INTERVIEW WITH WIL.B OF THE PHENOMENAL HIP-HOP DUO FROM SOUTH FLORIDA, BLACK VIOLIN.
ART HIVE: How did you guys get together and where did your musical backgrounds originate from?
WIL.B: Kevin and I met in orchestra class in high school. Classical music was all we did except sometimes after class we would experiment a little. We both went our separate ways for college—I went to Florida State University and Kev Marcus studied at FIU (Florida International University).
Going to college was very different for the both of us. I decided to move back down from Tallahassee and that’s when we got together and started producing and working on music. I wanted to be the next major producers like the Neptunes and Timbaland.
AH: You blend together hip hop and classical music to make a sound all your own Where did the inspiration come from tocombine the two musical styles?
WB: The idea to combine hip-hop and classical was something that was very natural for us to do. We were hip-hop before classical so for us it was very natural to combine these two worlds in a very organic way. Hip-hop is about expressing yourself so we took this instrument that we were familiar with and we decided to express ourselves in a way that no one’s ever done before.
AH: You have worked with some very influential names in music. What inspires you most about working with other creatives and are there any new collaborations you have coming up?
WB: It’s always exciting to work with the new musicians and artists because you get another perspective on just how to approach music. And that’s what music is all about—there’s no one way to do it, there’s no perfect way—it’s about expressing, learning and adapting. We have a new album coming out in 2018 so look out for new collaborations on the record.
AH: Are there any artists, dead or alive, that you’d love to collaborate with?
WB: Artists that I would love to collaborate with are Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Coldplay—to name a few. As long as an artist can understand and respect where you’re coming from musically then we can collaborate with anyone.
AH: Where do your musical inspirations come from? Are there any other outlets or media that helps inspire your work?
WB: Our musical inspiration comes from a lot of different places. We speak to kids quite a bit and kids inspire us to continue to push this unity and inclusive message. We’re also inspired by a lot of artists—like the Curtis Mayfields of the world. The world inspires us to continue to create music that would help and inspire others.
AH: What projects do you have planned for the upcoming year?
WB: We’re currently working on our new album that will hopefully come out the summer of 2018.
AH: What advice would you share with a creative person who wants to break into the music industry?
WB: The advice that I would give to someone who is inspired to get into the music industry is to be yourself. Be who you are and who you were created to be. Black Violin already exists, Wil Baptiste already exists...we need more of you!
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