Bicoastal production company ArtClass has signed Jamaal Parham and Bashan Aquart, popularly known as Jams x Bash. From commercials to interactive experiences to TV shows, Jams x Bash have spent the last decade pushing the boundaries of storytelling and media for brand and entertainment clients, such as adidas, ESPN, HBO, Warner Bros., and Vogue. Infusing consciousness, magical realism, and classic design and filmmaking techniques, they approach every story with a desire to reflect the American experience with authenticity and through their own worldview. ArtClass will represent Jams x Bash for commercials and branded content.
“We’ve always looked at commercial, brand, and promo work like mini-movies,” says Parham. “Whether it’s sports, fashion, or a beautifully designed product, we love to find the magic in crafting a brand story — and we approach it not just as creatives and filmmakers, but as real consumers and real fans. With [ArtClass Partners] Vincent Peone and Geno Imbriale steering the ship, we get to pursue these opportunities with a team that champions filmmaking and craftsmanship as much as we do.”
The signing reunites Jams x Bash with ArtClass Executive Producer Rebecca Niles with whom they’ve enjoyed a long-standing creative partnership history. They recently collaborated on several ArtClass-produced projects, including the MLB Opening Day campaign, a Team USA Olympics campaign via Burrell, and an adidas Forum spot, as well as “A Room of Our Own,” a star-studded one-hour ESPN/Disney special exploring the relationship between Black athletes, Black music and their transcending impact on powering social movements. More recently, Jams x Bash wrapped an episode of the Vogue celeb series “73 Questions” with Tavi Gevinson, star of the new “Gossip Girl” reboot.
“My passion for Jams x Bash has no limits,” says Niles. “I’m thrilled to be reunited, having known each other from very early on in our careers, and to see how much work and momentum we’ve already been inundated with, in such a short amount of time. The future is going to be a lot of fun, driving conversations and crafting cultural moving pieces together.”
“At the end of the day, Jamaal and I are two friends who share a love of making things and telling stories,” adds Aquart, “and ArtClass has a family vibe you can’t help but get excited about working in this industry, especially one built around such richly diverse cultures and backgrounds. We look forward to adding another layer of experience and perspective to the ArtClass ethos, and with the warmth, imagination, and resources we have on our side, the best work is yet to come for us.”
Jams x Bash discovered their newfangled chemistry in 2011 working together at AKA NYC, with Parham serving as head of the Content Department and Aquart as Executive Creative Director of the agency’s creative studio. Uniting Aquart’s design mastery with Parham’s editorial and VFX prowess, the super duo quickly tapped into a winning combination. The rest was history as Jams x Bash went on to “take over” Times Square with a brand experience for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” The campaign was honored with an ADDY Award, Adweek Experiential Award, and a coveted spot on the One Show shortlist. Other landmark projects by Jams x Bash via AKA NYC include the Samsung and Mastercard-sponsored “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” VR Experience that “candified” NYC, as well as two Clio Award-winning spots for theatrical productions “The Sound Inside” and “The Inheritance.”
Jams x Bash recently made waves as the directorial force behind HBO’s new late-night comedy show, “Pause with Sam Jay.” Fresh off the May 21st premiere, Vulture gushed about the “show that actually gives people the space and the atmosphere to say what they want.” “Pause” was recently renewed for a second season.
The prolific Brooklyn-based directing duo are equally acclaimed indie filmmakers, with a feature in development with producer Prentice Penny (HBO’s “Insecure”) and Sundial Pictures (“Obvious Child,” “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”) starring Kiki Layne (Netflix’s “The Old Guard”), Jermaine Fowler (“Coming to America 2,” “Sorry to Bother You”) and Jamie Chung (HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”).