Dave Patten: The Cut Creator.
Dave Patten is taking a break from cutting the video for his new single, “Melt.”
The performer, producer and film director sits in a corner of Mugshots CoffeeHouse & Café in Fairmount, practically screaming to be heard over the espresso machines, afternoon conversations and 90s rock music blaring from the café’s speakers.
Appearing as handsome and charismatic in person as he does in his videos, the musician wears faded blue jeans and a navy blue and white striped shirt that hangs off his slender frame with a perfectly styled faux-hawk and intense hazel eyes.
“I like to make stuff and create stuff,” says Patten, 23. “That’s what I like to do. If I didn’t have anything to do, it would probably drive me nuts.”
He writes and performs his own music, then crafts his own cinematic music videos. He’s garnered more than one million views on YouTube and his videos sparked an unlikely relationship with Philly rapper Meek Mill (on the left in the image above). The two have collaborated on several songs over the past year.
“We come from completely different worlds, but we both have the exact taste and feel in music,” Patten says. “That’s why we like working together.”
Patten formed South9 Entertainment, a Philly-based production company specializing in music video and film production, during his senior year at Temple University. He met Mill while shooting a video for hip-hop group Paper Department. Mill and Gillie Da Kid were just hanging out on set.
Mill saw the video after Patten completed it and he liked Patten’s work.
“So then we linked up and I started shooting his videos,” Patten says.
It was a few months later that the two began collaborating on music together. Patten felt more comfortable forming the partnership once they became better acquainted.
Once Patten and Meek agree on a beat and song, the two separate and work in their own elements. Patten sits at his piano and shuts the world out of his Fairmount apartment with locked doors and closed shutters. Meek records in a studio with an abundance of people around.
Patten and Meek later get together to piece their different styles and personalities, forming a sound that combines hip hop, R&B, pop and soul.
Patten started his music career playing in a slew of classic-rock bands in high school in Havertown, Pennsylvania. After a short stint at Penn State University, he transferred to Temple where he majored in film. When Patten wasn’t in class, he was either recording new tracks in the studio or shooting music videos.
“I didn’t want to go to college for music because I didn’t want to ruin it,” Patten says.
He describes his music as a combination of John Mayer, Jason Mraz and elements of hip hop.
“I don’t like using the word hip-hop when describing my music because people automatically think I’m like some white rapper or some variation of that,” he says.
He’s performed at World Live Café and The Arts Garage, and has appeared on NBC’s The 10! Show and Radio 104.5.
His solo career and the growth of his production company are Patten’s dual obligations. Though he considers himself a musician first, he can’t see himself without a career in film.
“I have to have both,” he says. “When I get stuck in a rut with music I have film that I can go to. If I can’t write songs for some reason, I can edit some music videos.”
Patten’s production house is responsible for Meek Mill’s videos “Where They Do That At,” featuring Young Chris, and “Believe Me.” His most celebrated and intense short film/ music video combo, Inside, won second place at the 2010 Williamsburg International Film Festival.
The majority of the videos Patten has produced are filmed in Philly.
“It’s all about finding the cool little spots and making them work,” he says. “When I walk up here, I see all the trees are blooming, I think that that’ll be a good scene to have something romantic, like, walking down the street with a girl, you know. Do something like that.”
His work has appeared on VH1 and MTV, where he currently has a licensing deal.
“The end goal for me is to have my music heard by everyone,” Patten states.