Phind Out Phriday: Yusuf Muhammad- A Year Later And He's Still Going for Greatness

About a year ago we got to phind out about creative independent Yusuf Muhammad, a filmmaker and photographer. In the past year, if you’ve been the least bit social you have noticed what I’ve noticed, an exploration and evolution of Mr. Muhammad. His photography can be phound anywhere from the Inquirer to Facebook and his face can be seen at the Blockley, TLA, Rittenhouse Square Park, or the Fresh Grocer in University City.  This past week I got to talk with Mr. Muhammad about him exploring other passions and talents as well as how his craft as a photographer and filmmaker have evolved. This is what he had to say.
Phreedum: Catch me up. It’s been almost a year since I phirst got to phind out about you. What have you been doing?
YM: I graduated from the Art Institute with a degree in film. Immediately after graduation I got into doing a lot more short films. I started a series called “Natural Beauty Queens”. There are six 6 pieces in total, but I’ve only released 3. My goal was to showcase natural beauty, art, and music all in one short 2-3 minute film. I used a lot of imagery. I also began doing more photography. I’ve had pictures used by the Philadelphia Inquirer and
I’ve also gotten to travel more in the past year, including going back to Atlanta for the BET awards. I’ve also done some work with Travis Barker from Blink 182, The Roots, and Beanie Sigel. I have truly appreciated the opportunity  to expand my network in the past year and to have been considered to work with these artists and other artists.
Phreedum: Talk to me more about your work with other musicians.
YM: I think when I did the interview last year I might have just had my first Veteran Freshman show.
Phreedum: For our readers who don’t know, what is Veteran Freshman?
YM: Veteran Freshman is a showcase of veteran mc’s that are fresh faces to a lot of people and are locally based for the most part. These are artists who have built a buzz in their communities and I give them a platform to be fresh faces and expand their support base. I take risks with the bills I put together and it’s been good because it’s nonstop good music, with each artist being unique to the one before them.
Phreedum: In the last year how many shows have you put together?
YM: I’ve done six shows in the last year.
Phreedum: That’s a lot. How have you been able to pull together so much talent and then showcase it?
YM: Financially it was a bit of a burden initially. However, I was blessed to be sponsored by Live Nation. They saw what I was doing, believed in the drive I had and they backed it. My first concert with Live Nation was May 26 2012. Live Nation was really excited and pleased. I still can’t wrap my head around it.
Phreedum: How have you seen yourself grow?
YM: I continue to grow daily. I think I am more focused and have a more defined vision and mission to accomplish it. I have learned through trial and tribulation in terms of what I want to do and then figure out how to make it happen. Fairly recently, I had three concerts I was a part of organizing. It was insane but I was able to execute them well. That only happened because I was so focused on providing excellent shows and therefore focusing and prioritizing in order to make sure that happened.
I would also say I have gotten better at receiving criticism. I don’t always like it, but I do like when people say they really enjoyed a show. In order for that to happen I have to be open to hearing what I did well and not so well so the next show can be better than the last and people continue to support Veteran Freshman and more importantly the artists.
Phreedum: What has been a success for you?
YM: Being able to create to live and living to create. Everything I do has meaning and I have learned to do the things which are most meaningful to me and allow me to create and to live.
Phreedum: What are you still learning?
YM:  To be patient and that people will talk. I think those are the people you learn patience from. People say things about you that are just completely unfounded. I consider it a blessing to have met the people I’ve met and develop the relationships I have developed. People think that these things just happen, and it’s like no, this is work. This is work I am passionate about and blessed to do. That translates into my capturing these blessings and relationships on film and then people assuming that me and certain people are mad cool. We’re not, so no I can’t hook you up with anything. And that turns into all kinds of stories and rumors. I’ve had to learn to ignore it.
Phreedum: What have you been hearing? What are people saying about the work you have been doing more recently?
YM: A lot of things. Some good. Some not so good. The not so good ranges from me having kids, I don’t, to me doing unscrupulous things to build my relationships and get ahead.  I’ve also heard some good things. I’ve heard that the show was good, that I put together a good bill, and the growth of my support. The good things are what help me to continue doing this work.
Phreedum: Now that we know what the people are saying, what are you saying to the people?
YM: You’re not living if you aren’t living for others. Whatever you do don’t just do for yourself. Also,  learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong. You can’t always be right, it’s not possible. 

For more information, check out and Reemyman46 on Youtube.

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