If this is your first introduction to the style and sounds of this young DJ, take notice and welcome to the world of MARVELiTO. The twenty-two year old Hofstra University senior and Amherst, Massachusetts native was kind enough to release his mixtape through 20 Watts in which he offers a refreshing dose of dance music, drawing from multiple genres. Contemporary R&B, drum and bass, and trap all make an appearance as Marv impressively navigates across the landscape of rump-shakin’ music on his newest tape.
From the outset of the mix, Marv’s unique sound is obvious. Starting with a brief monologue courtesy of the late, great Houston DJ/Producer, DJ Screw, from the song “June 27.” This move is a proverbial tip of the cap to a musician that has shaped the sound of contemporary hip-hop and trap music. While some of the artists featured in the mix are well known, MARVELiTO shows that he has a knack for finding dope, lesser-known acts, something he talks about with 20 Watts below.
Although his mix goes all over, from DJ Screw’s Houston hip-hop to trap like Electric Bodega and R&B like Toronto’s PARTYNEXTDOOR, there is a cohesive sound and idea behind the tape. It is an impressive display of aesthetic consistency, while also having the aforementioned multitude of influence and genre. Marvel has an impressive and distinct ear for sounds that keep your head bobbing and feet tapping, making the mixtape the perfect thing to party (or study) to.
While Marvel is a student at Hofstra University in Long Island, he has SU connections that make him an honorary Orangeman. His creative partner and promoter, Mike Friedman, is a senior advertising/marketing major at ‘Cuse and has booked gigs at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and DJ’s On the Hill’s Halloween party “Nightmare on Marshall St.” So, we can only hope MARVELiTO brings his talents back to Central New York sometime soon. In the meantime while you wait for his return to campus, check out his SoundCloud and follow him on Twitter @MarvelSauce. The mix is featured below as well as a Q&A with the man behind the tables, MARVELiTO.
I was able to correspond with Marvel and ask him about the mixtape, his influences and music in general.
You pull from a lot of different genres, R&B and trap to name a few, is that something you do on purpose or does it come naturally?
I was always into just mixing a lot of different genres. The DJs I hung out with when I was younger were always mixing everything from hip-hop to R&B to dancehall to drum and bass, so I was always surrounded by different kinds of styles being mashed together… It’s kinda funny, I didn’t really meet DJs who mixed only one genre until I was older.
What (or who) are some of your more important musical influences? How do your influences affect the music you make? What were some of the things you listened to as a kid?
There are a lot of newer DJs that I mess with heavy, but a DJ that I really look up to is Mix Master Mike. He always keeps his sets fresh and new with the selection but still brings that older funky kinda style to them. I really enjoy listening to DJs who really have their own personal style on the decks. You don’t gotta be the best turntablist or the best producer, as long as you are doin’ something creative and new on the decks.
My parents brought me up listening to all kind of different music. I guess hip-hop was really the stuff I was into early on though, which I got into through my older cousin who used to bump Ruff Ryderz, Dipset and stuff like that. I first started listening by taking her CDs, and as I got older I would discover more music on my own. Through hip-hop I was able to get into the more electronic side of things like house and drum and bass, through watching different DJs play back home.
In your mix there are a lot of local, or more unknown, artists. Are you trying to actively expose new artists or is that simply the way the mix worked out?
Yeah definitely, I decided to go a little bit of a different route with this mix compared to my previous ones. This mix is just a bunch of artists I really enjoyed over the past year or so, and some brand new stuff as well. In this mix I’ve featured artists such as Ta-Ku, Partynextdoor or Rico Love which many listeners may already have heard before, but I also got artists like Rome Fortune, Lil Texas, and Yung Gud, among a bunch of others, whom some of y’all may not have heard of. It’s these artists that I think are going to do big things and make dope music in the future.
When you sit down to make a mix do you have a goal? Is there a specific sound or song sequence that you have thought out already? Or do you just dive into a mix and see what happens?
I usually just jump into it, but the mix that I’m making is usually just me mixing joints that I’m listening to on my own time or playing at parties. I want the mix to really reflect what you might hear if you hear me play a set live or just me mixing in my room.
How long have you been making music/DJing?
I got my first turntables when I was in the 8th grade and started really playing out at parties and stuff like that when I was 17 or so. So I guess that makes it four or five years now that I have really been playin’ out.
What is the best part of making a mix? What is the worst part?
I just like listening to music, so when I’m making a mix I’m just putting together all the stuff I’m really into at that point in time. With this mix especially I tried to reach for records that I think need more shine and bring them to a new audience. As a DJ I think that it’s important for us to be able to break records or, on another level, just introduce a listener to a new artist or style that they never heard before, but might really dig.
1. Electric Bodega – Control The City (MARVELiTO Intro Edit)
2. L S D X O X O Ft. Uniique – Burn
3. Yung Gud – Hello
4. Jeff Replay – Either Way
5. Djemba Djemba – Chronic Heart Failure
6. Future x Niko Jovan x HLTRSKLTR – Honest vs. ACTAVIS (MARVELiTO Edit)
7. FS Green – Girls Girls Girls
8. HOUDINNE – Amish Engles
9. Ta-ku – Hey Justin Pt. II
10. Hydrabadd – Sanctuary ft. Abra (Taste Tester Remix)
11. Tchami – Promesses
12. The Dream ft. Jay Z – High Art (Matic808 x Brenmar Remix)
13. Stwo – Liz (Arnold x Lil Texas Remix)
14. Thomas Gold – Rainbow Dolphins
15. Casey Veggies x Rockie Fresh – Circle
16. R. Kelly – Cookie (Tim Dolla Remix)
17. Taiki & Nulight – Late Nights (Loop)
18. Sevyn Streeter – It Won’t Stop (G-Buck Remix)
19. Partynextdoor – Break From Toronto
20. Rico Love – They Don’t Know
21. Rome Fortune x Miloh Smith – They Don’t Know
22. Cyril Hahn – Perfect Form (Rey Ruccio Remix)
Image courtesy of Mike Friedman