The ARTchitects Turn On

Director X is responsible for some of the best videos ever made, with clips for Drake, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar on his reel. Alongside industry executive Taj Critchlow and Karena Evans, who won BET’s Director of the Year for her video for Drake’s God’s Plan, the music insiders came together to launch the ARTchitects, a podcast about creativity, filmmaking and passion. We spoke to X and Critchlow about their new work, which we highly recommend and love very much.
  • kind: Your podcast obviously uses creativity as a touchpoint. When did you know this was cool?

    Director X: We’re in the most creative time ever with social media. Look at TikTok. These are creative art forms. How many people do you see, paint or draw or write poetry? I think there’s something about art that lends itself to sharing.

  • kind: I feel like you sort of made this because it’s something you would’ve wanted.

    Director X: When I started someone had to put up a couple thousand dollars to buy film, get a camera, but now you don’t even need those things. Kids are doing incredible things with their phones. We’re in a special time—it’s the right time to have these conversations.

  • kind: What are you looking for, trying to learn from a guest?

    Taj Critchlow: Everyone’s process. Everyone has their thing. A lot of times, people only see the end product. You don’t know what goes into making something. For me, outside of being a manager and owner of a production company, I’ve been in the creative industry for over 20 years and I’m always fascinated by seeing how people make films and their intentions. This podcast gives us an opportunity to sit down with the most creative minds in the business and hear about how they do their thing, and what triggered them. What was their passion?

    Director X: It made us fall in love with the art of storytelling again and remind us of why we do what we do. Every artist has their own journey.

  • kind: What do you like about podcasting as a format?

    Taj Critchlow: Storytelling. It’s like a meditation, listening to people having a conversation and talking about how they got to their place of success and understanding where things can lead to if you follow your passions. For me podcasts are a learning tool.

    Director X: Besides, why should the intelligence agencies get to hear all the good conversations?

    Taj Critchlow: Imagine hearing Madonna talk to David Fincher back in the day?

    Director X: Back in the day, we didn’t have anything like this when I was coming up. Nothing.

  • kind: X, your work is so famously visual, it’s cool to see you without the images.

    Director X: I’m a behind the camera guy. Even when you see me in a video, it’s because I was invited. I never said let me get in there. That’s not why I’m in this. But I always like to try new things and it’s cool having these conversations. Plus, it’s an hour of my life, let’s go!

  • kind: The show has a cool, almost fan-like vibe, which I think adds to its likeability. Taj, a lot of that comes from your enthusiasm.

    Taj Critchlow: Any time an artistic moment happens and this beautiful work is created that impacts culture, I just can’t help but geek out on it. And I’ve always been intrigued by the process of things. How did the car come together? How did the caramel get into the chocolate bar? I’ve always been that kid.

  • kind: If you don’t mind me saying, I love your voice.

    Taj Critchlow: I don’t know. My voice sounds like an animated cartoon character.

  • kind: It’s mellifluous.

    Taj Critchlow: I’m a dark-skinned dude with dreads, tattoos, and the voice comes out? It’s shocking, but the response has been great so great so far and X and I are getting praise for the vibe and tone and I’m happy, man. I’m using the gift that God gave me and hopefully people tune in.

  • kind: They will. I know I will.

    Taj Critchlow: It’s cool because when we were growing up, coming from immigrant parents, we were told to cut your dreads and be a lawyer or doctor or get a real job or something. But now, if you want to write comics or ride skateboards, these are billion-dollar industries, so even though our parents told us to fuck off, the culture is saying to go out there and make shit.

    Director X: We’ve living in a time of streaming and podcasts and TikTok and dances. They keep us sane. And it’s the artists that allow us to dream and escape and I want them to know we support our community and they’re being seen and heard.

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