Guided by only their talent and ambition, a plurality of young entertainers frequently abandon the security of their average day jobs for the extraordinary world of show business. Other would-be superstars still hope for their chance at a breakthrough while they continue to pay the bills.
In season 2 of Seeka TV’s acclaimed drama BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE, four such upstarts – Ajani Garvey (show creator Alonge Hawes), Quan Banneker (Quentin Williams), Anthony Lee (Howard Woodburn) and Jose Torres (Roberto Cruz) – now start a new phase in their fledgling hip-hop careers with the formation of their new record label. Outside the recording studio, Ajani, Quan, Anthony and Jose also deal with the necessities of providing for their families.
As BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE’s second season looks at the ongoing successes and struggles of four young men who vie for hip-hop fame, the emotional dramas of those aspirants are also balanced by the show’s inside view of the music industry. Also reviewed is how the four performers are frequently forced to balance the commercial part of their music careers with the potential to create positive social progress.
“Viewers can expect to see a deeper dive into the main characters’ personal lives, including glimpses into their psyche which will further inform the audience on the characters’ motivations and goals,” Hawes explains. “We will also explore further everything that goes into trying to break into the local music business in Atlanta.”
While the four core characters of BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE forge ahead with their dreams of success, their families and love interests also incite conflict.
“This season, we have Ajani’s father Herbert Garvey (Herman Spearman), Asha’s brother James Luna (Jordan Demoss), the mother of Quan’s child Briana Wiley (Kiara Woods), and a new co-worker named Jude Eubanks (Julian Robinson) all making their debut appearances. Each and every one of them have brought a certain flavor and gravitas to the series that really makes this a special season!”
BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE returns just over a year after production started on its newest episodes, but the road to the show’s season premiere couldn’t have reached its destination – the comprehensive web series platform Seeka TV – without the talents of an important addition to the show’s behind-the-scenes apparatus.
“We are working with a new director/cinematographer named Jairus Burks, who is currently serving in the United States Air Force,” says Hawes. “We filmed the first episode of season 2 in October of 2017, and right afterwards Jairus had a 6 month deployment. We kept in contact daily, and when he returned we filmed each episode one weekend per month beginning in April.”
Hawes, Williams and Burks were equally precise in organizing the soundtrack for important moments in BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE. “I think of the music in BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE as its own character. The music helps elevate the mood of any given scene. Myself, Quentin Williams, and Jairus Burks, work collaboratively to select the best pieces of music to work with the tone we are setting. Quentin will email me songs or beats, and I will listen to every single one to find the right vibe.”
Williams’ experience in recording and performing helped Hawes and Burke find the grooves they needed for BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE’s second season.
“Because Quentin has been a musical artist and professional DJ for several years, he often has a knack for knowing the right type of compositions to send me,” explains Hawes. “I then send the tracks I have selected to Jairus for his input, and we piece it to a scene to make sure it works as intended. Selecting the right music for a scene is as important as choosing the right actor for a particular character.”
There are many reasons why BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE has been a chart-topper with audiences and web series industry bigwigs. In Hawes’ view, Seeka TV and its co-founder/vice president of programming George Reese are owed much of the credit for BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE’s success. “They (Seeka TV) were our first digital distribution partner when we only had two episodes produced. George believed in us and (in) the story we wanted to tell. In exchange, I believe in Seeka’s mission to become the premiere platform for independent streaming storytelling.”
BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE furthers that mission, and Hawes is honored to have his project accompany the network’s other remarkable offerings. “There are series streaming on Seeka that you literally cannot find anywhere else; stories that need to be seen and content creatives that deserve to have a platform that cares,” Hawes remarks. “The best thing that I can say about Seeka is that they truly care about these stories.”
Hawes, like every filmmaker who partners with Seeka, reaps the benefits of associating with a platform where creative freedom is among its critical priorities. “Being a creative, the one thing you always want is full control of your work,” says Hawes. “You are the one with the vision, with the story, (and) with the script. You don’t want some conglomerate breathing down your neck with suggestions, demands, and notes. Seeka allows the creators to do what we do best, which is create. They do not interfere with the process.”
Seeka’s user-friendly web site and app, plus its comprehensive marketing arm, have equaled success for Hawes’ series. “Seeka has access to marketing resources that are simply unmatched by anyone in the independent streaming business,” he adds. “BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE benefits by not only Seeka’s marketing muscle, but also by being part of a platform that has a clean, attractive layout, friendly and professional staff, and simple, easy-to-use use navigation. It sounds cliché nowadays to say that a platform is ‘Netflix-like’ in execution, but if Seeka doesn’t hold that title, then they’re the closest ones.”
BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE is not just about music, or about business, or even about family. It’s about all of those things. It’s an authentic portrait of people who take aim at their greatest dreams, while fighting to stay genuine as social changes afflict the world.
Hawes hopes that BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE’s audiences will realize the meaning of their accomplishments. “I don’t want anyone watching season 2 (of BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE) and feeling pity or shame. I want them to look at these characters knowing that the piece of the American Dream they claim, they earned it.”
Hawes’ overarching goals for BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE’s second season: to celebrate and to honor the African-American experience. “I hope that the ultimate impression viewers take from season 2 is that Black America is not a monolith. We cannot all be put in a singular box and labeled as one big group simply to make it easier for the rest of the world to define (stereotype) us. The larger black diaspora is beautiful, intelligent (and) determined, and we are demanding our proper dues as fellow architects of Western society.”
(NOTE: Hawes says that all 10 episodes of BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE’s second season will be closed-captioned on Seeka TV.)
To watch the series on Seeka TV, visit: