Naveed Hassan is an Artist Manager and A&R Executive at MDDN; a management and creative agency founded by Joel and Benji Madden. Naveed spent two years at ICM Partners as an agent trainee after earning a J.D. from the Temple University Beasley School of Law and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

MDDN's roster includes: Akachi, Chase Atlantic, Cookiee Kawaii, De'Wayne, Eyedress, Jalaiah Harmon, K Camp, Natra Average, Nikki Fre$h, and Zeph.

Our recent chat with Devin discusses his favourite campaigns and talks about the overlaps between visual creativity and music.

I’m currently working on too much to rattle off here but in short, helping artists build sustainable, fulfilling careers. Check out MDDNCO for updates.

I'M LOVING

Creatively at the moment, I'm loving the influx of creators joining Twitch.

There is something interesting happening that is allowing artists and especially music producers to cultivate conversation between their fans and colleagues. Will Morris and the team of music executives at that company has really smartly identified this budding scene and is supportive in helping it grow without trying too hard to define it. Check out music producer Akachi on there, a 21 year-old kid from Maine who is placing some of the hardest-hitting trap productions right now. He's got placements in the last three months with Lil Uzi Vert, EST Gee, Latto, Gucci Mane, and Chief Keef and most of these started on Twitch. 

Also shout out Gentle Monster. Their retail stores are some of the most compelling spaces and filled with really exceptional art. My dear friend Kim Dillard (who by the way is a brilliant fashion strategist that works with Gentle Monster, Robins Jean and many others) brought me to their location in SoHo and I was blown away.

FAVOURITE VIDEO

My all-time favourite music video is a tough call for me because music video is probably my favorite medium.

There is a magic that sometimes happens at the intersection of music and video that is uniquely powerful. For me it's a toss up between The Greeks Is Tropical and Gessafelstein's Hate or Glory because I can watch these videos endlessly and they enhance the music in a way that make it almost impossible for me to separate the two elements. 

Honorable mention to this fan-created video for John Maus' Bennington which is an edit of a song that I love with clips from the Vanilla Ice movie (yes, it exists) Cold As Ice. Proof that budget isn't at all a determining factor in how powerful a video can be. Enjoy. 

BEST ARTWORK

I've always loved the album art for Desaparecidos Read Music/Speak Spanish.

The physical album art is an image of an open American landscape and there is a clear paper overlay that depicts a cookie-cutter sub development dropped on top of it. I remember buying this album at School Kids Records in Chapel Hill the week it was released and then seeing the tour a few days later.

The show was at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro NC and I think Sorry About Dresden was on the bill. This album is peak for me. Bright Eyes was particularly scorching hot at that time and Conor Oberst seemingly followed his gut and made one of the most complete albums...and also injected a lot of intensely anti-consumerist themes when I'm sure he had many financial reasons not to, so I have a ton of respect for everyone involved that made those decisions with that album.

RECENT CAMPAIGN

The most recent campaign I’ve enjoyed working on has been all things Chase Atlantic.

It's hard to choose because I'm blessed to work with so many immensely talented artists and executives at MDDN but I am especially proud of what the Chase boys are doing. These are young artists from a small coastal town in Australia who write and produce all of their own music. They edit their own videos and create all of their own content and I've watched them build it from tiny label showcases to 2500+ capacity venues worldwide.

These guys are a force to be reckoned with! They are fiercely loyal to each other and a joy to work alongside and their energy constantly reinvigorates me. They are pushing the boundaries and cultivating a rabid following unlike anything I've seen. Check them out now before they are doing arenas

BRAND COLLAB

The most recent brand collab that caught my eye was X-Large x Li-Ning collab at Art Basel in 2019.

At the time, X Large was creatively helmed by Josh Madden and the campaign they did involved the brand partnering with a community center in Wynwood. They had artist Atomik (who is a Miami native) paint an outdoor court and then they had a team of Li-Ning sponsored pro basketball players from China play in an exhibition game with local hoopers. It felt like a real life, Miami version of NBA street. The event was catered by Crabman305 who is a Miami legend and a must visit for every trip I take over there. I'm choosing this collab because it's an example of how creatives and companies can come together and support communities. Everyone wins and it feels better because it's a benefit and an homage to the locale. 

Honorable mention to Grand Seiko x Hodinkee for their recent collab on the Automatic GMT SBGM239.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with all things horology. I recently picked up my first Grand Seiko and it's hardly left my wrist. GS maintains an air of elegance and focus on craftsmanship that is matched by few brands and strides the marketers have made in recent years are impressive. Hodinkee is a mainstay in my media stream. Their content is thoughtfully curated and it educates by putting things into context. The podcast is also often playing when I drive around LA. 

CREATIVE VIDEO

For me I can't choose the most creative and original music video of the past year, so here are three that come to mind.

  • The Adults Are Talking - The Strokes directed by Roman Coppola. 
  • Heaven Inc - Shlohmo directed by Rick Farin and Claire Cochran, Case Miller
  • Waves of Blue (visualizer) - Majid Jordan. My bro Matthew Daniel Siskin has been creative directing Majid Jordan this cycle. I love their music and the shape this campaign is taking. If you don't know Matthew yet you should because he is an exceptionally thoughtful and talented creative whisperer.   
LOGO LOVE

I wish I’d designed the artist logo for either DAFT PUNK or Poison The Well. 

GO FOLLOW

The one artist you should follow on Instagram is Scott Campbell.

There isn't anything about Scott's work I can say that hasn't been said more eloquently by people smarter than me (and you should read those articles) but I can say that Scott is one of the most thoughtful and classy humans I know. Scott actually introduced me to Benji and Joel Madden years ago so I credit him with helping me land at MDDN. 

ICONIC

The most iconic music photograph is, for me, the Johnny Cash middle finger photo.

We're all desensitized to that gesture now but apparently the photo was taken in 1969 while Cash was performing at San Quentin State Prison - the photographer asked him to pose for a picture to send the warden. What a fucking G.