By Jack Barnes
Marv Middle is the emcee and recording artist alter ego of violinist and producer Marvillous Beats. Marv Middle is from New Rochelle, New York and is currently based in Hyattsville, Maryland. After taking a hiatus from rapping to produce other artist’s records for two years, Marv Middle is making a loud comeback with an original self-produced song called “Sanity”. This record features live musicians from the Washington, D.C. band Kontrolled Khaos.
Getmybuzzup: Tell us a little about yourself?
Marv Middle: I go by the name Marvillous Beats when I’m producing, mix engineering and playing the violin. When I’m songwriting and recording I go by the name Marv Middle.
Getmybuzzup: How long have you been in the music industry?
Marv Middle: I made my first collab with a major artist in 2011.
Getmybuzzup: How did you get started in the first place?
Marv Middle: I began making beats and posting them on SoundClick when I was 18 and a freshman at NYU-Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
Getmybuzzup: How would you describe your sound?
Marv Middle: I describe my sound as original classical music fused with hip-hop, pop, r&b, jazz, and soul.
Getmybuzzup: Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
Marv Middle: Timbaland, Nas, Kanye West, J. Cole, Pharrell, 9th Wonder, Phonte, Lupe Fiasco, Jay Z, Biggie, Kid Cudi, Pete Rock, J Dilla, Primo.
Getmybuzzup: How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?
Marv Middle: I begin with whatever inspired me to write the song either that be a melody I thought of, an exciting concept I’m passionate about at the moment or a sample that resonates with me.
Getmybuzzup: What is the concept behind your latest single “Sanity”?
Marv Middle: The song was originally written and recorded in 2011 over a sample that I couldn’t clear. Now with the experience and resources I have, I recreated the songs beat from top to bottom with musicians from my band Kontrolled Khaos. Sanity is a story about my current state of mind while moving through this current state of hip-hop. It’s also a major shout out to my label 3rd & 9th Records that was started by myself, my brother Len Lama, and best friend/artist Jesse Scott III.
Getmybuzzup: Any plans on touring to promote your latest single?
Marv Middle: Yes, I will be planning Spring & Summer performance as a soloist and with my band Kontrolled Khaos where I will feature Sanity in the setlist. Most shows will be in Washington, DC and span up the North East coast to Baltimore, Philly and New York City. If you want me to come to your town perform then play more of my music on streaming platforms so I can see you!
Getmybuzzup: At what age did you learn to play the violin?
Marv Middle: I was about 8 years old in 2nd grade when my older sister started taking private lessons and that inspired me to want to play too.
Getmybuzzup: What did you buy with your first check off music?
Marv Middle: I bought a lot of food, some clothes, and more music equipment and software.
Getmybuzzup: What are must-haves when you’re in the studio working?
Marv Middle: I absolutely need a midi keyboard for some reason it gives me the vibe to work. I also need decent monitor speakers, an interface that is FAST, my go-to software Studio One & FL Studio, and some peace and quiet.
Getmybuzzup: What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
Marv Middle: To always study the business and stay on top of things. You can position yourself really well when you have the knowledge to empower yourself.
Getmybuzzup: Will you be collaborating with any other artists on this project or in the future?
Marv Middle: Yeah naturally since I want to excel as a producer I plan to collab with a ton of musicians and recording artists of all genres. Also as an emcee, I will most likely work with other producers as well. They just have to be VERY business minded and understand that this isn’t a hobby.
Getmybuzzup: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Marv Middle: I ask myself that all the time. I’ve built fanbases for three different art forms (playing violin, rapping, making beats). I really don’t know I just hope no matter what I put out that someone from my collective fan base will appreciate it and share it/buy it.
Getmybuzzup: What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
Marv Middle: I think doing more public shows at notable venues is what my career desperately needs. I do a ton of private events that aren’t open to my fan base/public. I also need more bonafide hits. Many people know of my music and work but I need a piece that is recognized on a national level and that lives on for many years.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your all-time favorite song?
Marv Middle: I really like a bunch of Kanye West “golden-era” records from his album “Graduation” & “Late Registration”. I also love several records from Lupe Fiaso’s “Food & Liqour” & “The Cool” albums. Also to this day there are several early J. Cole records that have stood the test of time in my library of music as well as Nas, Biggie & Jay Z. I think “Kick Push” by Lupe Fiasco is definitely top 5 all time songs to me. I also have to put “Juicy” by Biggie in my top 5 songs of all time too. Somewhere in my top 5 will be a Michael Jackson song that I grew up listening to. I really loved “The Goofy Movie” growing up and Tevin Campbell’s “Eye to Eye” record from that movie is amazing so it goes in my top five. As a classically trained artist, I also have classical pieces too that I would say are in my top 5 like “Arrival of The Birds” by the Cinematic Orchestra and “Concerto in D Minor for Cello” by Bach which has been my favorite for over 15 years.
Getmybuzzup: What was the last album you listened to?
Marv Middle: I listened to the new Bullet For My Valentine album “Gravity” that dropped in 2018. I liked a bunch of songs on it. It reminded of my teenage years playing video games like Tony Hawk, Need For Speed and Madden.
