BEHIND THE LENS: The Life and Times of Datubo MacHarry

How The Visual Eye of a Kid from Alief Is Taking Him to Newer Heights

In my writings, I often point out the vast number of entertainers and artists that are found in the Bayou City, striving to stay ahead of the trends.  I’d pat myself on the back but truthfully, it’s not hard to get right when you are looking at individuals that are already making a name for themselves.  Beyoncé just released two country singles which will help to shine a light on some of the country artists we have already highlighted.  We’ve highlighted Susan Carol, the sultry singer with a voice reminiscent of a bygone era, and she just earned her first Grammy.  The Pour Minds Podcast continues to highlight and interview Houston artists like Kirko Bangz alongside musicians from outside the city like Lil Yachty.  As the media infrastructure in Houston continues to grow and develop, we will see more undiscovered talent that the city has to offer.   One of the big cornerstones of the city’s media that hasn’t been addressed here is film and video.  Some notable artists, writers, and directors have contributed to the silver screen and television.  Screenwriter and playwright Janine Nabers co-created the hit Amazon Prime series Swarm.  Kevin Iso starred in and created the Showtime series Flatbush Misdemeanors (someone tell Showtime we need another season…also tell all the film and television executives to let shows go beyond 2 seasons. I’m looking at you, HBO and Rap Sh!t).

Comedian Mo Amer gained even more success with the first season of his Netflix series Mo which has already been renewed for a highly anticipated season two.  Supporting actor on Mo, fellow product of Alief, and successful rapper in his own right Tobe Nwigwe continues to add to his acting credits after appearing in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.  Alief is a special place, producing many of the creatives coming out of Houston and one notable resident making waves in the film community is Datubo MacHarry.

Datubo MacHarry on set

“I’m from Alief by way of Nigeria,” he says of his upbringing. “Alief taught me everything. I grew up with so many different people from so many different walks of life.  Alief helped me see the world before I even got a chance to go out and see the world.”

Getting his start filming videos for the rap group The Nice Guys, Macharry quickly became immersed in the world of film and visual arts.  After spending over a decade in the medium, his love for the art is shown through his experience but he doesn’t like to limit himself to only film.

“Primarily, I’m a filmmaker,” he says about his place in the industry. “But I’ve learned through the years to look more at myself as a producer.  It’s more ambiguous.”

That ambiguity gives MacHarry the space to create and contribute to a variety of diverse projects. One day he’s a part of the group bringing slabs into the Galleria for the Air Max Origins release.  The next day he’s filming one of the episodes for the hit Netflix series Hip-Hop Evolution.  If you were lucky enough to get tickets to Tony! Toni! Tone!’s latest tour you may have seen him taking shots of the legendary band.

“That was special,” he says of working on the reunion tour. “Not just because of who Tony! Toni! Tone! is but because it resonated with my dad.  He’s a Nigerian immigrant so he might not know every single rapper I work with, but he knows Tony! Toni! Tone!.  He cares about my work, but I could really see [working on this tour] really meant something to him. I mean my parents know Le$ but that’s my friend.”

He laughs as he reflects on the relationship with the Houston MC whom he met at the University of Houston.  Their friendship has branched into a business relationship that has had MacHarry filming visuals for Le$ here in Texas and abroad.  He’s even filmed some of the video shorts for local celebrity, salesman and philanthropist Mattress Mack (not the ones where Mack looks like an extra from Dipset that recently went viral…some other ones).   Whether filming a music video for Slim Thug or directing commercial shoots for BMW with Texans QB CJ Stroud, MacHarry continues to leave his mark on the industry and further define the look of the city.  His ability to work with different projects is largely due to his ability to remain open to new ideas.  Since starting his company, the Evesborough Creative Agency in 2017 after shooting and directing for musical acts like Miguel, MacHarry has just moved with the flow.

Datubo MacHarry

“There’s no plan…but there’s a plan,” he laughs. “Sometimes I’m just moving.  I might get a random phone call and just have to be ready to move.  Like, Le$ called me and said he needed me to go with him to Japan to film some things.  Nine days later, I’m in Japan.”

And even though he stresses that there is no plan, talking to him more reveals there’s plenty more on the horizon.  The nature of the business means that sometimes you don’t want to even reveal projects until they are almost completely finished.  There are plenty of fans that want to know if there will be more episodes of everything from Hip-Hop Evolution to MacHarry’s cult classic webshow Things With Todd (as a fan of Things With Todd…if you haven’t seen Things With Todd…Go watch Things With Todd…like right now…stop reading and go Google Things With Todd). For MacHarry, anything is possible.  As long as it rings true to him, then he is open to creating it.

“Obviously there is so much more that I want to do. There’s so much more impact that I want to have.  This line of work is different, and it takes some getting used to.  I’m realizing there are people that have a job that is separate from their life.  My life is my job.  I try to show that in my work and just go hard.”

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