An animation with diversity and hip-hop music with action began as an idea by DJ Tony Drake. Now ‘The Indies’ is a collaboration of talented artists.
“Actually, it started off with me wanting to do a mix tape. Everyone does a mix tape and I thought to myself what can I do to make this different?” He then began to write fiction as ideas came to him.
“It occurs in a post-apocalyptic future and follows this artist, Slick, who wants to be a hip hop artist more than anything. He winds up meeting a DJ who said if you sign this contract I can make you a star.” Drake explained, “He doesn’t read the contract and signs it. He then finds out that he signed up to be a hitman for hire. Now he has to navigate being a hitman and trying to release a debut album at the same time.”
Drake promoted ‘The Indies’ and a few contributors’ art pieces at BoroughCon at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. He excitedly described the atmosphere as he and his contributors worked on the project.
“I recorded out of, Grammy Award winning, House Studios in Washington D.C…The music came out really dope. It was a dope energy because there were three different rooms and everybody was bouncing from room to room to room just collaborating.”
Before this endeavor, he worked on ‘The Blender with DJ Gemz and DJ Tony Drake’ so he has previous connections with the music industry. These connections and knowledge of the industry helped open doors for this plan. Contributors began to come together as the story took shape. From music to cartooning he enlists talented artists from all over the U.S.
“We are trying to get diverse characters that are deep and have a lot of layers to them. To put that in this world were the music really makes up the environment,” he said.
As the pieces come together a web comic will be released at the end of summer which should be followed by a short in September.
“We going to be doing a kick starter…that will give people a better idea of the personalities of the different characters so I’m really looking forward to that.” Drake explained ‘people are craving diverse stories with different type of characters.’
Like the main character of the series, many of the contributors are up and coming artists. As long as the person is talented they are invited to contribute their skills.
“[The Indies can] also be a platform for artist as far as music artists that are dope but don’t get the shine. We can put this in front of millions of people and then have artists that we believe in on the soundtrack. It can help propel a lot of artists.”