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Ep 9: Levi Maestro

The Business of HYPE is a weekly series brought to you by HYPEBEAST Radio and hosted by jeffstaple. It’s a show about creatives, brand-builders and entrepreneurs and the realities behind the dreams they’ve built. On this week’s episode, Jeff sits down with videographer, consultant and social media jack-of-all-trades Levi Maestro.

Believe it or not, there was a time not so long ago when holding your camera at arm’s length and taking photos or videos of yourself would attract weird looks. It was almost a decade ago that Levi Maestro found his niche by turning the lens on himself and documenting his day-to-day life. This was before the current era of multimillionaire YouTube vloggers we know nowadays, “YouTube was just cat videos and bum-fights back then,” Maestro recalls. So Maestro chose Vimeo, the sleeker video-hosting site preferred by many directors and editors. In this interview, Maestro explains how he began filming material for his talk show, Maestro Knows, while cutting up tour diary videos for singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton. Then, one day Levi came home to an unmarked box with a pair of the then-unreleased Nike Air Yeezy 2s and he knew he had his pilot: he took the sneakers and a crew to a local basketball court and tried to dunk in the most-hyped shoes on the planet at that time. Maestro even struck up a partnership with HYPEBEAST when it came time to post the episodes. [Levi notes that Kanye posted the first episode on his Kanye UniverseCity blog, too.]

In true early adopter fashion, Maestro has since migrated from platform to platform, consulting brands as he goes, designing and steering brands with his agency becomb. He’s pitched TV shows and new media ideas and even had his own show, The Maestro, on FOX Sports for a minute. Over the course of this conversation, Levi explains how his career is a combination of “speaking things into existence and pure luck.”

Listen to the episode above, on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Overcast, or wherever else pods are found. Make sure to leave a comment or review and subscribe, too. You can reach Jeff on Twitter @jeffstaple  and make sure to follow @HYPEBEAST_RADIO.

This episode contains references to the following:

00:54: Selfies

1:08: Levi Maestro

9:16: Phil Gaedick /  Bread and Butter Berlin

10:40: MaestroKnows

11:45: Virgil Abloh

12:00: Kanye University Blog

12:15 Anthony Hamilton

13:31: Daily Motion

14:03: Vimeo

15:30: Dave Meyers

18:35: Nike Air Yeezy

19:12: Don C.

20:15 HUF and Eddie Cruz

22:17 Katana Restaurant LA

22:26: Jordan Brand

28:50: Arsen from Hall of Fame

31:48 Kenny Mac

33:25: Chocolate Rain

35:52: Levi Visits Nike Campus

37:10: Seventh Letter

49:45: Rob Dyrdek

50:10: Becomb

53:24: “The Maestro” on Fox Sports

Earlier Event: April 22
Ep 8: James Jean
Later Event: May 6
Ep 10: The Shoe Surgeon