The Creative Visual Storyteller Who Has Brought Thousands of Fans Unforgettable Moments from Shows
A picture they say is worth a thousand words, which begs the question of how much a video is worth. The adage might not be as old as photography itself but it’s all-pervading, especially in the world of storytelling. In today’s technology-driven world, telling a compelling story requires innate talent, deftness, and a propensity for capturing timeless moments, and doing so through the lens of a camera, whether photography or videography, is no small fry.
For every visual storyteller, being able to evoke emotions through images and videos is an essential condition, and with the media and entertainment industry being so thickly saturated, standing out means being the cream of the crop of your craft.
For 24-year-old visual storyteller and media personality, Jermaine Okpe, standing out comes naturally, as the disposition for art came to him quite early in life. From drumming to singing on stages in primary school, the precocious Jermaine knew he was born for this, and that’s why at the age of 17, he founded his entertainment brand dubbed, ‘Jermaine Media’.
According to him, timelessness must be a fundamental element of your works as a visual storyteller, and like every revered virtuoso, Jermaine Okpe is a household name in the industry. The law graduate of Bowen University has brought thousands of fans awe-inspiring moments from a plethora of high-profile entertainment events across the country, including backstage moments with stars, rare performances and exclusive footage.
In an interview with Modaculture for the February 2023 issue, Jermaine takes us through his journey, creative process and experience in the industry thus far. He gives us a glimpse into the glamour that accompanies working with the best of the best, whilst showing us there are no limits to creative explorations when it comes to visual storytelling.
Being able to tell a compelling story through the lens of a camera takes in-born talent and deftness. Could you describe when and how you first discovered your talent?
“I discovered my talent in primary school. I was in year 2 when my French teacher discovered my love for art. I started by drumming, then went on to singing on stage in front of hundreds of people during the school’s functions. Soon after, I was made the assembly prefect. There was no stopping from thereon as I went on to become the youngest prefect in high school, holding the position of Social Prefect for 3 years consecutively and then graduated ‘Best Graduating Prefect’, class of 2015.
In 2016, during my gap year, I started my brand called Jermaine Media, an entertainment company and for the first time, I picked up a camera and learnt on the job. Ever since then, visual storytelling became a part of me.”
You’re a well-known figure in the entertainment industry today with many years of experience. Could you take us to your very first year foraying into the industry? What was the experience like?
“My first official year in the entertainment industry was in 2016, just a year after I graduated from high school. I was at home on a gap year while my mates were already in university. I vividly recall how it all started, and frankly, I had no prior knowledge of how the entertainment industry in Nigeria worked.”
“I had no help or handouts and wasn’t under any management company or manager. All I had was my God-given talents, undying passion and courage. Considering it was my first year, I knew I had to build a structure around how I wanted to run the brand and it’s been growing ever since.”Jermaine, Modaculture February 2023
Do you have influences or people you drew inspiration from in the early years of your career?
“I would say Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Mo Abudu and Will Smith; just to mention a few.”
What would you say was the toughest challenge when you were on the come-up?
“I would say finance. I think finance is the toughest challenge anyone or any start-up on the come-up faces.”
You’ve brought thousands of fans electrifying moments from some of the biggest events in the industry. Could you tell us a moment you’d describe as the most memorable for you?
“My most memorable moment was covering for Tiwa Savage at the Global Citizens event, which happened live in Nigeria at Fela Shrine. Tiwa spotted me during her performance and gave me a shout-out. It was a remarkable moment for me because it was a global stage.Jermaine, Modaculture February 2023
That was certainly a very memorable moment and quite thoughtful of her.”
Asides from being a visual storyteller, you’re also an accomplished event host. How did that come about?
“In 2020, during the pandemic, my brand started the BTS live show on Instagram, which stood for ‘behind the story’.
It’s an innovation I’m quite passionate about as it is aimed to give a voice to the youth. It involves training, teaching and offering support to those with aspirations of becoming creatives, entrepreneurs and influencers. It’s basically a platform for creative youths to share their stories and I was the host. I discovered my penchant for hosting events during this period and I have gone on to host several other events, shows and concerts since then. Hosting is my personal focus now. I enjoy being on stage and putting a smile on the faces of my audience at events I anchor.”
What do you typically look out for when capturing moments?
“I would say timeless moments. A lot of my videos and pictures years later always still go viral and I believe it’s because they stand the test of time. They are real, in the moment and authentic.”
You’ve rubbed shoulders with the industry’s biggest names, who are those you enjoy working with the most?
“I enjoy working with everyone really. I love those who continuously choose to work with me. It really is always a pleasure.”
Constantly being behind the scenes to capture these moments must be tasking. Does it ever get overwhelming? If so, how do you cope with it?
“Finding a balance is very important in all we do in life. I mostly find a balance around it all. That’s how I cope with it all.”
If you could describe your creative process in one word, what would that be?
Anything we should expect from you in 2023?
“Yes, a lot. Expect me on bigger stages this year, hosting some of your biggest shows. Expect more parties and events from me. I’m currently working on a podcast/show of my own under my brand, Jermaine Media. Also, the BTS Master Class 3.0, the third edition is in the works. Also, you can expect Prom Tour 2023 and finally, Grand Prom 2023. These are all projects I’m quite passionate about and can’t wait for the world to see.”
Any advice for the up-and-coming?
“My advice to the young ones seeing this: please remember your dreams are valid, and all you really need to do is start and never look back.”Jermaine, Modaculture February 2023