Greenpoint attracts creatives of all kinds: musicians and designers, filmmakers and visual artists. Tony Stewart’s work blends each of these mediums, and while Greenpoint did not attract him from afar, you could still say he loves the nabe: he’s Brooklyn born and bred, and has lived in Greenpoint his whole life.
Here, Tony discusses the diversity of his work, how he came to sync up with musician Keyon Christ, and the origin story of his bad-ass brand name Ashtraypunk.
Greenpointers: Hi Tony! Nice to connect with a fellow Greenpoint-based artist. Your work spans a couple of mediums; can you briefly describe for us what you do?
Tony Stewart: I produce music! I work on a whole lot of product design and cinematography too, but right now I like expressing myself through sound design. It’s super dope!
How did you get involved with Keyon Christ? That sounds like a great opportunity.
I met him over the internet when I was in high school. I thought his sound was insane then! Like super! He went to produce for Kanye & Rihanna too so it was reassuring me I wasn’t the only one thinking he was otherworldly. He’s insane still!
You’ve been in the neighborhood for basically your whole life, right? How has this neighborhood evolved and influenced your craft?
I was born in Brooklyn Hospital. I spent most of my time in all the parks here. I essentially grew up in Dupont St. and Milton Park. It’s the energy though! That definitely influences my process. We’re always trying to find something awesome to do here. Plus Greenpoint looks and feels really refreshing at night.
Is Ashtraypunk like a business name or a pseudonym? Or the name of your brand? It’s so fun, how’d you come up with it?
It was super random: One day I was smoking, ashing on this boutique Roman ceramic ashtray and watching Daft Punk’s Alive 2007 set. I spontaneously came up with “Ashtraypunk”. Now you can literally google me! I’ve created my own little sub genre.
What artistic ventures have you followed during the pandemic (if any — it’s been a rough moment!) and what projects do you look forward to in the coming months?
The pandemic allowed me to focus a little more on my cinematography practice. I was always trying to tell stories through visuals since I was about 10 or 12 years old. Figuring out a way to express myself. What I’m doing now I think is no different from when I was a kid. It’s just a whole lot cooler now! I also look at projects as different design languages.
Thank you for your time and work!
Let’s have fun this year! See more at ashtraypunk.com.