You read correctly, it is Onda (unrelated to DONDA) who leads the creative charge. You’ve probably seen some of Onda’s awesome work lately. He’s off to a good start as his first-ever music video, “Diet Coke,” is nominated for a VMA.
If you wonder where the name comes from, it has nothing to do with DONDA. Onda believes that names are an integral part of success, even subconsciously, so he decided he wanted to adopt a new title. Cassiano’s favorite Onda sample of all time has a single named Onda, which also means “water movement”. So, as it was his all-time favorite sample, wanting a new name and a series of other coincidences, Onda was born.
After meeting Kanye West through Diddy, Ye was adamant about mentoring Onda after seeing his work and learning his name. He even told Onda that I am Pai Mei and you are Beatrix.
Onda came from humble beginnings, born and raised in Miami public housing, before heading to college to study business. But, even that had its ups and downs when he failed, only to return to make the dean’s list and graduate with honors. Onda continued his education, pursuing a master’s degree at USC film school, where he was quickly told not to waste his school money and pursue his dreams as a director. Flash to the present, and it achieves the remarkable visuals we consume today.
How did you start?
wave: I started by editing videos for the production company of Will Smith, then I was recruited to work in the team of Diddy.
It was only at this party that Ye stopped, and he said, “Bring me this photographer. I need him.”
How was your collaboration with ‘Ye on Diet Coke?
“Diet Coke” was such a cool video because it was the first time Ye was probably happy like that in a video since as “Otis.”
Where did you learn your craft and hone your sense of style?
I had to rely on myself to learn things to do it. YouTube University too, you can find everything there, but I also watched a lot of movies to find my style.”
What do you say to those who approach you to enter the industry as a creative?
The question is: “How do you stand out? How are you different?”
I push any creation that DMs me to move to gain a new perspective or do a bit of everything to see what you actually like.
There’s a million people doing this shit. A lot of people think they want to direct until they’re on set with 100 people, and they shit the bed.
It’s about being prepared.