Konee Rok, music video and documentary maker
Konee Rok is a Chicago music video and documentary director. He’s directed music videos, documentaries and commercials featuring Grammy Award winner Rhymefest, Kanye West, Raekwon, rapper Cassidy, Little Jon and DJ Jazzy Jeff of the Fresh Prince.
And now he graciously directs this Q & A – thanks Konee!
1) Is there a story (that you’ve been told) about where your name comes from?
A sober individual drove backwards, over and through a 30 foot path of orange traffic cones arranged on a drivers education course; then continued off the road, through a chain link fence and into a high school soccer field with an active game.
2) What does your name mean to you? Do YOU think you have a great name?
It means to disregard the standard rules, which is a terrible/awesome habit of mine.
Is it “great”? Well, let’s take a look:
With “Konee” we have a playful, off beat double syllable sound. And then we have “Rok”, a counteracting single syllable with a strong, finite sound. So, phonetically, it is well balanced with a kind indirect ambiguity ending in curt definition.
Aesthetically it has some appeal: KO-NE-ER-OK . There’s a lot of symmetry going on here. An even amount of letters, a perfectly centered “double E” and a miracular front & end sandwich of “K-O” & “O-K”.
3) Is it good or bad – or perhaps a bit of both – to have a distinctive name?
It depends on what you do. Distinction is generally positive for me since I make films and break (dance). Intentional public displays.
The down side though is (a.) mispronunciation (b.) misinterpretation and (c.) misspellings:
a. Even though it is pronounced with an “O” sound, as in “kO-nee”, a lot of people say it with an “ah” sound like, “kAH-nee”. Sometimes I correct people, but sometimes I don’t feel like it & figure eventually they’ll figure it out. Many times they won’t learn.
b. Also, probably 9 times out of 10, when I tell people my name they hear it as “Tony”. This never fails. So I’m always introducing myself by saying, “like Tony, but with a “K””.
c. Spelling wise, my email & website KoneeRok.com are my name, but people never get there because they are always adding unwarranted “C’s” into the spelling and doubling the “N” amazingly. This happens both intentionally & subconsciously; so what can you really do?
4) Do you care what others think of your name? What reactions from others have you encountered over the years?
Nobody has said to me, “I hate your name”…yet, but I fear it everyday. My wife likes it enough to take on the “Rok” surname, so you can’t argue w that.
5) Do you have a favorite name you’ve come across over the years?
Probably my daughters name: Emjay Luna Rok. Either her name or there’s this other guy out there named Delorean Blow. I think they may have to fight to the death for the top name award.