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Artist Spotlight: Marvin.



The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has a rich tradition of blending new-wave R&B with hip-hop. Establishing his own lane in that tradition is Marvin., a Brampton-based singer hungry to put his city on the map. After releasing EP's, "Beware of a Dog" and "Monday: Vol. 1", Marvin. is back with his new single "Way Out". The smooth vocals and lulling guitar juxtapose the lyrics, in which Marvin. discusses the dangers of trying to get out of the GTA, and what he's willing to do to make it happen.

Marvin. has a big year coming up. With two projects underway and a whole slew of singles ready to drop, Marvin. is eyeing 2021 as the year he makes his mark. In the meantime, he sat down with us to answer some questions about how he got started, his new single, and what his plans are for this year.

 

How did you first get into making music? Was there a moment you knew this was what you wanted to do?


My musical journey started when I joined the church choir at 8 years old. Interestingly enough, I didn’t really pursue it until around 22. For me, making music was more so a hobby I tried to hide from everyone. One day in 2018 I was sitting alone on break at my 9 to 5 just singing. One of my co-workers overheard me and told me that I can really sing. It just so happened that he was a part of a hip-hop collective called Fargone and the whole group really encouraged me to take music seriously. I eventually joined forces with two of my childhood friends Tony and Fre who now act as my manager and creative director, respectively—and we formed the label Risk It All. From that point on I noticed that I could actually turn this music thing into a career.


Your music marries R&B melodies with rap cadences, 808 beats with acoustic samples. Talk to me about your influences and where your sound comes from?


My fondest childhood memory involving music has to be Sunday cleaning with my father while we listened to Michael Jackson. The song “You Rock My World” comes to mind in particular. My dad was also a musician and I remember trying to mirror the way he sang the notes to the song. I definitely wasn’t as good as him, but he subconsciously inspired me to fine-tune my music intelligence and really understand music on a more thorough level. Of the more recent artist, however, I really take a lot from 6lack especially when it comes to his lyricism and cadences. He’s also able to show a vulnerable side and juxtapose that with either dark and gritty vibes or more up-beat music that’s made for party environments. I always try and show that versatility and relevance in everything I make.

You clearly put on for Brampton and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). What does it mean to be an artist from that area and how has it inspired you?


Growing up in Brampton was really cool, we have so many different cultures, so many people from different economic backgrounds, it’s definitely one of the more diverse cities in the GTA. With that being said I really appreciate how I’m able to take so much knowledge and experience from all walks of life and apply that to myself. I grew up in Knightsbridge which is characterized by most as a grittier part of Brampton but I don’t see it that way at all. The amount of creatives that come out of that area is astonishing. Whether it be my team or established creatives like 4YallEntertainment and RUSSELL!, Knightsbridge is a hotbed for art, and the circumstances we grew up in only make us hungrier to win. Brampton as a city however is doing well, it’s breeding entertainers and even athletes, and besides all the slander put on my cities name, I really feel like it has the quickest growing scene within the GTA.


Your new song “Way Out”, talks about the struggles of being from and trying to escape the GTA. Can you talk a little bit about that and how the song tries to address it?


Within the GTA, individuals who begin to reach that level of prominence usually get chopped down at the roots. In more recent memory, our city's top artists are either falling victim to gun violence or prey to the criminal justice system. Like I said in “Way Out”, it’s really important for me to stay low-key while I’m making waves because that’s the only way to prosper in the Screwface capital. When looking at most of the artists who get signed in our city, it’s usually those who keep their heads down and focus on their craft who are successful. I once heard a saying: you’re either in the streets or industry. That saying couldn’t be more real, especially in today’s Toronto music scene.

You’re scheduled to release a lot of music in 2021. Did you find it easier or harder to be able to create all this music in quarantine?


It was certainly easier for me to create more hits during the quarantine. Since everything was locked down and there was more or less nowhere to go, I had no option but to sit down in my at-home studio and create. For a period of time, it was actually refreshing knowing that my only responsibility all day every day was music and I got a chance to see how making music as a career felt. It also helped that I live in a house with other creatives and seeing all of them work on their craft while restricted to our home motivated and inspired me, even more, to go harder. With that being said it’s really fulfilling to be able to say that I have a lot of heat coming out this year. It seems now that every week my team has a new favorite song of mine, and that positive reinforcement is all I need to keep going.

What should fans of Marvin. be most excited for this year?


2020 and 2021 have been two completely different stories for myself and the whole Risk It All team. Everyone around me is really upping their game and trying to strive the farthest they can, but none of this is possible without our supporters and family—so it’s only right to give back to my people. Risk It All plans to reciprocate that love for the remainder of the year. When it comes to music we got some summer heaters that we’re gonna get jumping in the clubs and a year-ending tape that will really show a different side of Marvin. If you talk to my creative director Fre, he’ll tell you that we’re no longer doing music videos this year... straight movies. Risk It All as a whole also plans to organize a charity basketball game that is dependent on Ontario’s COVID laws going forward, along with many other initiatives with the goal to give back to our community.


Follow Marvin. on TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | LINKTR.EE



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