Marvinmarvelous features as a veteran DJ and Producer, whose origin began in the dance music scene from an early age with surrounding influences like Motown, R&B, Jazz, and Classic Rock. Fast-forwarding to the current day, Marvinmarvelous has Produced an impressive discography of House anthems along the likes of ‘All I Do’, ‘Boys and Girls’, and ‘Harvard Soul’. His talent for the art of music production has taken him far in his career, considering his sounds have reached international levels in such countries as France, Spain, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Join Marvinmarvelous as he continues to develop his skills with a unique blend of Deep House, Electro House, and R&B in his sets.
Hi Marvinmarvelous, tell us a little bit about yourself? (Name, age, where you’re from, what you do, etc).
My birth name is Marvin Butler. I grew up in Springfield, MA. I’m a child of the ’60s and ’70s. I’ve started in music at the age of 7, first learning drums and then moving on to bass guitar in high school. My first paying gigs started when I was 14 years old, playing in a band called I.C.E., which by the way was singer Natalie Cole’s first band when she was in college. We played mostly for college beer bashes, clubs, and private events. I played drums at the time, and being the youngest in the band, I learned a lot about how to not overplay and stay in the pocket. Later, in my college years in Daytona Beach, FL, I was a DJ for the local radio station, which taught me how to put together an entertaining show. I was also DJing for local parties and clubs, and that’s where I learned to watch the crowd. If you watch them, they will always let you know which direction you should take your DJ set to. I started recording and producing when I moved out to Los Angeles in the ’80s. I did mostly R&B early on, and after I heard “Finally” by Cece Peniston, and “Show me love” by Robin S, I was hooked on house music. I’ve been a house head ever since then. Now my focus is moving more in the Tech House direction, with a little Afro House thrown in there. I’ve also been working with some Latino artists producing Spanish Trap and Reggaeton for them.
How were you first introduced to music and when did you realize this is what you wanted to do?
My mom always had music in the house. She listened to everything from James Brown to the Beatles to Frank Sinatra. She really liked Brazilian music, and is still one of my favorite songs is “Girl from Ipanema” by Antonio Carlos Jobim. When I was young, all of my friends were musicians, we would get together and play in our parent’s basements, and for local talent shows. Some of the best musicians I know today are still the guys I grew up with. Guys like Rock guitarist Tony McAlpine, and Jazz bassist Avery Sharpe were some of the musicians from my city. After college, I decided to go the business route and work for a living, but I’ve always played music on the side. About 10 years ago I finally took the leap and started DJing and Producing full time, and I haven’t looked back since then.
Who are your main musical influences?
I tend to pick up a little bit of something from a lot of different types of artists. My harmonies come from jazz artists like Joe Sample and George Duke, who could play these beautifully layered chords over a simple melody. Producers like Sonny Fodera, Oliver Heldens, and Diplo for their clarity in their productions. I was also in the studio with Y-Dapt, an Italian producer, before the pandemic, and I picked up a couple of ideas from him. I’m kind of a mutt as far as musical influences are concerned.
What are some of your greatest achievements so far?
In music, one of the greatest achievements has been to actually make a living in the music business. This last year and a half has been difficult for a lot of people, but I wasn’t affected as much because I had some movie scoring projects, and also various artists that had lined up to produce. This business is not easy during normal times, and I give props to anyone that pays their bills by doing what we love to do.
What would be your dream label to release on?
As an electronic artist, I think Spinnin Records would be a great place to start. They have a great mix of artists there that put out some really great dance music. Of course Ultra would be good too, they not only have the label, but they have a built-in performance network.
Who would you love to collaborate on a track with?
I love to do something with Sonny Fodera, I really like his vibe and I think we could come up with something unique.
Which one of your releases would you recommend listening to that best describes you as an artist?
I put my first album came out a couple of years ago, and it was a mix of music that I really wanted to record, an album to listen to, and not mainly for the dance floor. My latest song “All I do” is a really nice smooth house song. I’m currently finishing up an EP of Tech House club bangers that should be out in the next couple of months.
If you could produce any other genre of music, what would it be and why?
The great thing for me it that I’ve been able to have my hands in many types of music lately. I’ve been scoring some short films, and I’ve been working with some Pop vocalists. But, I wanted to move more towards a Tech House brand of music, and that’s what I’m doing on the project I’m working on now.
What is your ultimate career goal?
I would love to continue to make good dance music, and be able to tour more with the music that I’ve made.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself? (not music-related).
I’m an avid Harley Davidson rider. Whenever I have free time, I hop on my motorcycle and just ride for a few days in no particular direction. There’s no other experience like it, and the air is great for the soul.
What’s in store for Marvinmarvelous this year?
I have a lot of new music coming out, and I plan on getting back on the road and playing the clubs and festivals. One of the greatest feelings on earth is being able to take people on a musical journey and keep them dancing until the last song.