Getmybuzzup: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Marv Middle: Hands down would have to be J. Cole – I would say Drake but J.Cole is an accomplished songwriter AND producer and he was able to stay true to his style throughout his whole career. It’s truly been a joy to watch and be a part of as a fan from 2010 when he was down the block at St. John’s University.
Getmybuzzup: Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
Marv Middle: Goldlink was super chill and was a lot of fun to perform with at NPR Tiny Desk. Also performing live with Wale in-front of a sold-out crowd in Silver Spring, Maryland was a dreamy experience. I also love working with my label co-owners Jesse Scott III and Len Lama as well as my band Kontrolled Khaos.
Getmybuzzup: How do you feel about the current state of music?
Marv Middle: It has never been in a better place. Streaming and profits are on the rise and technology has made entry so easy for anyone that has a passion for the music. The cream of the crop rise to the top eventually and it’s a beautiful thing.
Getmybuzzup: Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?
Marv Middle: I think the Oscar’s or Grammy’s would be a lot of fun to perform at.
Getmybuzzup: What is your main goal as far as music?
Marv Middle: My main goal is to establish a solid body of work that I am mostly responsible for writing, engineering and producing. I really love the process of making music and my goal is to recognized for being great at that.
Getmybuzzup: Who would you say your music relates to the most?
Marv Middle: My music relates to 25-35-year-old men and women the most for sure and after that would be the older baby-boomer demographic that really appreciates my violin-playing and my old school vibe.
Getmybuzzup: What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)
Marv Middle: I think to be a classical musician in an urban genre like Hip-Hop is the main thing that makes me stand out. Next would be the fact that I am the producer and mix engineer for a lot of my work as well as the performing artist and songwriter is what separates me from other artists. I’m the independent artist’s favorite independent artist.
Getmybuzzup: When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
Marv Middle: I love to read and play sports like basketball, football, and billiards. I often shoot around and play in flag football leagues. I played football in high school and basketball in college. I also like to consult younger musicians and artists.
Getmybuzzup: If you could work with any producer who would it be?
Marv Middle: Timbaland without a doubt. Ryan Leslie too. Also ANY producers from Jamla Records, Mello Music Group, TDE, and Dreamville.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Marv Middle: I think performing live with Wale, having one my solo shows aired live on DC50 news channel, producing for Tory Lanez, being interviewed for going viral with the Shiggy Challenge on Fox 5 DC, and performing with Goldlink on NPR Tiny Desk was my biggest highlights.
Getmybuzzup: What is your dream venue to perform at?
Marv Middle: I’ve actually performed there already but I really loved Carnegie Hall. I would LOVE to perform at a professional sports stadium or a huge concert hall like The Anthem in Washington, DC.
Getmybuzzup: What artist music are you currently a fan of?
Marv Middle: I recently had time to check out Rico Nasty and she’s super dope so I will be listening to more of her stuff. I also really enjoy Donny Arcade I found him on Instagram. I think the artists I’m REALLY digging right now are Nipsey Hussle, Nicole Bus, Rapsody, and Arianna Grande.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live what are some of the things you do to get the crowd involved?
Marv Middle: I introduce myself and try to introduce my records before I play them. I also tell the crowd my website and social media and ask them to tag me in any videos. Lastly, I try to play my popular records that I know someone may have come to specifically see me perform.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live and the crowd is singing along how does that energy make you feel?
Marv Middle: It’s the best motivator and ice-breaker.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom?
Marv Middle: Timbaland “The Emperor of Sound” is SO good. I’m about to finish that and move on to Maurice White’s “My Life With Earth, Wind, & Fire” as well as Dame Dash’s “Culture Vulture’s”, Dj Khaled’s “The Keys” and the famous “The Art of War” book.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your favorite sports team and why?
Marv Middle: I’m a Knicks fan since I’m a die-hard New Yorker. When I began watching basketball in the late 90’s they were the coolest to me and my mom liked watching them. Likewise, I became a Jets fan too when I started watching football in the early 2000s.
Getmybuzzup: Who’s your favorite actor or actress and their best movie?
Marv Middle: I always go with Will Smith on this question since his catalog is just so deep and he’s an amazing person. He also had one of the best scenes of all time during the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I’m sure many people know the one I’m talking about. Actress, I’m going with Taraji. Her talent, personality, and story are amazing.
Getmybuzzup: What can we expect from you in the future?
Marv Middle: You can expect two albums that are coming out. One is the debut Kontrolled Khaos band album called “Let Love” dropping in April 2019. The other is my compilation album that I’m executive producing called “Maestro Finesse” which doesn’t have a drop date yet. It will most likely be released mid or late summer.
Getmybuzzup: Anything else you wanna add?
Marv Middle: I do so many things to service independent artists including production, mixing, consultations, courses, and violin features. Feel free to contact me! I also do weddings, birthdays and all kind of events.
Getmybuzzup: Where can the fans check out for your music?
Stream More & Follow Marvillous Beats on Social Media:
Social Media – @MarvillousBeats
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2lJnZEr
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Gmbu Throwback: [Music Review] Marv Middle – Sanity