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The Drew Hill 

  I've worked with many different young directors when it comes to music videos over the years and not many are able to match or expound on the ideas that might be floating through my head during any given shoot. And then came Andrew John Burks. I was impressed initially by a snippet off of previous Spotlight creative 6 Cardinal's music video. The clean swooping shots in full HD glory hit the right buttons in my head and before I knew it I was in Drew's inbox. Andrew is the type of person that gives one thousand percent when he works and it shows. He's never come off like somebody who is just there for the check. He cares about his craft and it shows in every one of his videos. Here's a snapshot of what goes on in the mind of the man behind the visuals:

Ivan: Your visual style is very unlike anybody else in the music video genre currently, what influenced your style? 

Andrew: I'm a huge nerd when it comes to technology. Cameras and Computers are my thing. I grew up watching "The Box" and MTV when they played music videos 24/7. Back then, there were hardly any special fx in music videos. 90's music videos definitely have an influence on my style. But, now I'm just having fun with the way technology has evolved. 

Ivan: What's the most fun you've had while hard at work on a set? 

Andrew: I have fun on all my sets because they are all different in their own way, from the artist to the different styles of music and concepts, nothing is the same.  
If I had to pick one, I would say "6 Cardinal - Unknown Substance". It didn't go exactly as planned. 6 and I had an idea that we were going back and forth for a couple weeks.I like when my shoots are well thought out and have props in them. 

Ivan: Have you ever had musical aspirations? 

Andrew: Definitely, my musical aspiration is to have a entire media presence. I want to be an online source where you can watch dope music videos, live performances and interviews.There are a couple plays being made right now and we will see how they follow through. For now just have to take it day by day and take care of these smaller goals. 

Ivan: I met you through 6 Cardinal, how'd you guys get down? 

Andrew: 6 and I have history. We met each other in day care. When I was like 4 or 5 years old I think. We became really good friends and then lost touch around 3rd grade I believe. 
I literally didn't hear from him until my senior year in high school. He reached out to me, we chopped it up, caught up and well here we are today. 

Ivan: Since you're usually behind the camera, do you value your privacy?  

Andrew:I actually love being in front of a camera too.The problem is I don't have anybody dedicated to be behind a camera for me.  
As far as privacy goes, its 2016, there is no such thing as privacy. Everything is only a Google search away. 

Ivan: What gets you in the mood when it's time to edit? 

Andrew: Usually right after I shoot something I'm already excited and start editing it that same day. Some of my projects take some time just because I don't like finishing anything in 1 day unless it was planned really well. 
I watch other peoples work and that can spark some of my ideas as well. 

Ivan: You've done music videos for mostly hip hop acts, do you see yourself branching off to other ? 

Andrew: Absolutely. I actually done a couple other projects besides hip hop. I feel like I'm in this niche where only hip hop artist reach out to me because thats all I have done lately. But if any other genre reaches out to me. I will be ready. 

Ivan: Any advice for the aspiring film makers out there? 

Andrew: Don't let anything hold you back. Were in a era where smartphones are recording as well as some of these DSLR cameras on the market. I too, always catch myself wanting the next best camera or accessory. The funny thing is even if you go out and spend all your money on the camera you dream of, within 6 months there will be a camera better than the one you just bought. Its a vicious cycle, just work with what you have. 

Ivan: What's the best way for an artist to get your attention?  

Andrew: I'm always on the hunt for new artist to work with. Take your talents to South Beach and lets shoot. I have a Facebook, Instagram and Youtube channel. Its very easy to reach out to me.  

Ivan: Top 5? 

Andrew: Artist?  Tupac, Em, Nas, Big L, Method Man. The order depends on how I'm feeling that day.

Hit With The Rico 

  As far as independent artists go, Rico hailing from Brooklyn New York and representing Real One Entertainment is one of the most complete. With a flow that will easily get the attention of hip hop fans who feel the game is missing it's realness and cutting edge lyrics that get attention for the audacity of the author, Rico's music is truly something special to hear in the age of mumble rap. He covers a variety of topics in his music and has kept his fans fed with music videos as well. I've seen first hand how hard Rico works to develop his craft. I present to you the SPOTLIGHT artist of the week:

Ivan: You don't write down your lyrics. How do you keep all the rhymes in your head? 

Rico: When I was younger I use to build all my lyrics bar for bar  in my head... Verses, hooks everything like some of the rappers I idolize Biggie, Jayz etc... Now that I do more then just rap,I started writing things down in my phone a lot more still amazes me sometimes... 

Ivan: Let me get you in trouble real quick. Which state has the better looking women FL or NY? 

Rico: I love em all...#Broward 2 #Brooklyn...but I will say this Florida is warm all year round means bikinis everywhere...but its something about a New York girl in some J's/Timbs... 

Ivan: Where did the name Rico come from? 

Rico: My Voice... Everybody that's hears my voice (especially women) automatically call me Rico suave ...It just stuck with me...also I was a youngin' from NY in a Florida school...everybody thought I sounded like Cam'ron from paid in you know he played Rico... By the way that's my favorite movie... 

Ivan: What's next for your company Real One? 

Rico: We're signing artists ,doing distribution deals,Throwing events,Starting a film company, already working on the clothing company & so much more...There's no limit I'm passionate & confident about the power moves my team is about to make... 

Ivan: Your track Unconditional Love is deep.  Do you think the rap game could use more conversations about God? 

Rico: Definitely...I know I talk about a lot of ratchet, violent, & controversial topics in my music but I'm just recording my truth & the truth is I believe in God...god is the reason I'm here...I had cancer as a child...everybody around me in the hospital me I believe in god...that's why I feel like I want it more than everybody... I fought to live...& I'm still fighting because cancer can come back at anytime but god keeps blessing me... 

