Posts tagged quarentine

Prior to following Mac for his photography which entails clean action shots and footage of New York’s skate culture. It came to my attention that he’s involved in other intriguing projects as well. After buying fabric for Adsum, he came across New York based brand under Japanese textile company, Paper Project where He later found himself photographing their product developed with paper yarn, as well as running photo and video for creative shop The Real Travel Agency with friend Zach Cohn. I got a chance to talk more with Mac about these projects and more during quarantine outside of New York and in his hometown in Ohio.

(S) Tell us about yourself.

(M) I’m 28. I grew up in Xenia, Ohio on a farm. It’s the town that the movie Gummo is about. So it’s pretty strange but I had a good childhood. I grew up around Alien Workshop and Habitat Skateboards. Mike Hill and Joe Castrucci really played a big role in framing how I see and do things. I currently live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with my girlfriend Kristine.

Two years ago, I started a little creative and strategy agency with my friend Zack Cohn called The Real Travel Agency. The point is to do creative projects for brands the way we want to do it – DIY, personal, and quick. So we work with a couple clients and also do our own conceptual videos and small batch products. It’s an excuse and outlet for creative ideas that aren’t skating related.

(S) Tell us a little more about Paper Project. 

(M) When I was working for Adsum, we were buying fabric from this guy Takashi who runs the US office of a Japanese fabric mill. He’s the coolest, nicest guy. We kept in touch, I’d talk to him about surfing and stuff. A few months ago, he told me about a small brand that the company had started called Paper Project and he asked me if I could come in to talk about shooting photos. One thing led to the next and now Travel Agency is fully invested in trying to grow the brand with them. The quality of the product is insane and they can basically make anything you can imagine. The team is amazing and really let me have a ton of creative control. So I’ve been shooting and doing little creative projects with friends to create a foundation for them. Now, I’m in the middle of figuring out a plan to keep things going during shut down. It’s been a bit hard to shoot photos and the supply chain is messed up.

(S) Looking forward to seeing more of Paper Project in the near future. What projects are you working on back home?

(M) I’ve been back in Ohio for the last few weeks with my girlfriend so we’ve had a ton of projects. Zack and I are working on a couple small batch products for Travel Agency. I have been natural dyeing t-shirts over a fire with osage orange saw dust. We are also making a mug, a pin, and some other videos. I’ve been helping my dad harvest some of the trees on the farm that are dead and processing the wood. Kristine and I made some cutting boards out of the tree from our front yard. It was fun to take her through her first woodworking project. I’m also going out and skating/shooting photos with the Hulkrips guys which has been fun because they are skating the most insane spots in Cincinnati.  

(S) Keep us posted on your t-shirts and woodwork we would love to see the end product of these projects! I’ve seen a lot of folks working on new things and picking up new hobbies during this time. Have you found yourself doing the same?

(M) We processed natural clay from the side of the creek on my family’s farm and are in the middle of teaching ourselves how to make and fire ceramics. I’ve never done anything like this before so it’s fun to learn. We dug the clay out of the side of a hill near the creek with a pick ax. Then we dried it in the sun for a few days. Then we smashed it until it was pulverized into dust. We filtered it through a screen and then added water. We’ve made a few test pieces that will need to dry for about two weeks. Then we have to figure out how to fire them in a fire pit. Fingers crossed that everything doesn’t just explode. 

(S) What does your day to day in quarantine look like? 

(M) I don’t have a super interesting or regular routine. I wake up around 8 and get a cup of coffee. I usually do computer work for a few hours. If people are skating, I’ll go meet up around noon or one. If I’m not skating, sometimes I’ll be editing videos for work or shooting product for Paper Project. Or I’ll be helping my dad with something around the farm. 

Then it’s making dinner with the family. And then either more work, something creative or movies at night. 

We’ve been going on evening bike rides or doing some yoga but it’s nothing regular. 

(S) What music are you listening to these days?

(M) I have a pretty extensive podcast list but I have tried to chill out on it a bit. The political stuff like Citations Needed and Chapo are pretty stress inducing. Throwing Fits is funny and completely superficial so it’s relaxing. 

Music wise, I’ve had a great time listening to music super loud and not in my headphones, either from the speakers next to my computer or in the car. Gene Clark Alice Coltrane, Robert Wyatt. I always try to listen to entire albums all the way through. I usually pick an artist that I kind of know and listen to entire albums that I know nothing about. Like Roberta Flack, I’ll go and listen to 4 of her albums straight just so i know i’ve heard it. My friend Brian Goodhart has been making some good playlists. And I’ve also been listening to the daddies brothers’ Elara radio. 

Follow to see more of Mac Shafer’s upcoming projects on Instagram @mac_shafer


I met YL the summer of 2017 and through the years seen him build a name for himself New York and worldwide with 7 albums since his first Open 24 which released February 2017 to his latest Alone Time which released during the rise of New York’s quarantine pandemic in April 2020. YL has worked along side Starker, Zoomo, Mid and Theravada of New York and Yung Morpheus and Pink Siifu of Los Angeles. I got a chance to speak with him to see what he’s been up to over the bridge in Manhattan during this time.

(S) Tell us about yourself.

(YL) I’m YL, I’m Ecuadorian, born and raised in Chelsea, Manhattan. I’m a producer, writer and engineer Living in New York.

(S) Let’s talk about influences who inspires you?

