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Q&A with Black Violin

February 4, 2016
LLeoneBV1882

Black Violin returns to Charlotte by popular demand March 24 at Knight Theater. Photo by Lisa Leone.

Classically-trained musicians Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste are known for their totally groundbreaking sound. Last winter, their group Black Violin, performed its hip-hop/classical fusions to a packed house of Charlotte fans. They return to the Queen City  Thursday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. for a show at Knight Theater.

We checked in with founding member Wil Baptiste and asked him a few questions in anticipation of their upcoming performance.

Q.    If someone is new to Black Violin, how would you describe your sound to them?

A.     The best way to describe Black Violin‘s sound is to think of it as a famous dish with lots of ingredients. The main ingredients, of course, are classical and hip-hop, but there’s also jazz, blues, R&B, and even a little bit of country. Black Violin‘s music truly has something for everyone.

Q.     You performed in Charlotte in January 2015 to a packed house. How has your career changed since then?

A.     Our career has been amazing since we’ve performed in Charlotte. We’ve released an album, “Stereotypes,” on Universal Music Classics. The album has been doing really well and touring has been amazing!

Q.     Your most recent album was released in September 2015. Can you explain how that album came together amid all of the touring.

A.     It was extremely difficult to put an album together while still touring. We would basically fly to New York whenever we had off days to record the album, which meant that we would spend less time at home. It was hard, but we made it work.

Q.     Do you have a favorite track on the new album?

A.     They’re all amazing songs so it’s hard to pick one favorite, but if I really had to pick, it would be “Stereotypes.” That song really embodies who we are as musicians and also as people.

Q.     You’ve worked with some amazing artists over the years. Do you have a favorite collaboration?

A.     I would have to say Alicia Keys and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. The reason why I chose those two artists is because of their humility and the way they carry themselves. We’ve learned so many different things from them, which helped us to be the artists that we are today.

Q.     Can you explain how the two of you came together to form the band?

A.     After high school, Kev and I went to different colleges. I went to Florida State University and Kev went to Florida International University. We came back together after college in South Florida and started creating music. We started noticing how incorporating classical music into hip-hop was something that people were drawn to. So in 2002-2003 we started branding this new sound by performing anywhere that would have us. We went on Apollo and never lost. We started touring with major artists like Alicia Keys and Linkin Park and the rest is history.

Need tickets? CLICK HERE or call 704-372-1000.

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