Last March, Black Violin played Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts to a packed house. Now the group, composed of classically trained musicians Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste, is scheduled to return to Knight Theater in March 2017 with its hip-hop, classical fusions.
Founding member Baptiste answered a few questions about the band and their Charlotte performances.
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 and even a little bit of country. Black Violin’s music truly has something for
Q. You’ve performed in Charlotte to packed houses in both 2015 and 2016. How had your career changed between the two Queen City performances?
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.