Being in the Bay Area during this new young art renaissance is amazing. Finally, there is a chance for so many new and local artists to showcase their talents. Whether it be art shows, and small concerts that get put on, or just parties in general. It is a chance to see the rebirth of the art scene that young people have the opportunity to participate in. One of the people who are along for the new budding art journey is Caillou Jones; the owner and founder of SKWAD Co. Along with the rest of SKWAD, partnered with their “brother” company Slumped founded by Jorge Rodriguez he’ll be hosting The Hella Hyphy Festival and Afterparty. As far as curating events and starting his own brand, he believes that everything starts in the mind. When asked what he wishes to accomplish with his company he says, “Everything and nothing” but he knows that if he can think it then he can achieve it.
Nia: Who are you? Where are you from?
Caillou: I’m [Caillou] Jones; I’m from San Francisco, Ca. More specifically I’m from Bayview.
“You have a good social media presence; did your surroundings affect what you do online?”
Caillou: I don’t do anything special, nor do I take an image too seriously I just try to be myself. I’m the same online and offline so that could be it.
“Is there anything that you would like to accomplish with the presence that you have gained?”
Caillou: As far as now I mostly use it to promote my brand and things that I’m putting on or associated with. I used to use socials for all the wrong shit.
“Would you like to have an impact on the world with everything you do? Between the activism and the events that you partake in?”
Caillou: Ultimately I do wanna make my impact, whatever that impact is for each individual person that I encounter. It is what it is.
Hella Hyphy Fest is so different than anything we have seen; one might ask what inspired this? Jones gives some credit to the East Bay art scene and encourages everyone who’s interested to check it out. Specific events that influenced aspects of the Festival are; Colin Taniguchi’s “For My Folks,” Kenihana’s “Nosotros,” and 1/9 of SKWAD Desse Flacko’s “Kulture.”
Caillou: I like to say, “There’s nothing new under the sun”, but I do like to give credit where it’s due, and I would’ve never thought to have artists display at an event. Shout out to talent mane.
“What or who is the main motivator behind everything that you do?”
Caillou: Me. I just try to improve me every day. From my walk to my talk, yah feel me?
“Was there anyone specific that put this business drive in you?”
Caillou: I come from a family of people just like me, from both sets of my grandparents to my parents, my siblings etc. we all have special personalities but we share a collective confidence and hustler mentality. It’s in my blood, but practice makes perfect so I throw credit to myself too for honing my skill; ya digg?
“Do you have any idols that made you want to pursue things like this?”
Caillou: Everybody in my life motivates me to do me, or they wouldn’t be in my life. But my biggest idol is myself because I’ve seen all the growth and experienced it with my own eyes, literally. I couldn’t have asked for a better model of growth and success than myself, and I wouldn’t want to be like anybody but me. Shout out to my mama though she the best like Khaled.
Caillou has become pretty much a jack of all trades, from throwing parties to starting a brand and hosting events that you would be sad to miss. Using his social media pages and word of mouth to help promote these events and products; and seeing the response of the people who have gone or even more people who wish that they could have gone. All members of both Slumped and SKWAD Co. are more than appreciative of the ongoing support.
“I wanna thank everyone for fuckin w us so heavy”
– @hellahyphyfest on Instagram
“For the people who may not know, can you explain what Hella Hyphy Fest is and what it means?’
Caillou: Hella Hyphy Fest is a collective of Bay Area creatives. I only helped curate it, each artist and each vendor is going to attract their own crowd and bring their own flare. I can’t describe it. Plus the after a party gone go skitz.
“Looking at the list of artists and vendors is amazing; what made you choose these people?”
Caillou: First come first serve, no fake shit. I’m still adding people if they fit so.
“Is there anything you would like the Bay Area community to gain from the Hella Hyphy Fest?”
Caillou: Yea, a sense of creative community, and sense of a safe space to party. Parties or events get shut down or turned out too often.
“Is there any performer, artist, or vendor that you wish you would have got for the fest?”
Caillou: First I’d like to say, anyone who couldn’t perform, I did feel some type of way, but unfortunately we can’t have everyone perform. Lastly, one of my best friends and 1/9 of SKWAD, “TIKABEATS”, is a DJ and will be on vacation at the time, but we got things planned to give him and other artists their time to shine.
For those who may not know, Hella Hyphy Fest is a space for bay area artists to express themselves and curate creative ideas in a safe space. Each performer, vendor, and the artist will all bring and attract their own crowd of people coming to see them. Having a festival in the bay area is kind of a rare experience in itself, but having it on such an intimate level where you can see and enjoy your friend’s art in real life is wild. It is different from anything he has done for real, as puts it,
“This ain’t no house party, a lot of people know me and my closest friends, and my family members for big parties.”
From the most recent one, people are still talking about the unfortunate fight that occurred after the party. “-this ain’t that.”
“How do you plan on growing your brand?”
Caillou: Like I said it’s in the walk and the talk, so improving myself, constantly bettering myself and motivating the other talented members of SKWAD Co. and Slumped go to the extreme with their craft.
“What are you looking forward to the most from the fest or any work you do?”
Caillou: [The] ultimate satisfaction of seeing something through, and seeing it end successfully. I’m assuming it’ll be a surreal moment for SKWAD and Slumped.
“Do you want to work with other people to put on bigger events in the future?”
Caillou: Any pragmatic businessman can holla at me, but I’m not tryna climb the ranks, I’m just tryna run my race.
“How do you want to impact the culture, if you want to?”
Caillou: We sum trendsetters no holla, but the Bay sets its own trends. If anything, I’m a product of this beautiful culture. I guess you could say I want to affect the culture that silences such talented folks.
“How did you plan everything out?”
Caillou: Here go my shout outs period. Shout out to the other 8 members of SKWAD and our brother company Slumped which is ran by my guy Jorge Rodriguez, I would name everybody but. He actually came up with the idea of renting a food park while I handled the logistics. Some people are more involved than others, but we all do our part. Facts! Man and the conversations with my brother Rome typically get my head on the right track, we’ll talk for hours about unrelated shit but it’ll have me right.
“What do you hope is gained from the Hella Hyphy Fest?’
Caillou: I hope more for the artists and vendors than myself. I feel like a lot of the focus is on me too much sometimes. But we have over 50 young folks doing what they love to do, and we’re sure they’re going to have fun doing it. For many of the artists this their first time performing or displaying, and as for the vendors many of them will be releasing merchandise for the first time SO I HOPE PEOPLE BUY THEIR ART AND CLOTHES
“What’s next for you?”
This will be something that will go down in the books, literally. Something we can tell the future youth about one day; being able to share the stories and memories and also helping them do things amazing and inspiring with their talents just as we’re doing currently. This is an exciting moment for all of us and I hope that June 17th is a day like no other where we can all join forces and enjoy this positive energy waiting for us, I hope to see you there.
I love your writing