text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation


Filmmaker Series • E5

Los Angeles artist Tolliver uses his music to reconcile who he is today with his Baptist upbringing and childhood.

Tolliver blends R&B, soul, funk, and hip-hop into an alluring sound that's all him. After getting his musical start in church, Tolliver's music explores the relationship between his identity as a Black bisexual man and his religious upbringing. His new EP, Thin Black Duke grapples with sex, money, hedonism, and self-control—themes that weave in and out of his unfiltered, raw lyrics.Photos by Emma Cole

Tolliver posed dramatically in a stairwell showing off his white Docs. Overlaid is the text "Truth be told I keep going because I don't know how to stop"

“Performing live was my whole thing, so my process has changed a lot. What I've done is channel that energy into videos ... and learning to incorporate music into said videos.”

A collage of Tolliver in various scenarios depecting his lifestyle and depicting him creating music.

“I’ll never stop no matter what. We could be 3000 leagues under the sea and I’ll still be texting you the flyer to my show at Bikini Bottom.”

A collage of Tolliver in various places, including on the street & in a bar wearing a whtie suit and a face-mask.


1. Ali Roberto

Director Alison Roberto takes a dive into the grit and passion of the LA music scene with her films, the product of a lifelong vision.

2. Gabriel Gomez

NY Filmmaker Gabriel Gomez uses these unprecedented times to hone in on what matters to him and the musicians in his community.

3. Lauren Ruth Ward

Lauren Ruth Ward is a musician, stylist, photographer, and more than the sum of her parts, seeking ways to connect without in-person shows.

4. Rosehardt

Caleb Eberhardt has always used his music to connect with others. Now, he's working to use his platform and leave a legacy of social change.

5. Tolliver

Los Angeles artist Tolliver uses his music to reconcile who he is today with his Baptist upbringing and childhood.

6. Cautious Clay

Music is the most natural form of expression for musician/producer Cautious Clay, who is using his art to navigate the turbulence of 2020.

7. Blimes & Gab

Blimes & Gab blended their unique styles to create Talk About It. Now, they're braving the highs and lows of releasing an album mid-pandemic.

8. Sunflower Bean

Lifelong musicians and members of Sunflower Bean are leaning on each other, their music, and the politics of their art to continue creating.

9. NEZ

NEZ, Los Angeles-based music artist and producer, focuses on cultivating a creative space where he can express himself in the truest form possible.

10. Orion Sun

Despite the dark early days of lockdown, singer, producer, and songwriter Orion Sun is finding the light by learning to live on her own terms.

11. The Regrettes

The Regrettes are looking within for inspiration and learning to let go as their non-stop touring lifestyle slows in the midst of lockdown.

12. Stuyedeyed

NYC band Stuyedeyed is focusing on what they can control: creating music they believe in, and through that, inciting change.

13. duendita

Brooklyn-based artist duendita uses her time in lockdown to find well-deserved rest and focuses on expressing her deepest self through her music.

14. Frankie and the Witch Fingers


Powered by the explosive energy they usually channel onstage, Los Angeles band Frankie and the Witch Fingers uses art to engage their community.

Back to Filmmaker Series