GoldRush is a team of two video directors that have been slowly but surely making a name for themselves. Josh and Rahil have directed videos for some of your favorite artist such as Rome Fortune, OG Maco, Smoke DZA and A$AP Twelvyy. Their cinematic approach to visuals and design sparked the curiosity of many individuals to look into their work. I conducted a phone interview with them discussing how they got to where they are now, their visual arts background, what sparks their creativity from and more.
Briefly summarize your experience and education in videography and visual arts.
Josh: We’ve both known each other since high school in upstate NY (2002-2006), that’s where we first started working on videos, mostly projects for school. Rahil ended up going to The School of Visual Arts for cinematography while also interning at different production houses, and I went for graphic design, electronic media and arts, & freelancing for ad agencies. When we both got out of school (2010), Rahil worked as an Assistant Cameraman before a brief stint at Oscilloscope Laboratories, the film distribution house started by Adam Yauch. He ended up moving to India to work for BBC Worldwide as a producer and director. I went into graphic design, working in branding for various national and global advertising agencies and start-up companies, while also working with musicians on the side.
With Rahil’s background in film production, and my background in branding, editing and graphic design, we were able to collaborate on bigger projects. I had started building up a music video portfolio, and had made some good connections so we were able to reach out to them for some of our first projects. People like Rome Fortune and Smoke Dza were reaching out, and we started taking on projects with them. From there we worked with Michael Christmas, Chynna, OG Maco, A$AP Twelvyy, DJ Premier, Royce Da 5’9″, etc.
Who sparked the idea of Goldrush and how did you guys come up with the name?
Josh: When Rahil moved to India, I moved down to the city (2011) and started working on music videos, album artwork, shooting show recaps and interviews for artists like GrandeMarshall, Asaad, Wonda, Flatbush Zombies, and Schoolboy Q. Fast forward a year and a half, Rahil moved back to New York (2013), and we started working together. Our first video together was Wonda – “Please Don’t Listen to This Song”.
Rahil: The name is a combo of both of our last names Goldenberg and Ashruff. The name was thought of by myself and our friend Tim Sennett. We were standing on a subway platform in NY thinking of names, we were also coincidentally trying to think of baby names for Tim’s soon-to-be-born child. We never came up with a name for the kid that day, but we did come up with GoldRush.
What role does GoldRush play in the collective Brain Bandits?
Josh: Brain Bandits is a collective I started with Chad Carrington a few years ago when I first moved to New York. It’s a collective that we made in order to give a platform to visual artists, writers and musicians to give us a better reach and more legitimacy. It also embodies my visual aesthetic. From that, I started shooting music videos for artists from Philly and New York, under the name Glassface. When Rahil got back from India, we started working together as GoldRush. The work we all did in starting Brain Bandits has led to a lot of the work with a wide range of artists taken on as Goldrush. Brain Bandits basically encompasses anything that involves the collective, the blog site, and GoldRush, or myself. It’s sort of a creative home on the Internet that pushes artists to their full capabilities.
Rahil: We’ve shot and will continue to shoot videos for artists associated with Brain Bandits and I’m a huge supporter of Brain Bandits, but GoldRush is its own separate thing.
Was shooting and directing videos always your passion?
We’ve both been making videos for as long as we can remember.
Josh: I was always creative, I’ve done everything from shooting videos in my backyard as a kid, to graphic design, to producing music, to painting and screen-printing. Add that to the fact that I’ve always loved hip-hop and rap music, so watching music videos was a perfect outlet. My academic background exposed me to a lot of experimental media, as well as branding, so my passion has been focused on bringing those elements together with great, likeminded artists, and creating something that’s never been seen before but brings a lot of marketing value to the artist.
Rahil: Its one of the only things I didn’t suck at growing up, its also the only thing I’ve consistently wanted to do since the 8th grade. I’m still not entirely sure why, but I think its because I love getting reactions out of people. With music videos your allowed to create a vast range of videos each evoking different emotions within a short amount of time. For example, we released a video filled with dark imagery about death as well as a really lighthearted video about a kid wanting to be subway break-dancer, all within the same month.
What made you decide to focus on music videos instead of other types of videography?
It happened naturally. We were working for other people, and we wanted something where we would have a lot more creative control.
Josh: Music videos became a creative outlet for me. I was working on really dry projects, like pharmaceutical branding, so when I had the chance to work on purely creative projects, I stuck with it. People received my work well, so the work kept coming in.
Rahil: Music videos allow you the ultimate creative freedom. What more could you ask for?
Looking at your videos, I’ve noticed they are not the typical Hip-Hop visuals we normally come across. How do you come up with concepts for your videos?
We never set out with the goal to make a typical visual. The concepts usually come from listening to the song, sometimes we drill down to a main thread or we mash as many ideas together as possible (Rome Fortune – Four Flats). Everything is pretty collaborative, with us both contributing ideas, both directing on set and producing.
Josh: A big part of my goal with music videos is to do something subversive, something that takes the common formulas you see in music video and uses them in a totally unique way. I also want to expand people’s sense of what editing & video can be – my perspective has always been that mixed media works are the most interesting, and most representative of how the mind actually works.
Rahil: We are constantly coming up with concepts even when we don’t have a video lined up. A good idea is a good idea regardless of what outlet you give it. I’ve found if an idea sticks in your head longer than 3 days it’s probably worth writing down. We also spend a lot of time talking about camera angles, effects, wardrobe and the overall tone that’s being set.
A lot of people may not know that Goldrush directed videos for OG Maco, Smoke DZA, Rome Fortune, Tunji, Chynna and A$AP Twelvyy. Do you reach out to them or do they reach out to you?
We knew Chynna from hiring her previously as an actress for another video. When she put out the song Glen Coco, we had been talking about shooting something for a while and it just clicked. We shot within a few days. Rome was also someone we met months before we shot “Four Flats”, and when the timing lined up we started working together. DZA and Twelvyy reached out after seeing previous work. Since the Maco “U Guessed It” video went viral we’ve been getting a lot more people reaching out.
What other individuals or brands would GoldRush want to work with in the future?
Josh: We want to work more with A$AP Mob and with some of the artists on labels like Fools Gold, 300 and with brands like Society.
Rahil: I would love to shoot a video for the band Natural Child as well as Flying Lotus, I’m also convinced we would make an amazing Jay Electronica video.
What is the long-term goal for GoldRush?
In music videos, we want people to recognize a clear distinction between our work and a lot of the work you see in hip-hop from today’s “shooters”. Our portfolio shows a range of work from $0 budget shoots to major productions. We want to continue showing our versatility, and also work with more labels and artists in other genres. Outside of music, we want to shoot commercials and short films.
Josh: We’re looking to partner with some more major brands and labels and bring our work to a bigger audience.
Rahil: We also want to start a podcast where each episode is a conversation with the artists we shoot with.
Where can people contact you or look up your work?
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