(YL) I am inspired by a lot of older music especially the golden age of hip-hop such as Ghostface Killah of the Wu Tang, Madvillain, J-Dilla and Blu. I was able to piece together my own sound when I heard their music. Growing up i resonated with their work because of the human approach they took with their lyrics. They were able to tap into different pockets of life and point of view outside of the regular get money shit.

(S) I’ll start off by saying Congratulations on your recent album Alone Time, the sample on Been Gone is mad nostalgic. Did you have plans to release this in April despite quarantine? 

(YL) I didn’t have a set date plan when I thought of the concept of this album but I had the title already written down in my notes and picked it before quarantine started picking up in New York. The idea of an album came to mind after 2 days of recording a bunch of shit and just felt the urge to put it out immediately during these circumstances.

(S) What is your favorite track on the album?

(YL) The last track “You Not Invited To The BBQ” produced by Brainorchestra. It encompasses the vibe of the whole album. Although every song is a piece of my personality, this one really hit home for me. When the words come to me quick I know I’m making something special and honest. I don’t have to think so much about what I’m saying. Once I got the beat I knew it was the missing piece to the album.

(S) I see that you are a current resident with NTS radio and recently featured on New York’s HOT97 late night show with listeners tuned in around the world which I can imagine hearing yourself on the radio is crazy. When did this start for you? 

(YL) I was putting out mixes on my Soundcloud a couple years back after I got hip to DJ Sofie. I did my first mix for them in 2017 right before Open 24 dropped, so I’m coming up on 3 years with them. 

My Hot97 feature happened after my album Smoke with Staker and DJ Skizz. My boy Mark from Topshelf Premium heard the album and sent a few tracks to Peter Rosenberg, who runs the Late night special. It’s been huge for me being that I’m from New York and been listening to Hot97 since I was a kid. It still takes time for it to settle in but I’m hype.

(S) How are you keeping busy during this time in lockdown?

(YL) I been on this inside vibe for a minute now. I have a studio in the crib and been making a lot of music. I’ve been trying to read more, maintain a balanced diet but most importantly found myself closer with my family. I kinda took that for granted before, but now I’m not able to see them all the time I’m trying harder to keep our relationship close.

(S) What does your daily routine look like?

(YL) I’m an early riser these days. I roll up, run errands, finish songs and features on my busy days but I also like to cook, watch movies, tap into new things and chill.

(S) What are your hobbies outside of making music. If any?

(YL) I like shopping. I like clothes and sneakers. I like going out with friend and being around people whether it’s getting food or going to shows. Don’t matter what we do I just like kicking it.

(S) What’s RRR who is involved?

(YL) RRR is the foundation. It stands for Real Recognize Real. It consists of myself, Mid, Zoomo and Starker with extended members who’ve become our family. RRR was already the squad name before anyone did music. But as far as the music side, it’s just us. Initially Mid founded RRR and I started off filming videos for him on my camcorder when he started rapping. Then I started rapping, met Starker a couple years later then Zoomo clicked up 2 years ago and now it’s a squad.

(S) Are you currently working on any upcoming projects?

(YL) In the immediate future I’m going to be dropping a few more singles on all streaming platforms. I currently have the limited edition vinyl for Alone Time being pressed up, but most importantly I am currently in the process on finishing up my album Jesus is My Homeboy that I started last year. It’s gonna be a real community affair just as far as all the different people I have on it that heads aren’t gonna expect. Definitely gonna be my largest body of work to date and I’m just ready for people to soak it in and live with it.

Follow to see more of YL upcoming projects on Instagram @youngwhy

Photo Credit: Derek Balazero

Stephanie De La Rua

(S) Who are you, where are you from and
what you do?


(K) Hola, hi, hello, i’m Krizzo,
i reside in Los Angeles, CA, & i create art,
digital illustrations, and i’m also
a freelance graphic designer.


(S) How are you keeping busy during
Quarantine? Have you found yourself able
to establish a routine?


(K) Honestly i’ve been working on my
art more ever since miss rona showed up
and we had to quarantine. I’ve always
had a routine i stuck to religiously
pre-quara but changed drastically ever
since this all happened, so me being the
virgo that i am i adapted & created
a new one which took some time to get
used to but i like now.

(S) Have you found yourself working on
any projects and if yes, would like
to share with us?


(K) Yes, definitely more personal artworks
and also partook in my first ever
3D augmented reality art exhibition
which was as cool and fun as it sounds
& is available to view til the end of
May at: staygallery.org/human

(S) What are some examples of self care
that you are practicing during quarantine?


(K) 1 of the biggest forms of self-care was
actually the change in routine due to
quarantine surprisingly,
another is jogging (participating in safe
distancing ofc), walking my dog, and
a lot of sunbathing
which i’ve found to double as meditation
because it’s kept me at peace w/ the
world and myself,
and i get to tan so it’s a win/win.


(S)What inspires you/your work?


(K) Movies are definitely a monumental
inspiration for me, my daily walks w/ my
dog and when i buy my coffee—
i document anything i find interesting
on my walks be it cloud shapes,
the chipped paint on a car from a detail
job, graffiti in my neighborhood, the
“buff’s” brush strokes
when they cover up the graffiti, etc.,
things of that nature; big fan of my
environment.

stay tuned for upcoming interviews by Stephanie De La Rua