Fully Charged is the type of photographer who never takes no for an answer when it comes to shooting shows, and that attitude has led him to working with artists like Lil Keed, and YSL artist Karlae. Fully Charged told REVOLT, “I’m with [Karlae] on a day-to-day basis as well and I know she deals with stage fright and be nervous. She doesn’t hit the stage a lot, and when she does I’m proud of her.”
In this installment of “Tour Tales,” the Baltimore-bred photographer discusses helping Lil Keed improve his live show, how Young Thug helps Karlae with her sets, and the on-stage chemistry of the Migos. Read below!
What was the first major show you shot live?
It was when I shot Toni Braxton at The Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, Maryland. I brought the camera in — even though I wasn’t supposed to — filmed, recorded and got backstage. I kept my cool and got backstage. I went upstairs to get the best view, pulled my camera out and started recording. That was about six years ago, it’s still one of the most popular videos on my YouTube channel. I also shot Future around 2011-2012. I remember that performance was lit. You couldn’t hear Future because the crowd was so loud. He brings that energy.
You’ve also shot artists performing in nightclubs. What was the wildest performance?
The wildest one had to be Shy Glizzy when he performed at Paparazzi Nightclub on New Year’s Day in 2017. I know when shit about to happen; when they’re about to pull up; when it’s about to get really crazy. I pulled out my camera and five minutes later the Glizzy Gang pulled up. I’m cool with the club promoters in Baltimore, and one hit me like, “Yo, we got Shy Glizzy. I need you to record all of this shit.” Artists come with their entourage and there be so many of them niggas, and there wasn’t a tussle but there was a moment when his whole team wanted to bum-rush the door and the club. It was crazy. They were yelling. “No cameras, cut the cameras.” I didn’t turn off my camera, I just turned off the lights. In those situations, it does get scary and hectic. Safety is first in what I do because I know at any given moment, shit can pop off.
What were those early Migos performances at Coppin State University like before they hit fame?
I snuck into that. I don’t take no for an answer. I’m done asking the people who are throwing it, “Can I come shoot?” I was trying to get in, but they were acting crazy. So, I was just wandering around the building and going through the back. Where the lighting and sound for the show was running from was behind this back door, so I opened it, went through, and sat around until they went on stage. The crowed loved Migos. They even stayed after their show to talk to the students. It was a great experience. They backed each other up. If Takeoff is doing something else and forgetting his words or Offset is doing something else, they still come together and you’d never know something happened. The setlist had “Go To The Moon,” “Hannah Montana” and a lot of their early hits. They had great crowd control.
How did you connect with Lil Keed?
I’ve been locked in with Keed since 2018 when I moved to Atlanta. I met Keed on my birthday November 12, 2018. His stylist Zoe [Dupree] is one of my good friends. I think it was a couple of months after he got signed to YSL, Zoe told me, “My artist needs a photographer.” Keed didn’t have a photographer or was thinking about a photographer.
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What’s your favorite show you’ve shot of Keed’s?
It’s always going to be the Rolling Louds. I mostly record on my phone because I feel it’s better that way. My battery be dying and I don’t be having enough storage on my camera. So, I pull out my phone, put it on landscape mode, put it in 4K.
How has his stage show evolved?
It’s definitely evolved because when he started doing his shows, he didn’t really care. He’d [be] like, “Let me do these two, three or four songs and get out of there.” I saw artists like Lil Baby having a bunch of dancers on stage, so I told Keed, “You need some dancers. Let’s get you some dancers and a choreographer because you don’t want to be on stage by yourself.” I took it upon myself to find girls. He has dancers now. His setlist is better. I linked up with his DJ, DJ Sidereal, and told him, “We have to fix this setlist because it’s the same songs. Let’s throw in some new songs, old songs, and unreleased songs. Let’s switch it up.” Keed has definitely grown as an artist when it comes to his stage presence.
How was it shooting the first Birthday Bash of the pandemic?
It was really a mess to be honest. It was raining and everybody was late. But, at the end of the day, we all came together to make it work. It turned out great. My favorite performance was Karlae because she’s so underrated… Seeing her come on stage and do her thing was my best moments. I’m with her on a day-to-day basis as well and I know she deals with stage fright and be nervous. She doesn’t hit the stage a lot, and when she does I’m proud of her.
How would you describe her live show?
She still has to catch the energy of the crowd. We did 300’s HBCU concert series, and now she’s getting more comfortable. With her, she can be difficult at times. All the girls I work with can be difficult because they’ll be like, “Get the right angles. I don’t want to look fat. I don’t want to look crazy. Now that I know her personally, I don’t get in the photo pit because you can get bad angles that way. I’m either on stage with her or on the side.
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How have you seen Young Thug help with her live show?
He gives advice, but he can’t hold her hand every show. When he is there, he encourages her. At Birthday Bash, when she did her set, Thug was in the back watching as he performed in front of 50,000 people.
What are some audibles you’ve had to make during a show?
Recently, when everyone was at 21 Savage’s Freaknik, about two or three photographers were asking me, “Bro, you have an extra SD card? Do you have an extra lens I can use?” I see photographers running into these problems when shooting these big events. You have to stay ready. It happens to me at times, as well.
What do you have coming up in 2022?
I don’t have anything locked in for sure because everyone is still dealing with the pandemic. Some places are still going by certain guidelines and rules. I heard New York was very strict on everyone having vaccination to be in the arenas. I know Keed is dropping a mixtape for the ladies. If he decides he wants to tour with that, I’m with it. I’m open to anything.