Ahead of Round 2 tonight at the Brooklyn Bowl, we thought it would be cool to interview a performing artist on the playbill. Tonight’s another stacked lineup, featuring performances by most members of Lettuce, Break Science, and one of our favorite up-and-coming artists, Cory Wythe, aka Marvel Years. We had the pleasure of meeting Cory last summer after he threw down a heavy electro-soul set with Todd Stoops (keys, RAQ, formerly Kung Fu) at the Brooklyn Comes Alive Music Festival.
After his performance, we started talking about doing an interview, so we’re really happy that it finally came to fruition, and in perfect timing. Since we last connected at Brooklyn Comes Alive, Marvel Years has made some huge strides in his career: he released a killer original (below), he completed a solo “Connecting the Dots Tour,” and he threw down an epic set at the infamous Basslights concert series in Virginia. We’re pretty jacked up for his performance tonight, so enough from us, meet Cory Wythe.
Sound Fix: To start things off, let us know what you’re up to right now, where you are, and what’s in store this week.
Marvel Years: Right now I’m at my home in Charlotte, NC. I’ve been spending all week mixing down these new tracks for my new EP and also getting ready for my show with Break Science in Brooklyn on Friday.
SF: So with our interviews, we like to build a storyline with the musicians we speak to. It’s pretty enlightening for fans to understand the origins and progression to where you are today. So in that vein, tell us where it all began. What was your first musical experience?
MY: Well I’ll try and make a long story short, but I got my first guitar when I was nine. I played it all through middle school in high school, and when I turned 18 I started focusing on producing. That’s when I started posting my music online, and about a year after that I started playing shows. Since then, I took a break from college to focus full-time on music and touring, and so far it has led me to where I am right now.
SF: At what point during your musical career did you decide to just go all in?
MY: I did my first bus tour with GRiZ in 2013, and at the time I was still in college, so it was hard balancing the two. I ended up at the point where I would play my opening set and then go backstage and start doing my calculus homework that was due the next day. I knew I couldn’t balance the two much longer and I had to choose, so I chose the music and I haven’t looked back.
SF: Have you had one of those “ah-hah” moments where you could confidently take a step back and realize, at least to a degree, that you’ve made it?
MY: I’ve definitely had some times where I was like “holy shit, did I really just get to do that?”, but then it sinks in after a day or two and then it’s back to work. I feel like, at least from an artist’s perspective, I will never feel as if I’ve “made it” because there is always room to improve and grow. But i’m definitely content and proud of what I’ve gotten to do with this opportunity so far.
SF: For those not as familiar with your music, how would you categorize or describe your sound?
MY: Man I’ve kind of given up trying to explain it, **laughs** but if I had to I would say a fusion of hip-hop and electronic.
SF: So you’re originally from Vermont. Tell us how the culture of Burlington has helped shape the producer you are today.
MY: I’m not too sure if the culture helped shape me as a producer, but it definitely had an influence on who I am as just a general person. Burlington’s vibe is pretty laid back and I try and keep it the same.
SF: You’ve worked with and gone on tour with musicians like Pretty Lights, GRiZ, JMaC, Break Science, the Floozies and Exmag. Tell us one of your favorite / most ridiculous stories while touring.
MY: **laughs** I played this frat party in Dallas, Texas on halloween and this drunk girl came up onstage and starting pressing buttons on my computer trying to DJ. There was no security at all, so I had to handle it myself by telling her to leave, and I sort of put my arm in between her and my computer and pushed her backwards. So she walked up behind me and started trying to take my pants off on stage. I eventually got a guy who helped run the show to come up on stage and walk her off. It was fucking crazy!
SF: Describe the process you take to produce a track. How is the idea of a song born, and then brought to fruition?
MY: It varies, sometimes it starts with a bass line or an organ riff that I come up with, or sometimes it starts with a sample. I don’t really have a method down for starting a song, it kind of just happens randomly.
SF: What track are you most proud of, and which one is your favorite song to perform live?
MY: Probably this new track I have coming up on this EP. I wrote and made the whole thing in like a week and it is definitely my favorite tune I’ve made to date, and it will likely become my favorite to play live. Other than that, my “Shining Star” remix is probably my favorite to play live.
SF: What’s your favorite song to drop at a set that you didn’t produce? And then kind of playing off that, who is your biggest musical influence?
MY: I actually only play my own songs during live shows, but my biggest musical influences are probably the cats that got me into sample-based music. 9th Wonder is a big one for me.
SF: How did you link up with Todd Stoops for a joint performance at Brooklyn Comes Alive? He’s one of our favorite keys players.
MY: My manager ended up meeting him on Jam Cruise and showed him some of my music, and after that we linked up and played Camp Bisco together and then ended up playing that Brooklyn Comes Alive fest as well. Stoops is the man!
SF: What new music do you have for us in coming months?
MY: I have this brand new EP coming in the next month or two, and then a second EP a few months after that. I also have some collaborations with some DOPE artists coming out soon.
SF: Tell us about your upcoming tour. Which stop are you most excited for?
MY: It’s gonna be awesome. And I can’t announce it yet but it is a show I have dreamed of playing ever since I heard of it.
SF: Thanks or your time and these great answers, Cory. To close things off, here’s an open forum. Anything you’d like to leave with your fans and our readers?
MY: Two new EP’s on the way! A couple collabs! Tons of shows! Woooooo!