Though MTV may no longer air music videos, the format is far from past its prime. More than a third of YouTube’s most viewed videos are music. But the potential for garnering billions of views isn’t what compelled 24-year-olds David Hernandez and Christian Rubio to make music videos under the name Stacking Memories. The lifelong best friends from Seaside always had an affinity for capturing life through a camera.
“We would always film each other doing dumb shit,” Rubio says. “But it wasn’t until we took a film class in high school that we got more serious about it.”
One of their earliest music videos, 2015’s “Designer Clout” by Seaside rapper Ceeza, features visual elements that would become hallmarks of their style. These include colorful filters and distorting the movement of the artist.
Hernandez moved to the Los Angeles area in 2017 with the hopes of making videos for the abundance of musicians and Rubio joined him shortly after. As Stacking Memories established themselves as videographers, the duo began to work with nationally acclaimed artists like Yhung T.O. of the Vallejo group SOB x RBE and the Grammy-nominated Wiz Khalifa.
“To collab with Wiz was a dream,” Hernandez says. “I grew up listening to him.”
Working with more prominent artists who allocated bigger budgets allowed the videographers to pursue their “same style but on steroids,” as Rubio puts it.
This may be best illustrated in the video for “76 Buccaneers” by Oakland rapper ALLBLACK. An early scene has ALLBLACK spawning clones of himself with each step that he takes. The camera slowly pans out from the scene to reveal his face under a deep blue tint, the image of clones playing within his two eyes.
The creative process behind most of their videos consists of getting a sense of the song. Sometimes, however, the process is more spontaneous. The video for Yhung T.O’s “Diamonds” is heavy in color contrast. Yhung TO, dressed in all black, croons in a field of glowing pink.
“I remember being so tired as I edited the video and wondered what would wake me up,” Hernandez says. “We were tweaking colors, and the pink popped out at me.”
The duo has ambitions of making videos in other genres and even feature films. Regardless of what route they take, Hernandez and Rubio have an unwavering passion for pairing visuals with music.
“You can close your eyes and listen to a song,” Hernandez says. “But certain videos can bring lyrics to life.”
STACKING MEMORIES latest music videos can be seen on their YouTube channel >> [here]