Changing levels x Breaking Standards x Elevating all

01 - 31 - 2017

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INTERVIEW: BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE’S HOWARD WOODBURN & ROBERTO CRUZ

CAQ recently caught up with the cast members of the new web series “Blue Collar Hustle.” Howard Woodburn and Roberto “Sosa” Cruz touch on their experience as actors on the new show. The young men also speak on their careers, life, and building in the city of Atlanta. The new show premieres Sunday, February 12, 2017.

Howard Woodburn

As far at what point in your life did you express yourself as a creative?

back as I can remember, and even a bit before that, I’ve always loved to draw, doodle, paint, create, etc. I’ve always taken an interest in it, but it wasn’t until high school that I started aiming my education and training to my art.

As a skilled designer, how are your skills impacting those around you?

Other than everyone I know wanted free designs? (Kidding). But it’s more like how are the people around me impacting my design. With art you always need an outlet, for me I need clients. I think I’m lucky to have the people around me that I do, they trust me enough to use my talents and I return the favor by producing something they can be really proud of.

What’s your experience been like on the set of Blue Collar Hustle?

It’s amazing, for lack of a better word. It’s crazy, creative, exciting, stressful, demanding, but so rewarding by the end of the day. Ajani, one of my closest friends and mentor, has created something a lot of people can really get behind and I think it’s insane to watch it all unfold and come together step by step.

 Who inspires you in the art field?

It’s really hard to say honestly, there are so many designers, artists, and creators that contribute to my influence. We also live in a time where the arts are much more accessible and open to so many people – you get to see creativity everywhere you look. Mostly, the people around me that never stop, they keep going with unfaltering determination, those people inspire me the most.

Do you agree Atlanta is one of the best cities for the music industry?

I don’t disagree; Atlanta is just in a sweet spot for all media right now. It’s developed, open, on the map, and populated. But, it’s not as competitive as NYC or Hollywood in regards to creative media I don’t think. On top of that, there’s nothing like being in Atlanta.

Roberto “Sosa” Cruz

Describe who you are in 3 adjectives:

Compassionate, loyal, and dedicated. 

What have you gained from working on the set of “Blue Collar Hustle”?

I’ve gained tons of knowledge of what actually goes on being on set and behind the scenes. Everyone has a job or a role to play in making our work become successful. And me personally I feel no 1 job is bigger than the other. In order for a project to become great everyone has to do their job damn near perfect. The person holding the mic is just as important as the person holding the camera or even the actor. EVERY job is IMPORTANT. 

Do you agree Atlanta is one of the best cities for the music industry?

Atlanta is the capital of black music at the present time. If u make music and u want to get on or if u have a record that u feel is dope Atlanta is the place that u come to, to make that happen. In 2017 9 times of 10 you must come to Atlanta to get stamped in this music business. It’s so many different types of music scenes in Atlanta that people can go to, to be heard. If you are a true hip hop head it’s a spot for u. If you are a backpacker it’s a spot for u. If you are into the trap it’s a spot for u. If you are into singing, it’s a spot for u. It’s a place for everyone to go to be heard. It’s amazing. 

What’s it been like being the head music supervisor over “Blue Collar Hustle”?

Music means everything to me. As far back as I can remember I’ve always loved music more than anything, pretty much. I’ve always had that ear for great music. When I listen to a new artist I can pretty much determine right away how successful or what kind of artist a person can be in the music business. Here at Blue Collar Hustle, we may be putting a scene together and when I watch the scene the music that I feel that will go with a particular scene just comes to me. It’s almost like putting a music video together. Putting the right music to a scene can actually draw people in closer to that particular scene. It sets the tone or the mood for what is about to or what is taking place. I’m very determined to have the best music at the best time. Being the music supervisor of Blue Collar Hustle is not a job when u love music the way I do. 

Can you personally relate to your character “Jose” off the show?

Jose Torres is me. Jose Torres is a husband, a father, a leader, a friend, a music lover and he’s also from the streets. Jose is loyal and he would do anything for the people that he loves. When Ajani came to me with my character and he gave me the profile of Jose he pretty much told me this is you this is the man u are. Jose is Sosa. And the way he wrote Jose’s character it speaks a lot about how he views me as a man. And I’m just honored. 

Do you feel good soundtracks are a lost art for black films and shows? Why or why not?

I actually can’t remember a show ever having a soundtrack. And I don’t even think the people who create movies care about the soundtrack of a film anymore. All u hear today when u watch a show or a movie is background music. Us coming from a music background we felt it was important to add great original music to the show. We felt like a soundtrack to a TV show or Web series would be so unique because it’s something u rarely see. The album “A Soldier Story” by Que Brick who plays Quan Banneker in the show tells a story. It tells our story. And we felt it would be perfect to make a show that came from an amazing album. Most of the time it works the other way around. People will make a movie or a show and then create the soundtrack to fit the movie or show. In our case, we had the album 1st and then we created the show to go with the album. This album is the reason for us putting this show together. 

Episode 1 of “Blue Collar Hustle” premieres on Sunday, February 12th, 2017

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