Meet Madeinewyork, Music's Photo Extraordinaire

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This month, we spoke with renowned photographer Madeinewyork about his beginnings, come-up, and life in general. The result was an incredibly insightful conversation, one which taught us about music, photography, and the man behind the lens, Jawad Mahmood.

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Hailing from Buffalo, Madeinewyork is a certified hustler who's made a name for himself amongst some of the most notable names in music: Jay-Z, Kodak Black, Griselda; the list goes on and on. He had a humble start to his role as a photographer, and has kept that same humility throughout his journey, which has proven to serve him well. Jawad sees himself as someone who likes to stay low-key, and despite how well-known he's become for his impressive work, he continually keeps that same energy.

Don't rush success, don't rush the process. What's meant for you is going to happen.

- Jawad Mahmood (Madeinewyork)

We discussed a wide variety of topics in our conversation, many of which revolved around a hustler approach, and exactly what that means in the context of the modern world. Jawad spoke on how the "yes mentality" has served him well, from his earliest days behind a camera. Additionally, he mentioned how his mother told him, "If you've got a passion for something do it." Lo and behold, it seems like he's stayed true to her advice over the course of his career, and he's not stopping anytime soon. Not only does Jawad follow his passion, but he demonstrates a strong interest in standing out from the masses with his work. He doesn't want to mimic what's already out there; he's out to capture one-of-one moments that will stand the test of time. Madeinewyork has surely done just that with his expansive catalog of work, as you'll see for yourself.

On top of the sage advice offered by Madeinewyork, he also shared some really interesting stories. One of them being his first experience taking photos of an artist, which was with KYLE. Back when Jawad was in his early teens, KYLE's girlfriend reached out to him after catching a glimpse of his non-music photography. KYLE had a show in New York City, which his girlfriend invited Jawad to shoot. Without a dollar to his name at the time, Jawad spent a day hustling to get money together for a round-trip bus ticket, and then headed down from Buffalo to take this golden opportunity. At the show, he was enamored by the on-stage and backstage experience amongst the artist and their team. This concert would prove to be the first of many experiences that Madeinewyork would have as a music photographer.

Similarly, Jawad told a story of nearly missing a final to work with Nicki Minaj. He got invited to a shoot on the same day it was taking place, and without hesitation, he bought a plane ticket, and ensured he'd be there on time. Not only was he on time, but he was early, which gave him extra time to study for his exam. After shooting into the early hours of the following morning, he flew back to Buffalo in time to make his exam, but he still failed. In retrospect, it's safe to assume that this was no failure for Madeinewyork; it was another building block that helped to create his career as it is today.

Madeinewyork left us with one more story, this time with The Carters themselves. In his first time meeting Hov, he encountered his first experience being starstruck. In a private room at an event, Jawad dapped up Hov as he introduced himself, and sat down behind him immediately after, trying to process this unforgettable moment. When he looked up a few moments later, he locked eyes with none other than Beyoncé, which only left him more starstruck. At the same time, she was likely wondering who the guy sitting behind her husband was. As time went by, Jawad still couldn't believe what was going on, and later on, Jay-Z would introduce him to his wife. As they shook hands, Jawad joked with her that he'd never wash his hand again, which made her laugh. In context, knowing how rarely Jawad gets starstruck, it goes to show just how legendary these two prolific artists are in the grand scheme of things. It's no surprise that Jawad found his way into that scenario; after all, he doesn't let anything stand between him and his dreams.

From touring with Griselda, to nearly missing a final exam to photograph Nicki Minaj, Madeinewyork has had quite the journey in his career so far, and we're eager to watch what he does next.

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