Next-Gen 2020: Munachi Osegbu
Every January, Milk.xyz announces the 10 people we believe will have the greatest impact on the art/music/fashion/activism spheres in that year.
Up next, we have emerging photographer and director, Munachi Osegbu. Hailing from Nigeria, and studying photography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Osegbu has broken into the mainstream with videos he’s directed for Hip-Hop artist Megan Thee Stallion (“Hot Girl Summer” has collected over 49 million views, for example. ) His photography has been featured in Dazed and i-D, and his direction for “Big Ole Freak” made Billboard’s “100 Greatest Music Videos of the 2010s.” Now based in LA, Osegbu is truly making a name for himself which is why Milk is keeping a close eye on the imaging genius in 2020.
What’s your 2020 vision? What do you hope to accomplish?
In 2020 I just want to build and expand upon what I’ve been working at for the past few years. 2019 was an insane year for me and this year I really want to be in a zone where I’m strictly focused on creativity and doing meaningful work that inspires others.
Why do you do what you do?
It’s my life’s purpose and the thing that I’m the best at.
How did you get into directing? How did you start working with the talent you’re working with?
I’d always wanted to create music videos because my favorite photographers like Steven Klein and David LaChapelle made them, but it really wasn’t something I was expecting to do until much later on… I went to this astrology-themed dinner for 300 Entertainment and met the SVP of marketing there, and then I had a shoot with Megan Thee Stallion for Refinery29 and she had signed to that label the day before. So we started planning a press shoot and then they told me there was gonna be a video for Big Ole Freak and asked if I wanted to write a treatment–– and bam.
Your video, “Big Ole Freak” with Megan Thee Stallion made it onto Billboard’s top 100 videos of this decade! Congrats–would you say this is one of your proudest works?
Thank you! Of course. I’m still tearing up just thinking about it–– a lot of the videos on that list were videos I adored growing up and inspired me to be doing this now, so to be included in something like that after all of the hard work and rejection and self-doubt… It’s just so insane.
Is there a specific direction you hope to move toward, long term, in the future?
Creatively I think the visuals will always be changing and oscillating––as they should be–– but I want to continue doing what I’m doing now, hopefully on a larger scale
You just moved to LA. So…LA or NY?
I really don’t prefer one over the other. I have such amazing friends and chosen family in both places, so it’s a toss-up. I’d say NYC has a raw energy that I miss, and better nightlife, but I think the general standard of living is higher in LA and people are a lot more open (idk if it’s the New Yorker in me but maybe TOO OPEN) to get to know you.
Dream project to work on for 2020?
I can’t say or I’ll jinx it! But I will say I want to move into more magazines and editorial work.
Favorite project of 2019?
Probably Big Ole Freak or my Baby Phat shoot for PAPER Magazine. Maybe my shoot with Nasty Cherry for Rolling Stone–– I was literally in tears when they called me for the first time!
Highlight of your year?
Being recognized for all of the hard work I’ve put in over the years since I was 16. I envisioned this for myself a long time ago and despite so many cards being stacked against me, I’m somehow managing to make it happen and it’s the most validating thing ever.
Could you sum up your year in one word?
PHOTOGRAPHER: Zamar Velez
EDITOR: Jordan Shelwood
Stay tuned to Milk for more from our Next-Gen.