Interview By: Carrick Wenke
Meet CoolReve, a talented young filmographer straight from the Bay Area who has been making a name for herself the past few years shooting videos for well respected names such as Kool AD, and Cult Days. Recently I spoke with CoolReve on how she got her start in the video game, how she built an everlasting relationship with frequent collaborator Kool AD, and her latest endeavor, the DIY web series “The Fana & Hawa Show”.
What first got you into shooting videos?
I always knew growing up I wasn’t going to go with what my parents knew as the “regular route” for an Afghani girl. I knew at a young age I had to start implementing the idea that I identified myself as an artist, and that was never going to change. I lost my grandpa when I was about 19 (turning 20) and what I was left with was a picture of me holding his hand in the hospital. This sparked my interest in photography as that picture became very special to me. I wanted to provide that special moment for people in the form of a photograph. With the help of supportive friends, my photographer caught the eye of local talent and a friend approached me with his first project. It was encouraging and I was faithful that I could do it. We filmed the video and dropped it a couple days later. It received a pretty awesome response, and since it was a rap video it opened the door to some pretty swag opportunities with some awesome Bay rappers.
How did you link up with frequent collaborator Kool A.D.?
BEST RAPPER ALIVE. My dude. The hubby to my best friend and the Father to my fave babe. I was introduced to his wife Saba a couple years ago in New York. It was instant vibes with her and after a smoke sesh we agreed to do a video together. She’s an artist too, and her music was hella refreshing and different. (Plus, instant points that I was vibing with a fellow Middle Eastern God). Anyway, I formed what I know as one of the best friendships of my life with her and victor was her man (still is, will always be). He peeped our video and thought it would be a good idea to collaborate. Fast forward a couple months/years I’m crying at their baby shower and currently doing videos for the boy + dj-ing some live shows for him and wifey. That’s family forever. KOOL AD BITCH, HE WON’T STOP RAPPIN. Also love to the entire Vazquez family as a unit, you feel me. My literal squad.
What has been the most memorable music video to shoot?
Most memorable music video was Cult Days “Oracle” video. I had just hopped off a plane and was in New York for leisure shit but definitely brought my camera because I’m a real one. I passed by this very insane cemetery and thought to myself that I need to shoot there before I left. A couple days later I was introduced to Saba, we talked and agreed it would be a good idea to do a video. She let me hear “Oracle” and it was unlike anything I’ve ever heard. In the good way. And she was unlike anyone I had ever met. I told her about the cemetery as a location only to find out she had already wanted to shoot there. I met her out there a couple days later to shoot the video. Her specific directions were to “keep walking until you smell bread.” There was a bread factory nearby and she was right. We spent a couple hours in that cemetery and I’ll never forget it. I met my best friend where people are laid to rest. I did my best work there because the universe said it had to be 100 and nothing else.
If you had to pick 2 music videos that you watched growing up that inspired you what would you pick?
I would definitely say Pharcyde “Drop” turned my world completely upside fucking down and literally backwards. It was mesmerizing to watch and it got me extremely curious about how it was executed so flawlessly. I watched a behind the scenes and I learned that they learned to recite the lyrics backwards and that blew my mind. Word to Spike Jonze that shit was ahead of it’s time and still one of my faves. Another is Michael Jackson’s “Do You Remember The Time.” Bruh literally rose from gold ash. Like fuck a phoenix, I’m Michael Jackson. Honestly, don’t even make me explain why it inspired me lol. FUCKING CLASSIC, WORD TO EDDIE MURPHY.
Your real name is Hawa where did you get CoolReve from?
I actually was in this weird phase of directing my art into one lane. I was making clothes and did some research on what I felt would be a good name for what I was doing. I came up with “Reve Royale” which pretty much translates to “dream royally”. Every afghani girl thinks their family comes from royalty but mine actually did on my mother’s side. It was fitting, and when I decided that photography and visual art was a better route for me I came up with CoolReve which means cool dream. Im constantly day dreaming all the time. I have “California dreaming” tatted on my arm. It’s something that keeps me sane and I think it’s sad when people don’t dream. Reality is important but dreams are what keep you alive.
Being From the Bay Area how would you feel if someone dedicated a Too $hort song to you on the radio?
I tweeted about this one time and let me tell you ya girl would feel like 10 million dollars and 6 pints of Talenti Gelato apple pie flavor. I would feel like how you would feel like if all you had was a bottle of Hennessy but then your significant other came out the cuts with apple juice and a smile. I would feel like how we all felt when Gucci Mane was freed. I would feel like how a Muslim kid would feel if they got a present on Christmas Day. All of these very real and good feelings. Too $hort is everyone’s uncle including mine so feel free to dedicate “I’m A Player” to me any day of the week.
Tell us exactly what your latest endeavor “the Fana and Hawa Show” is?
Fana has been my very close friend for more than 10 years now and she hella gets me. I’m literally always laughing too much whenever I kick it with her and we always accumulate these outlandish ass stories we share with friends later. But it’s always one of those “you had to be there” type shits. We wanted to let the world hang out with us and most importantly we wanted to make people laugh like how we laugh with each other. There’s so much chaotic shit going on in the world right now and our goal is to give people 5 minutes where they could laugh at some random shit instead. We both think it’s super important to be women who are comfortable with themselves. There’s going to be some episodes where we look like complete shit and some where we look a little more spruced up. But the point is the content. The point is that we don’t give a fuck we just want to be ourselves, and we hope that’ll be appreciated. Girls from the bay area have personalities that are recognized everywhere and it’s something we are super proud of and hoping to showcase.
Can you reveal what adventure will take place in the next episode?
We literally just wrapped episode 3 today. We got our nephew Kingsley in it and unfortunately I can’t reveal the next adventure but I will say he’s a very unique baby hahahah. Stay tuned y’all!
What does the rest of the year have In store for CoolReve?
We’re in september, I’ve been doing a cool amount of shows with Kool AD + Cult Days. Being their DJ has been a very insane experience. It’s dope to get people in their vibe! It’s cool to be responsible for playing everyone’s favorite songs. My birthday is in October so it’ll be another year older for ya girl and that’s a blessing in itself. I hope to keep doing my thing with my people. The rest of the year means more shows and more hyphy shit. It means more videos and more money. The rest of my year is going to be spent being a boss. The usual.