INTERVIEW BY JOE FITZPATRICK
PHOTOS AND VIDEO BY WILL FISHER
While their home base isn’t exactly the “Fortress of Solitude,” located in the middle of the Arctic Tundra, The Cold Collective, headquartered in Richmond, Va., is no longer a secret society. On July 16, 2016, the brand will launch its debut projects and shine some light on the rising talents in this growing digital community.
We got some insight into The Cold Collective’s emerging online experience with co-founder and Executive Director Will Fisher. In 2014, Fisher graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Media Studies and a concentration in Creative Advertising. Since 2006, Fisher has been the man behind the lens of Fire At Will Photography, photographing the city of Richmond with a focus on the local music scene. With The Cold Collective, Fisher has set his sights on helping other artists in Virginia and beyond.
What is The Cold Collective, and why does it deserve that title?
The Cold Collective spawned from an idea my roommate, Jesse Ferguson, and our close friends had come up with to network all our music projects together. I had pitched the idea to evolve it into something greater — a multimedia group and digital art community with the mission to promote all mediums of art in central Virginia further than what the artists would be able to on their own.
I think it really deserves its title. Anyone can submit something to us even if they’re completely new to the scene. That person’s art has the opportunity to be seen by more likeminded people, which we hope will open more doors for them.
To any artist, a strong feeling of community is a wonderful thing.
Can you explain where the inspiration for this Collective came from?
The inspiration for the collective came about from being an artist myself and having most of my friends as musicians and/or artists. It’s always been difficult getting material noticed. We understand the struggle of putting artistic works up on Soundcloud, Facebook, and other social platforms, and then having it not take off anywhere. It’s hard to put your material in the right line of digital traffic , especially since the digital world is so oversaturated.
So with the help of my friends, we formed The Cold Collective to give every artist in the area a level playing field. The more people that see your material, the more exposure you ultimately get. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. We only want this idea to keep on spreading.
One of your goals is to build a digital art community. How do you intend to do that, and how far would you like to take it?
We plan to take this as far as it will go! We want the Collective to ultimately become a brand, a record label, and a household name to local and big-time artists alike. By having this Collective acting like an artistic database, and as people learn what promotions and services we have to offer, we’ll expand as our following does.
We have recurring YouTube segments and series already in the works to release monthly. We will also have monthly contests and promotions starting in August to give our followers opportunities to actively participate in our productions.
We want everyone who wants a part in this to be as involved as possible, even if it’s being a tech hand on a photo shoot, film set, or performance. There are limitless ways to become a part of the Collective. No experience is required either! We’ll teach anyone willing how to work on set.
As you mentioned, you have a variety of video projects in the works, including music videos, short films, and “Moments with Mocha.” Can you tell us more about the progress you’ve made so far on these projects?
The progress we’ve made is astounding! We’ve got the first episodes for all our series and skits filmed and edited and new episodes for each series in the works. As each month passes, there will be more and more chances for new people who either want to be in front of or behind the camera, mixing board, and other roles to get a piece of the action.
Can you tell me what your video series “Cold Covers” is about?
“Cold Covers” is series of cover songs that we thought would be great to show to people. It’s open for people to bring us ideas, get a chance to perform their own cover, and be filmed and recorded live. Covers are a wonderful thing because it shows off the artist’s particular sound while presenting something still familiar to the listener. It’s just one of the many ways we’re trying to get people active and as excited about the release and the idea that The Cold Collective is aiming to promote as we are.
Prior to launching your website, you started a secret Facebook group to build interest. As a musician yourself and music photographer, would you say that it was a natural transition for you to work with other musicians, such as BEARLIGHT and SEVEN LEAGUES & COUNTING, to launch their music?
I think it’s been a fairly easy transition. It’s just taken us quite a while to prepare and do everything right. I’ve been playing music since I was a child, and I’ve done hundreds of photo shoots throughout the years. I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned through those years directly into the Collective.
I studied audio engineering at In Your Ear Studios, but still had so much to learn about audio production. Through working with Kyle Atkins at Greyskull Studios, working with bands and other artists has been wonderful practice for us to hone our skills and improve our production value. With the help of Collective members, we’re able to pull our resources together to ensure the artist gets nothing but an excellent final product.
It’s a win-win if you ask me.
The artist gets high-quality material, and both parties get promotion for the work. Launching their music right with the release of the Collective gives us material to start with while we work on larger productions. We hope the launch might give incentive for other artists to share their material. The faster this takes off, the better.
What is unique to The Cold Collective that is unlike other online art communities?
The Cold Collective is unique in the sense that we want to promote all mediums of art and provide resources for anyone who wants to contribute.
The Collective isn’t just an art community.
It’s an outlet for creative minds in an ever-further saturated scene. It is an opportunity to get your foot in the door and learn something new, if you want to take advantage of the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and show the world what you’re made of.
What are you looking forward to as the official release of the Collective approaches?
I’m most looking forward to meeting all the new people and sharing my passion for music and production with anyone willing to learn and expand their horizons. I’m really excited about being able to introduce people to the joys that art can bring to a person’s life.