Neighborhood Watch Collective, or NWC, is a New York based collective that has been responsible for bringing names like Bibi Bourelly, Rae Sremmurd, Father, I Love Makonnen and many others to NYC for the first time. They recently teamed up with New Balance and after taking Berlin by storm on their tour we got curious about this team of 5. We had a chat with the boys and found out exactly what NWC is all about!
To start off with, can you introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about what you do?
We are a group of creatives based in New York. We call ourselves Neighbourhood Watch. A multifaceted collective specializing in entertainment, art, music and design. We create content for our culture. We aren’t only about the culture. We are the culture.
How did neighborhood watch collective get together?
Neighborhood Watch was started amongst a group of friends. We’ve all been building, doing our own thing, a couple of us started collaborating on small projects and we quickly realized the power behind a joint effort. The key thing for us is collaboration.
Why is it important for a collective like Neighborhood Watch to exist?
We represent our audience, we represent a new wave of thinking. Its about what people listen to on the Web. Its about creating experiences that don’t exist. We’re not always throwing thousand people concerts, sometimes there will be up-and-coming acts who really have a cool fanbase, look, and feel who need a platform. We are about building new experiences for the people. Neighborhood watch is a point of view.
For our last project we created 360 virtual Reality and Augmented reality content where we literally had people walking around a Midtown Manhattan rooftop with Oculus VR goggles watching a 360 movie we made. At the same time we had other people checking out 3d scans of new sneakers, flipping through on their iphones for their favorite colorways. At the same time on the floor below, instagram star turned rapper K$ace crowdsurfed to his newest tune at our performance stage down stairs. That was an experience. No one has seen anything like that especially coming from music and fashion.
Working with a group of 5, what’s the biggest challenge?
NW1: Having a million ideas and deciding on which one to act on first. There’s 5 of us, that’s 5 really talented individuals that have their own point of view. We’re all leaders too so that’s fun
NW2: Finding air bnbs with 5 beds… in South Korea
You work with people in Berlin, New York, and Seoul. Which city has your preference and why work within these particular cities?
Every city has its allure. NY is home, LA’s like vaction, Berlin has a unique vibe and S.Korea is culture shock. I think we were all fascinated by Berlin. As much as New York is our home and Korea was an eye opener, Berlin really captured our imagination. The people really care about creating an experience. Berlin has a lot of energy. It’s a beautiful city. It’s young and it’s really receptive to everything we bring to the table.
You’re based in NYC, what do you miss most when your gone on your travels?
The ease and accessibility to any and everything around the clock, particularly public transportation. When creating a vibe in a foreign city, its something you have to be conscious of and work around to ensure everything runs smooth.
It is said your focus is universal, how do you tackle something so extensive?
We communicate. We spend so much time with each other molding our craft, talking about ideas, figuring out ways to elevate the experience and create the vibe. We do this so often that our purpose is drilled in our heads subconsciously. Anytime we steer off track there’s always someone in the group that will remind us of our purpose. It’s such a beautiful thing knowing there are 4 other people that have your back. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other, constantly talking about art, music, fashion, constantly creating content, constantly planning, constantly investing back into the culture.
Most unexpected event since having started NWC?
The German Police thought we were refugees a day before our event and we were stuck in in a coffee shop getting our passports checked. At one point one of the cops said they had no choice but to arrest us. It was intense. Luckily everything cleared and the next day we through an incredible show at the rooftop Alexanderstrasse. Racial profiling is real.
Can you tell us a bit about your favorite project so far?
Our favorite project is this New Balance 009 World Tour. The ability to be able to create content, travel the world, meet and connect people through the power of music, art, and culture is what we do. Culture is universal. It’s not limited to any language, race, gender or class. It exists everywhere and it spreads like wildfire.
Lastly, what can we expect from NWC future?
Growing and expanding our point of view, creating more experiences, more platforms and more avenues. The formula changes but the strategy stays the same.
Continuing to create authentic connections and experiences around the world and pushing the boundaries with what we can do with technology to connect people. That is the true future, connections that augment our everyday life with new and exciting experiences. What is life but a series of experiences? We really want you to have more fun.
By Indiana Roma Voss