Ryan Snyder: Music Video Director Wunderkind and Maybach Music Favorite
As the late afternoon turns into night, the throng of Delray Beach citizens dressed to impress, all walk in cliques. Cars and bikes rev their engines, screaming, "look at me" as they move only inches closer to finding a parking spot. It's Friday night on Swinton Avenue.
Music video director, a Maybach favorite, Ryan Snyder sits outside in front of the restaurant Tryst about a quarter way through his Amstel beer. Snyder sports a solid-colored shirt, jeans and a casual watch. Nothing echoing the glitz of Jessica Gomes's voice saying,"Maybach Music." Only the color garnet on his shirt reflects something recognizable: he's a Florida State University alum.
After playing baseball at Tallahassee Community College, Snyder's next step was to join FSU's team as a catcher. Only there was a bit of an issue with that.
"They had Buster Posey," said Snyder. Yes, as in 2012 Major League Baseball's National League Most Valuable Player Buster Posey. "He was the catcher, and I caught," said Snyder. "Basically they told me straight-up, 'You're never going to play, but you could be on the team.'"
Snyder was not about that life. Instead, he opted out of baseball, no pun intended, and enrolled into FSU's College of Communication and Information majoring in media production. After a brief internship in California upon graduation, Snyder came back to Florida, unsure of his next move.
Knowing Snyder's ability with a camera, rapper and friend D-Smoove approached him with the idea of directing his music video featuring fellow Palm Beach singer Muzik Jones Drew. Armed with a Cannon 60D and a new lens, Snyder agreed and shot "Believe That" free of charge.
Positive reception grew locally after the release of the video, and with it came opportunities to direct more videos for local talent such as Eric Biddines, Rook, and 1Hot. But the pay, or lack of, was nothing to brag about.
"The worst thing ever is doing things for free, because when you do things for free people don't have patience with you," said Snyder. "And when you're doing things for free people are going to want to leave when they want to leave, because they're not paying you, and they're going to walk all over you."
At the same time, pro-bono work is a necessity says Snyder. "You have to do things for free. Just make sure it's the right situation, because you can get fucked, and it could make you look bad," said Snyder. "Your work will suffer, because people won't give you the time to make it look good."
To stay afloat financially Snyder caddied on and off at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach taking in between $200 to $400 a day. What was earned was quickly reinvested in new and better equipment for future opportunities.
One came when Snyder's friend Jerry Carnation, CEO of Kloud Clothing Co., introduced him to Orlando rapper Armstrong's music. Initially hesitant on working with the rapper, Snyder took some time out to consider the proposal.
"I just sat back for about a month, and I looked, and his views were out of control, and I was like, 'let me just hit him up,'" said Snyder. "And I knew if I did one for free, he would get hooked." Snyder was right. After a tweet to Armstrong, the two joined forces to shoot the video for "Dear Mama." What followed were videos for "Koolin" and "Goodfellas."
Friends began to take notice of his work as well as Armstrong's brute, uncondensed content, because nothing appeals more to middle America than selling "rocks" in the hood and bare-faced robberies. "All of my white friends were like, 'This guy is fucking crazy. I want to know more. I want to know more,' because the stories were unbelievable that he had," said Snyder.