Concrete Camera Man: How AMD Visuals Brings Lil Yachty’s Wild World to Life

The man behind the camera of a slew of Lil Yachty’s recent music videos – as well as all of the Concrete Boys visuals thus far – is one of Yachty’s longest collaborators. Ari Mairena-Dannon shares more on working with the audiovisual artist since 2019.

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Since he burst into the mainstream’s consciousness in 2016, Lil Yachty’s distinctive music videos — from early hits like “Minnesota and “1 NIGHT” to recent tracks like “A Cold Sunday” and “Something Either” — have been a key component of his artistry. While Lil Boat has most notably tapped Cole Bennett to lead a plethora of his visuals, many of the rapper’s music videos and freestyle visualizers are stamped with an “AMD Visuals” logo during the opening scene.

That logo belongs to 25-year-old Ari Mairena-Dannon, who’s worked with the rapper for over five years now.

“Seeing [Yachty's] evolution in all aspects of his artistry has been cool,” Mairena-Dannon told Hypebeast. “He creates an environment for his style to grow because he isn’t afraid to experiment.”

When did you start working with Yachty?

Back in December of 2019. Initially, my task was to document his daily life for his YouTube series which would eventually become The Boat Show.

What was the first music video you shot for him?

“Wock In Stock.” He was in the middle of a photo shoot, and he suddenly decided he wanted to shoot a video too. I was ready, so we went ahead with it. After that, Yachty began to want to shoot videos randomly, and I was with him on the daily, so I had to be prepared at all times.

How would you describe Lil Yachty’s current visual style?

Authentic and refreshing. He has an eye for things and knows how to curate his image properly. He knows what he wants and constantly brings new ideas to the table.

How have you seen his visual style evolve since the early days of working together?

Seeing his evolution in all aspects of his artistry has been cool. Yachty creates an environment for his style to grow because he isn’t afraid to experiment. He appreciates a wide range of different genres and styles, which I think helps when it comes to pulling inspiration for his music and visuals.

On the other end, what about his visual style has remained consistent over time?

His intentions. He always tries to excel at what he does and push the limits.

What have you been trying to achieve with Yachty’s more recent videos?

We always try and create visual art pieces that directly complement and elevate the music. Currently, we’re looking to be more minimalistic in our visual style and achieve a lot more with a lot less.

What was the inspiration behind Yachty’s recent “A Cold Sunday” video?

We liked Yachty standing in front of a white backdrop, but to make that look more visually appealing, we shot it with a one-take approach using five different angles, creating a grid-like mood board layout.

Why are Yachty’s visuals so successful?

His videos showcase his unique character. He has such a vibrant personality that thrives on camera and makes it possible for us to create simple yet impactful videos. His presence brings so much to the screen.

How has working with Yachty allowed you to establish your style?

Through my time with Yachty, I feel like I’ve found my visual style. Now, my job is to continue to elevate it while also considering Yachty’s vision for it.

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