“People will argue that cannabis is seen as a vice, but I see cannabis as a device” Dontae Catlett
interwebs brought Dontae to my door. Metaphorically of course because we haven’t met as of yet! All that I asked is below and the answers speak from his heart. Enter Dontae Catlett. Self-assured, confident and a born entrepreneur in the visual arts of cannabis. I caught a snippet of a checkered past, we all have our ideas of what that means. I can not imagine, yet I can understand. Graffiti? Yeah, I know about that. Just ask. Or maybe not. Some things are just not meant to be spoken about. And art school? I’m hopeful that more kids go to art school. That impresses me far more than business school.
I love to see artists in a place of intellectualism. There is hope for our world, but without art we are lost. Dontae gets it and through the understanding of the universe there are visual metaphors to also understand then put to work. And what fun work he has created.
WB: Tell me about yourself? Where do you fit into the Cannabis Industry? What did you do before you did this? Where are you from? What was your first idea of what you wanted to be when you ‘grew’ up? Has it changed much?
My name’s Dontae Catlett, I’m 26 years old, born and raised in San Francisco CA, and I’m a cannabis entrepreneur. I’m the founder of “Loaded Up Entertainment” one of the worlds fastest growing cannabis digital media companies.
art & hustling. I thought about it for a while and it just didn’t make sense. “I was going to art school which required more general education … All over again.” The equipment & software we were using was going to be obsolete in 4 years, and I was going to be in debt of eighty thousand dollars-plus! So I decided to call their bluff and dropout. I invested in some camera equipment and started my next venture. Keep in mind this was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do in my life. I’m sure like most of us we didn’t want to embarrass or let down our parents.
Luckily for me, fate was on my side. I met two filmmakers that literally changed my life. David Camerena & Julian Edward we’re shooting music videos for people like Wiz Khalifa, Berner, IAMSU, Kehlani, P-Lo, Kool John and more. Keep in mind we were all 20 years old. I directed my first music video and my career in the music industry began. In between these music video gigs a new frontier opened up, Social Media. I knew something special was about to happen. I remember discovering YouTube, Vine, and Instagram. I predicted that every brand would need consistent daily content and that we were the modern-day celebrities. This is when I started managing influencers YouTube channels, and offering my services to agencies that connected me with brands like Coca – Cola, Mercedes Benz, and Levis.
WB: Why Cannabis? Tell me about what you’re doing right now?
DC: 2016 was a huge turning point in my life. Being an artist you get tired of creating content that you don’t feel inspired to create. Working in the music industry you’re constantly surrounded by cannabis, at shows, in the studio, on set it’s literally everywhere! While medicating with cannabis I experienced life in a different way. My stress was lower, my anxiety was non-existent, and my creative level was at an all-time high. The one thing you can’t control while you’re under the influence of cannabis is time. You can quickly get distracted and waste a lot of time looking for entertaining content, constantly jumping from platform to platform. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and had an interesting thought. “If someone was recording me this would be pretty hilarious to watch while high.” I must’ve been doing something pretty funny at the time. But I quickly went onto YouTube and what I found shocked me. There wasn’t any high-quality consistent content that entertained & educated people surrounding cannabis. If you look at modern day television there’s not one network that solely focuses on producing cannabis content. Sure they might have one series or a couple of episodes. This was huge for me and Loaded Up Entertainment was born. We built an organic audience from the beginning and listened to our viewers about what they wanted from us. We went from 1 episode a week to a year straight of daily uploads.
WB: Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to prepare? Who taught you? Mother? Father? Television cooking shows?
DC: I love food and so does my family! Being both Filipino & African American put me into a cultural mixing pot … LITERALLY. Luckily for me, my high school offered cooking classes. Taking 3 years of cooking can teach a person A LOT! An enormous amount of high schools cut cooking classes out of their programs, which is sad. That’s the problem with our world today too many people are lazy and don’t know how to cook for themselves but would rather spend money on lousy fast food. With that said I’m actually vegan and have been for 2 years. Before switching to a strict plant-based lifestyle my favorite food to cook was fried garlic shrimp with garlic noodles and a mixed vegetable fried rice. Today I would tell you that my favorite dish to cook is vegan lasagna. To those who have had bad encounters with vegan food don’t worry. Like I said I love food and know what great food tastes like so I will never steer you wrong.
WB: If you could be anywhere in the world, right now, where would that be? Doing what? With whom?
DC: If I could be anywhere in the world right now I would love to be sitting on one of the many beautiful islands of the Philippines. A white sandy beach, crystal clear water, the perfect weather. Surrounded next to me would be my closest friends and family members enjoying dinner, smoking a joint, as we all watch the sunset.