Written by: Tamiko Stroud
My name is Tamiko Stroud, and I am one of members of the HBCU Spotlight TV, a non profit organization based on highlighting the rich history, exciting events, and black excellence at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) all around the country. I am a proud campus representative of THE Southern University A&M College of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Southern University (SU) has many famous aspects such as supplying one of the best law and nursing schools in the state of Louisiana. SU is also widely known for their melodious and unbeatable marching band, the Human Jukebox. Southern University’s Human Jukebox has been ranked by the Nation Collegiate Athletic Association as the second best marching band in the country in December of 2016. Other recognitions received were #1 band by USA Today, the number one dace team, number one HBCU band, and best dressed band. As you can see, SU has the whole package.
I was given the opportunity to interview the Human Jukebox’s official media director, Mr. Garrett Edgerson. His production company is under the name DaEdge, and he uses this name to travel around the country with the Jukebox and also practicing his passion of photography and videography for other purposes such as personal photo shoots, company photo shoots, and
more. Mr. Edgerson brought me to the Isaac Greggs Music Building where the Jukebox’s band room is located on campus. The Jukebox was rapping up their practice when he walked me to the soundproof room old the second floor that overlooks the band room.
My first question for him was, What is the “DaEdge?” How was it founded? Where did it come from?
He responded, “DaEdge is my production company. DaEdge is really a part of me, literally. It was a part of my last name. I found this company on exactly August 27, 2011. I was sitting in my mother’s house, and one of my friends went on about how I should have my own name, or my own mark for your videos. He told them he would think about it and came back with two suggestions: DaEdge1 Productions or DaEdge1 Media Productions. My final decision was DaEdge Productions.”
Stroud: “How did you become the Media Director for the band? Is there a story behind it?”
DaEdge: “Mr. Haymer, the band director, saw the work I was putting in before he even became the director. It was a natural transition; when he became the director he brought me in also. There is no real story behind it.”
Stroud: “What peaked your interest in photography and videography?”
DaEdge: “I’m a New Orleans band head, and plus I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina hit my home during my sophomore year of high school, so I had to move away. My only outlet to bands was the one and only Human Jukebox. I had watched their videos on Youtube, and always wanted to come to Southern University to view the band. When I picked up a camera for the first time in 2010, my passion grew more and more. I even changed my major here at Southern University from civil engineering to computer science. Ever since then, I have just grown into the person I am today. This band is really the reason I even picked up a camera.”
Stroud: “What does a typical game or battle of the bands day look like for you?”
DaEdge: “The night before, I usually prep the bags that we are going to use for the next day. This way everything will be packed for tomorrow, and I can just come on campus. I usually tell the team to meet two hours before the band goes into the practice room. We go over our game plan and what specifically we are going to do for that particular game. It’s funny because I am usually asked during a game why am I so upset. I’m not upset, it’s just my game face. My mind is processing what videos, pictures, and short videos to post. It’s a non-stop operation; my job doesn’t stop. I’m in my element at that moment.”
Stroud: “How many people do you have on your team?”
DaEdge: “Including myself, there are approximately eight people on my team.”
Stroud: “How do you recruit your members?”
DaEdge: “I handpick and have full control over who is on the Human Jukebox Media Team. I have chosen the past individuals based on a project they had put together or they have worked with me in the past. I already know what they can do; I know my people.”
Stroud: “What are the specific responsibilities for you and your team?”
DaEdge: “My responsibility is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the website, the app, YouTube, Soundcloud, and everything that involves media for the Human Jukebox. The others’ jobs are based on the game and what I need them to do at the time. “
Stroud: “Is there a training process for new recruits?”
DaEdge: “SU’s annual Summer Band and Dance Camp is where I train the new recruits for the Human Jukebox Media Team.”
Stroud: “What are your biggest strengths and challenges?”
DaEdge: “My personal challenge is that I am determined to become better than I was yesterday. I see my time at the top of the mountain; other can say what they want. This is why we have to keep raising the bar because we want to stay ten steps ahead of the game. My biggest challenge is trying to find the new innovative technology that is out there. We’ve done the 360 camera, the doll camp, GoPro, the drone. We just have to find out what’s next... My biggest strength would have to be my work ethic. I don’t play about this. This is my passion This is my job. I love to do this. I am always motivated to do the best and be the best at what we do.”
Stroud: “How does it feel to be Media Director of the famous Human Jukebox?”
DaEdge: “Stressful. Sometimes I’m ready to pull my hair out. However, I love it. People love this band, and other people would love to be in my place. I’m at practice everyday, and I get to hear this. I’m honored and blessed to be here. I didn’t think four years ago that I would be where I am now. I was doing it just to do it, but it turned into this, and I’m grateful.”
This was the end of the interview, and I genuinely enjoyed my time with Mr. Edgerson. He was the first person I went to take my senior pictures, and I absolutely adore them. I will attach some photos to give you all a peek of his work, if you haven’t seen his work already. Southern University produces leaders and excellence. I knew that before I even stepped foot on campus as a student. Marc Anthony once said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Mr. Edgerson is proving that to be true, and I hope one day to feel the same way about my job.
Thanks for reading!
HBCU SPOTLIGHT TV
Putting the focus back on the greatness of HBCUs. We are putting the spotlight back on the greatness of our HBCUs whether it is athletics, academics, service, music, and culture. We are giving exposure to the culture, togetherness, and phenomena of those colleges and universities, hoping to increase becoming the primary choice for African Americans entering college. As well as those willing to transfer to receive the education and experience.