The dream stays with them during the day as they walk through Paine College’s campus with headphones blasting and goes to bed with them at night when they study music videos online as if they were textbooks for chemistry class.
Paine communication juniors Dwayne Dyke Jr., 22, and Nyres Colbert, 24, want what millions of other young artists salivate for – to make it as the superstar producer or rapper.
They created an edge when they decided to tackle the dream together and combine Colbert’s videography and producing skills with Dyke’s songwriting and performing. So far, they have created two music videos with Dyke in front of the camera and Colbert behind it. The most recent has gained more than 68,000 views on YouTube.
“Everybody wants to make it, but nobody wants to do the work,” Colbert said. “We’re putting in the work, we’re working hard.”
They started collaborating in April, after learning that to produce quality videos each needed a reliable partner. Before, texts or calls to friends who promised to work on projects would go unanswered and appointments would flake out.
Immediately, Colbert and Dyke clicked.
Colbert worked on promoting their work, at one point writing about 2,000 tweets in a day and a half. Dyke would watch hours of music videos on MTV.com, trying to get inspiration and tips on the logistics of videography.
They also used what they learned in communications classes at Paine. Colbert said it helped him learn how to handle a camera, edit video and use proper terminology.
Tracey Council, an assistant professor in Paine’s department of media studies, said that she has seen students with a fire in them to be producers or artists but that there is something special about Colbert and Dyke.
“Dwayne is just brilliant,” Council said. “He’s such a good student … and Nyres is very artsy, and I think if he keeps persisting, he is going to be one of those legendary music producers, without a doubt.”
Council said she has seen more and more students steer toward a career in broadcasting or production, which often has more hopefuls than actual jobs.
The key, she said, is to beat the industry by developing a fresh brand that is not confined to one genre. Producers must be capable of creating art from hip-hop to country, while videographers have to work not just on movies but also television and commercials.
“You have to be creative and have a broader perspective,” she said.
Dyke, who created the company Mr. No Call No Show Productions and goes by the name Showtim3, said he has not confined himself to becoming a rapper. He is working toward a career in songwriting, composing or production, which is a passion he developed young as the son of a singer and Howard University radio and television production professor.
“I have plan A, B, C and D, but is all centered on the same goal,” said Dyke, who is signed to Broadcast Music Inc.
Colbert, known as Nyres the Poet and the founder of
indieTHI3VES production company, wants to use his poetry and production skills to tell people’s stories and discuss social issues, whether that’s in music or documentaries.
For now, the men are focusing on the goal but keeping reality in check. Colbert finished his semester with a 4.0 GPA, and Dyke earned a 3.3.
They said their dream gets stronger as time goes on.
“We go hard in every aspect and try to learn as much as we can from everybody we can,” Dyke said.