Horse Wren film contrasts music stars with local hopefulsWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Filmmaker Horse Wren is exploring the differences between music stars who have made it and local artists still striving to go big with his documentary “Street Fame.”
Wren, who also works for THE JUICE 107.3, originally hoped to have a workshop that put artists just starting out in touch with music industry experts. However, his idea evolved into a film.
“[Beginning musicians] get a bum rap in a way,” Wren said. “I think it’s the artist themselves; they never really do what it takes to go to the mainstream.”
Wren’s idea is to have a split screen comparing big-time artists with those new to the business. Some of the area artists Wren has included in his film so far are That Dude Jasper, Loco Mic, DJ A.M.F. and Anonymous.
“Anyone can become a musician these, days. You got a laptop … you got a song,” Wren said.
Wren said while some fledgling artists have “attitude,” there are those like Loco Mic who work hard to make music.
“He’s been mastering his craft, but he still has a sense of humor. It’s not gangsta rap; it’s not the F this, F that,” Wren said. This, however, could make getting publicity for those like Loco Mic difficult.
“[The songs] probably won’t get airplay at this stage in the game unless there’s another ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’,” Wren said.
Wren also praised That Dude Jasper. “He reminds me of a futuristic Timbaland. He does it all, but he does it with gusto,” he said.
There is some serious star power in the documentary with the inclusion of Russell Simmons, who Wren met when the businessman came to the area recently. Wren asked Simmons what he thought about the documentary idea and received praise for the concept.
“To get that kind of feedback of ‘Go forward,’ I was like, ‘Wow, OK, I’ll go,” Wren said. Wren, who has worked on music videos in the past, was also inspired by “Krush Groove,” the film based on the beginnings of Simmons’ label Def Jam Recordings.
Many big names like Simmons are still “nice and humble,” Wren said, something he hopes to highlight with his film. Not all starting off musicians are as down to earth, however.
“[Certain musicians] are not happy with not having a dressing room. It’s really weird. I’m getting attitude from you and you’re trying to get to that point [of stardom],” Wren said.
Wren said he hopes to have the project completed by June 20 and is aiming to show at independent film festivals.
“There’s no profanity; [the film is] clean. It will touch on the point of why certain people make it and some people don’t,” he said.
Growing up in Detroit, Wren was inspired to enter his field by his mother Pamela, also a music lover. “In a way, I wish I was then the way I am now because I would have helped her get on ‘American Idol’ or something,” he said. Wren moved to Bowling Green about three years ago and also runs Street Fame, a marketing company that shares the name on his documentary.
His goal is to help those around him realize their dreams, whatever they may be, Wren said. “Maybe everyone’s not meant to be a musician, maybe someone’s meant to be a producer,” he said.
The filmmaker is optimistic about completing his film by the deadline. “I’m busting my butt to finish it; I have tons of footage,” he said.
Still, Wren welcomes more tape. He hopes to include artists of all different genres in his film— everyone from “DJs to trumpet players,” he said.
For more information or if you’re an artist interested in being featured, contact Wren at (419) 494-8787.