dragan andic

How Dragan Andic went from college student to joining Drake's tour with Roy Woods

It's been an exciting last few years for director and photographer Dragan Andic, the mind behind popular creative moniker the.97.

Still early in his career, Andic has produced music videos and taken photographs for artists like Drake, the Weeknd, Roy Woods, Nav and Savannah Ré.

Despite working with such talented acts, Andic never considered a future in the arts. In the beginning, he was set on playing professional soccer before a leg injury forced him to the sidelines back in 2015.

The downtime led him to pursue photography. It wasn't long until Andic was introduced to Roy Woods - a Canadian singer-and-rapper signed to Drake's label, OVO Sound.

This relationship would later open the door for Andic to go on Drake's Aubrey & the Three Migos Tour to photograph Woods as the opening act. It also caused Andic to miss the majority of his final year at Humber College.

Andic has had no shortage of incredible opportunities since then, having photographed the Weeknd's The Legend Of The Fall Tour in 2017 and the After Hours Til Dawn Tour last year.

During this time Andic also became a music video director and established his production company, the .97 collective.

 Since 2021, Andic has also dedicated his time at a series of events called Moments. The recurring networking event features panel discussions and conversations where established artists give insights and answer questions about how to get ahead in the creative industries. 

Andic and I chatted before the most recent Moments. The event was the third in the series and like the other two was completely sold out.

What does Moments mean to you?

It started off as an art show but it's transformed into so much more. It's transformed into a networking event. I got such good feedback on the last one I just had to do a third. What makes me most happy is when people say they met and started working together. It's helping keep creativity alive in this city.

Dragan Andic

The audience at Dragan Andic's Moments III show in Toronto. Photo by Taylor Patterson.

The Toronto creative community is often known for being exclusive at times, how did you overcome these obstacles and forge such strong relationships with people in the industry?

It was stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things that 99 per cent of people wouldn't do. It was going to class and leaving halfway through to go shoot a set downtown for free.

It all stems back to networking. I remember feeling a little lost back in 2014 and messaging Christo [Anesti; former co-founder of KID.Studio, one of Toronto's most prolific music video production companies]: "I'm a photographer from the city, here's my work, I see you do music videos, I'd love to capture behind-the-scenes."

A week later he messaged me saying he had a Roy Woods video and the rest is history. My life changed after that.

What's next for the .97?

We'd love to do the next Moments in New York and Los Angeles. But my long-term goal is filmmaking...it's movies. I feel like we can bring a whole new world of cinematic edge to film.

I truly believe our team could do a Netflix movie or a motion picture. We have the skill and creativity to capture the shots, we just need to work on storytelling and that will come.

How can people get in touch with you and the work you're doing in the city?

We always put out advertisements for our sets. We encourage people to send in their portfolio because we're always looking for more BTS photographers, videographers, and production assistants.

We have so many roles to fill and we've given many people the chance to work on our projects no matter the size - big or small.

Dragan Andic

Dragan Andic speaks at his Moments III show in Toronto. Photo by Taylor Patterson.

Do you have any words of wisdom for the creators out there?

Invest in yourself. I don't just mean money, I mean time, equipment, passion, hard work. Give it everything and see how it goes. It really is a 50/50 chance. You could succeed heavily or you could fail. It's okay to find your niche.

I started as a landscape photographer and I didn't know until a year and a half in that it wasn't for me. You don't know how far you can take it unless you put in the hours to get to where you want to be. Trust the process. Be patient.

Lead photo by

Andre Santos


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