Nate Edwards, director with trailblazing production studio Invisible Collective, premiered a revelatory short film for Spotify’s Sunday Dinner series. Made in collaboration with Spotify’s in-house creative team, the film spotlights the legacies of Black regional music through the careful portraiture of six Texas-bred musicians and the Lone Star State’s rich culture.
Propelled forward by deep questions posed by Bun B of Texas-bred hip hop duo UGK, the short film features singer-songwriter-rapper Teezo Touchdown, rapper Monaleo, soul singer Xavier Omar, DJ OG Ron C of The ChopStars, and Americana artist Madeline Edwards. The group put words to their views on Texas music over a curated meal comprised of dishes from Black-owned Texas-based restaurants specializing in various cuisines: Trill Burgers, Chòpnblok, Gumbo Xpress, Ray’s BBQ Shack, and Davis Street at Hermann Park. Weaving in local b-roll of a woman riding horseback in cowboy boots and hat and a young man showing off his diamond grillz, Houston-based Nate the Director peppers in Texas flavor as the musicians discuss diversity and inclusion, their careers, and the state they call home.
“To be able to merge the arts and culture through a lens, I found it best to capture it in a voyeuristic, cinematic way,” said Edwards. “For the dinner, I wanted it to have the energy of the grown folk’s table at the family reunion, natural and organic with nothing getting in the way of these candid moments and their meaningful conversation.”
The film itself exudes a communal warmth; the nuances of their artistry is illuminated, and their individual influences and stories are explored in a laid back yet deeply insightful manner.
Nate speaks to the collaboration with Spotify’s In-House Creative team: “This was my first time working with Spotify and they were dream collaborators. The team trusted my vision and helped to see it through, fully supporting me in creating the best product.”
A celebration of Black musicality in Texas, this documentary film is part of Frequency, Spotify’s global initiative and holistic destination for celebrating Black art, entertainment, creativity, culture, and community both on and off the platform. Following the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) and California (Bay to LA) episodes, Texas is the third installment in Frequency’s Sunday Dinner docu-series.
A Houston native himself, Edwards came into the project with familiarity with the artists, particularly Bun B, who’s a pillar of the Houston community. Likewise, Edwards knew OG Ron C as a staple of the city, had done music videos with Madeline Edwards, and frequently listens to a playlist heavy with tracks from Xaviar Omar and Teezo Touchdown. As for Monaleo, he bonded with her on set and quickly came to appreciate who she is and what she represents.
“Bun B served as the perfect host, his study and admiration of the music scene is so deep and he made everyone feel so comfortable and at ease,” said Edwards.” It was beautiful to witness this intergenerational group of musicians connecting and to be able to integrate the things that I love about filmmaking within it.”
A key Frequency playlist series is Ripple Effect. This playlist spotlights local Black music cultures with a focus on new and emerging artists throughout six regions: DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia), Bay to LA, Texas, New England, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. Each is curated by a local tastemaker knowledgeable on what’s hot and who’s next in their area.
Featuring must-know artists from Port Arthur to Beaumont, Houston to Austin, listen to The Ripple Effect: Texas playlist on Spotify.