Ivan: What's the best part of your live performances? 

Rico: I put my all into it...if you haven't seen me perform then you haven't heard my music yet...I'm running back & forth giving it my all because its like therapy for me...I'm pouring out pain on that stage...I love what I do & I love my fans... 

Ivan: What do you think of the battle rap game and why didn't you take that route? 

Rico: I love battle rap...I watch battles all the time...I got bars but my voice is just to low & raspy for that (laughs)

Ivan: Do you have desires to do anything beyond the music business?

Rico: Definitely some acting... Tell Denzel holla at me (laughs). But I love the music business more than all that... 

Ivan: You give your audience real stories from your life consistently, do you feel that that would have to diminish as your fame grows? 

Rico: I'm always gonna give my audience the real...because I really been thru it...I'm gonna give them a glimpse of what I been thru & what I'm going thru... I'm gonna put medicine in the candy... Meaning I'm gonna give you gems while I make you turn up.... 

Ivan: Your top 5 dead or alive? 

2.Jay Z 
5.Damn,Damn,Damn,Damn (laughs)

Rico - The Start

Views From The 6 

  There's not many people that take as much care with their craft as the artist by the name of 6 Cardinal. He has been a staple on the underground scene of South Florida for a long time now and it's no surprise why. His stage show is purely electric whether it features him alone or backed by a full band, 6 can get virtually any crowd engaged and turnt up. His pen game is also just as wicked and he's proved this time and time again with his onslaught of music available online. I've had the pleasure of collaborating with a him a few times (Shots Fired) and he never ceases to amaze me with his willingness to try new sounds and push the genre forward. I present to you our SPOTLIGHT artist of the week: 

Ivan: Where does the name 6 Cardinal stem from? 
6 Cardinal: I came up with the name when I was about 16 or 17. 6 Cardinal comes from the cardinal directions, with me imagining the 5th being down and the 6th being up. From any given perspective, when you look up, that's me. 

Ivan: Out of the many producers you’ve worked with throughout your career which one is your favorite? 
6 Cardinal: Honestly I couldn't call it. Music depends too much on my mood to ever have a favorite. One minute it'll be Ace Fayce, the next it could be Devereaux or ShaggyTHEEAirhead. 

Ivan: At what age did you know you wanted to be a rapper? 
6 Cardinal:
I started taking it seriously in college when I felt that I actually had a shot of making more out of that fleeting experience of people knowing who I was based off of the music and the shows my friend and I put together as a duo, The UNTouchables. 

Ivan: What is your fondest memory of your time with First Take and any chance of songs together in the future? 
6 Cardinal: The tour. I spent a lot of time (at least 4 months) putting it all together, and although I had some help, it made the overall experience richer because of the effort I put behind it. In regards to music with them, I wouldn't hold my breath haha. Some things happen that don't really have a viable solution or healing process available, so you pick up and move on. 

Ivan: You provide some of the best live performances I have ever seen in person, what keeps your energy so high on stage? 

6 Cardinal: For me, the live performance is the most important part of the musicians career; the point that will literally make or break you. I've always thought that my energy stems from the idea that one should perform for 10 people the way one would for 100,000 people, but I really think that the energy lies in the fact that I believe it's what I am best at in this world, and not putting 100% would be disrespectful to myself and to all the work I put in over the years. Shaping and maturing as a person helped me realize that if you find something you enjoy to that degree, there's no choice but to put everything you have behind it. 

Ivan: Do you think lyricism still has a place in today’s hip hop climate? 

 6 Cardinal: Sure, you just have to look for it. Hip hop is about 45 years old, and like any person that age, they will have undoubtedly undergone some serious changes. Rap is constantly shifting because it's embraced by so many different walks of life. I don't think lyricism will ever be wiped out completely, but I do understand that in a lot of cases it has taken a back seat to other elements.   

Ivan: Who inspires you? Musically and otherwise…  

6 Cardinal: My wife for one. She's an absolute workhouse and I couldn't do this without her by my side. Reading has always been a big part of my life as well. Musically, I'm most inspired by jazz, even songs that I've listened to a million times. Something about the feelings jazz can provoke just hasn't been matched elsewhere in my eyes. Oh, and psychedelics haha. 

Ivan: You recently had a big show on the west coast. What’s the atmosphere like on the other side of the country? 

 6 Cardinal: So different. The audience was so receptive and welcoming to me as a newcomer. The homey Bamboon really helped me understand what the next step in my career should be, and I thank him for that. 

Ivan: What’s :one thing a fan wouldn’t expect to discover about you? 

6 Cardinal: I'm actually pretty self conscience about my music. Because I've put in years of work, I know that I'm at least halfway good at this, but in truth, a lot of my music is hard for me to really listen to, in the sense that I've never felt I was really THAT good, you know? Sometimes people tell me otherwise, which means a lot to me, but at the end of the day I've never felt I was secure in my position. Hopefully, I can use that to my advantage. Once you stop learning and begin to feel like you're the greatest at something, why bother continuing?  

Ivan: For the people who may just be getting into your music, what is the definitive song or project that you can point them towards as a representation of what you do? 

6 Cardinal: I don't think there is any project that truly defines me, they just define specific moments in my life. I will say that my latest album with Ace Fayce, "Flourish", is the embodiment of a lot of time & hard work, and seeing as how I recorded the project in Brooklyn, it holds a special place in my heart.

Rico 12/08/16

6 Cardinal