50Diamonds hopes to kickstart C-U music scene with new music video

By Natalie Stewart

Elijah OkpogieCC, senior in ACES and 50Diamonds founder, said there is a lot in store for the expanding company with the birth of its new branch, “Multimedia and Creativ,” or MMC, centered around entertainment and music.

“Our slogan is to be creative, and if we can spell creative without the ‘e,’ it looks better, so why not?” Okpogie said.

Okpogie said the main goal is to build a student community for music.

“There are a lot of artists, talented artists, in Champaign. Student artists also,” he said. “But people in our area don’t feel comfortable coming out like artists or doing what they really like because there is no community out here, and I’m trying to build it.”

One of the first productions this new branch of 50Diamonds released is a music video for University student and “Afro-Trap” music artist Samuel OgunkoyaCC, or as he is better known by his stage name, Samkul.

“It was real easy, as in, we came together, talked about the different ideas we had for the video,” Ogunkoya said. “We waited a couple of months to make sure we had a good amount of inputs on the video, and we just had made it happen. We got the right people around us.”

The majority of the video was filmed on Illinois’ iconic Green Street.

“It was pretty cool because first of all you get to show people outside of the University our street, like, how beautiful it could be and how beautiful it is,” Ogunkoya said. “I thought that was a great opportunity because you know I have friends from other schools and people who watch the video and they’re like, ‘Oh, yo, that’s the street you’re always talking about.’”

Cain CamachoCC, freshmen in DGS and the video’s primary videographer, said the shoot was one of a kind and a first for him.

“The experience was really amazing. I’ve never done a video shoot like that,” Camacho said. “So many cool guys. We were having fun, and I wasn’t even thinking about the work I was doing. It was just like pure fun I was experiencing.”

Familiarity and relatability is what makes Samkul’s video “Juice” unique and is the reason why it garnered so many views on YouTube, according to Okpogie.

“We got over 20,000 views now because the people in the video, people can relate to like, ‘ Oh, I know that guy,’” said Okpogie.

Although “Juice” is the first video MMC produced, the public can expect much more from the company in the upcoming semester, including its very own concert featuring the artists it manages.

“The team can see ourselves doing videos for possibly bigger artists and also extending our business to other colleges,” Camacho said.

Okpogie believes 50Diamonds could start the wave of music in C-U.

“I have so much hope in this because I look everybody in the face, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, they really want it; they have something to add to it,’” Okpogie said. “We just don’t (want) to include anybody that wants to ride a wave. We have to create a wave. So I know we’re going to make it because we’re going to create a wave. We’re different.”

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