WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Travis "Rithem" Williamson has been a dancer, designer, producer and videographer. Most of all, though, the White Plains resident loves to entertain.
In 2004, Williamson, 39, set a goal for himself: create a brand and make it transcend the individual, in the fashion of men like Russell Simmons, Jay Z and Sean "P.Diddy" Combs.
In January 2011, he founded his own production company, Media Monsters, which he said people are often surprised to find out is a one-man operation.
"I came up with Media Monsters because people think its multiple people, but its just one man with a camera," he said. "I'm video taping simultaneous to taking pictures, bouncing back and forth and editing it all. At the end of the day, I really want to be a marketing mogul."
About 20 years prior, Rithem's first step into entertainment was on cardboard as a break dancer. He entered talent shows in eighth and ninth grades, where he said he earned his nickname, "Rithem." While doing background dancing during high school for rap artists like DMX, he also learned how to sew and soon began designing his own clothes, a skill he used to create clothes for friends.
"After a while it became a business," said Williamson, who wore all 10 outfits he designed for his first fashion show in 1992. "I never intended it to become a business, but it did. So I was 'Rithem the designer.'"
After getting a taste of video and editing while working with rap artist NEPHEW in 2004, Williamson took his talents to White Plains Public Access television and created his own show called the "College Blok." He said it was a slow process, but when he changed the name to "Media Monsters" and launched the company soon after, "Media Monsters just blew up."
Last summer, Williamson began a new project with Torey Thomas, a White Plains native who plays professional basketball in Russia, to promote his career. He hopes the campaign will allow him to expand and produce more material and create jobs. For now, it has allowed him to purchase the "Media Monsters" van to promote both parties.
"My drive has always been to help people," he said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.