSpace, board member of an all ages hub and music venue called The New State, and co-organizer of the social movement Black is Beautiful (a 16 mile bike ride that drew more than 2000 participants in protest of George Floyd’s murder). Since then, Black is Beautiful has raised over $20,000 for local groups supporting the cause. And all of this happened while putting the finishing touches on his new record, set to be released in the near future.
Since filming Sam last year, this documentary has taken on a new meaning to me. The final words of this film state “we are one”. They come from Sam’s song “Skin” from his 2017 album Daymares. Now, after witnessing Sam’s commitment and love for his city on an even deeper level, using his platform to empower all people and call us to empower one another, I feel those lyrics even more so.
– Josh Brine
WebsterX: I Didn’t Plan to Be Here
Director: Josh Brine
Producer: Josh Brine
Director of Photography: Josh Brine
Second Camera: Kale Chesney
Production Assistant: Kale Chesney
BTS Photography: Kale Chesney
Sound Mix: Graham Barton
Editor: Josh Brine
Color: Josh Brine
Pre-Production consultation: Luisa Jeffery, Michelle Goldstein, Steve Schroeder, Jess Cassady