Humble Legend: Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, songwriter to the stars and the subject of a new documentary by Macario de Souza. Picture: Dustin Downing/Red Bull Content PoolAustralian filmmaker Macariode Souza knows more about music than most of his peers. The 33-year-old Sydneysider has developed a separate career as Kid Mac, creating and performing his Aussie blend of dance and electronic beats and collaboratingwith acts likeThe Beautiful Girls andBliss N Eso. He’s even done a video with Newcastle surf and skate star Sabre Norris.
His filmmaking career has always had a sharp creative edge, with award-winning documentaries The Bra Boys and Fighting Fear as well as his six-part doco South Side Story about the battle for control ofthe Rabbitohs rugby league club.
In recent years he’s been doing action sports films for RedBull TV. But his latest film, Poo Bear: Afraid of Forever, released on Saturday, is a special insight into the world of popular music.
Poo Bear is the story of Jason Boyd, a black American music producer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. Boyd penned his first hit at age 14 and has more than 24years of experience, collaborating with a major who’s who of stars –Justin Bieber, Usher, Pink, Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown, Lupe Fiasco, Patti LaBelle and many more.
The Poo Bear project came together organically for de Souza.
“Initially, it was a broader music documentary,” de Souza says. “Buta mutual friend connected us. He [Poo Bear]was so charismatic. Even off the cameras we hit it off. I thought his story was more interesting than the one we were working on. Iwouldn’t have done that if i didn’t believe in it.
“There are alot of similarities between his story and mine. We both had early success, we both feltpeople we thought we could trust did us wrong. We both wanted to prove a lot of people wrong. His work ethic, his wife and family. It sort of ticked all the boxes for me.”
Committed: Australian filmmaker Macario de Souza, who directed Poo Bear: Afraid of Forever.
De Souza filmed Boyd over nine months, making several trips to the US and following Boyd for six to seven days at a time as he went about his business –meeting up in places like The Record Plant recording studio, an informal office studio with muso/jingle writerJared Gustadtin Santa Monica, the Malibu home of Robin Thicke, a hotel veranda with Latin star J Balvin.
In the end, the theme of the doco,“Afraid of Forever”, reflectshow driven Boyd is to succeed, even after years of success.Boyd only sleeps twohours a night, and is known to dofive studio sessions a day.
“The documentary had a lot of superstars, there were so many sessions and story lines,” de Souza says. “Butalot of them got shut down. They didn’t want the world to see they had writers behind the music.”
De Souza included several other sources in the film, including top music producers, who talk about how the industry works, how music is made. There is a particularly key segment where de Souza breaks down the three ways music is made: by artists alone, by producers and artists and the third way, which is where Boyd comes in, where music beds are made, then melody lines and lyrics and then the song is pitched to major artists and labels to find an artist who wants to pick up the song.
Boyd has a handful of Grammys and hundreds of song credits. Although he has plenty of self-doubt about becoming irrelevant, his track record shows nothing but respect for him.
“Poo Bear is an encyclopedia of ideas and melodies,” de Souza says. “It’s good to see how the best in the world do it.”
Poo Bear: Afraid of Forever, free on RedBullTV.