The Capital Radio presenter and former JLS member continues his rise in the DJ and production world after the huge success of his latest single ‘Girls on the Floor’. We check in with Marvin as he reflects on an amazing few years in the electronic music world and looks ahead to an exciting 2018…
A huge welcome from DMC World, where in the world are you?
I’m at home in London at the minute, just getting ready for Christmas. I’m working right up until Christmas Eve so it’s pretty hectic, but then I’ve got a nice two weeks off. I’m going to get some sunshine before the new year.
After being the mystery artist behind ‘Girls on the Floor’, what made you later unveil your identity?
It was definitely a plan. I wanted the music to speak for itself. People might see my name and think of past music that I’ve made without really listening to it. It was always the plan for the record to live by itself and for people to like the song as a good track. When people realised it was me, it was a healthy surprise.
How did A-Minor come to be on the track?
I’ve been a fan of his for a long, long time. He’s someone I really look up to and admire the work that he’s done. We just connected on social media. I said to him “It would be great to link up and work on a track together”, he was up for it, we put a date in the diary and that was it. We did one session together and ‘Girls on the Floor’ was the result of that. Sometimes that’s how it can work. I’ve had sessions before where you do two days with a producer and you don’t really get much, so this was a great result.
With the end of year lists circling for 2017, who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m loving what Bicep are doing, I’ve been a big fan of their work this year. KDA’s got his debut album coming out next year and I’m loving his tunes. I’m a big fan of Icarus, and Jax Jones has had a great year with ‘House Work’, been on great live shows and performances too, making solid, commercial Deep House tracks.
When it comes to producing, how do you go about creating new music?
For me I always draw from influences. I especially love it in the Summer when I play in Ibiza and I come home and go straight to the studio to draw in on the tunes I heard when I was out there. I like to have fun with samples as well and discover ways to take it. It’s interesting to be able to mess around with different sounds. Generally I draw my creativeness from influences.
You’ve also been known to create a great remix. What pressures, if any, do you experience when putting your own stamp on an original track?
It’s good to do remixes and I’ve been lucky enough to do some big ones over the years with Luvbug. There can be pressure but I think a remix does exactly what it needs to and that’s to make a different version, setting or genre. It just depends on the brief and making sure that you deliver what the label or the artist wants. That’s generally how I work. If it’s a commercial track and they want more of a Tech, House or radio friendly remix, it’s always cool to deliver on what they want and ultimately do a good job. You want to get asked again so you do a good job the first time round.
As a DJ and producer, when starting out, who were some of your inspirations and why?
My biggest inspiration this year would have to be MK. He’s legit been in the game for nearly 30 years and that’s incredible. He’s got one of the biggest House radio tunes at the minute with ‘17’ and he’s been in the game a long time. He pops up every year or two with a banger and then tours the world and plays live shows, and his remixes are always on point. He has those big commercial crossover tunes as well as the huge club tracks, so for someone to be in the game for 30 years, it’s admirable that his career has done what its done. Also, artists like Frankie Knuckles and Masters at Work have been massive inspirations to me and I listened to them growing up. My Dad was a DJ and he definitely influenced me in the stuff I was listening to when I was younger.
You played a number of sets in Ibiza this Summer. What were some of your highlights?
There were loads. It was good to be back at Pacha, that’s always a great vibe. Playing for my boys Tinie Tempah and Craig David for their shows at Ibiza Rocks and Ushuaia was wicked. The biggest highlight has to be playing at Hi. With Space being such an iconic thing and Hi Ibiza being the new spot, to play the club room in one of its opening weeks was really special.
You also played at the newly launched Mambo Brothers residency for Hi Ibiza. How was that, being as the residency was a fresh start for the club?
It was amazing. I’ve been going to Space over the years and I was blown away by the venue. The Mambo Brothers asked me to play alongside them on their Sunday night residency with Jonas Blue and it was a dream gig for me. The legacy that the club has and the irony that it’s a brand new venue, to play the room to the crowd that was there was wicked.
The festival season saw you headline the XCLSV stage at We Are FSTVL. What were you feeling before going on stage?
It’s the first time I’ve played at We Are FSTVL so I was a bit nervous. I’ve been lucky enough to play at a lot of festivals and the crowds can vary. We Are FSTVL is a very dance, House festival, so I kind of knew the stuff that I was going to play. Any time you get up to do a set, even though you can be well prepared for it, I still get nervous. You just want to go out there and smash it and hopefully deliver a great set to the crowd.
What does your ritual involve before hitting the stage for a big event?
A large brandy and coke, absolutely.
With Christmas fast approaching, how will you be spending the holidays?
At home with the fam. It will be a pretty chilled Christmas Day and Boxing day with lots of food, drink, arguing over Monopoly with my dad and brothers and then I’m off to get some winter sun over New Years.
What’s next for you in 2018, music wise?
I’ve been putting in a lot of time in the studio over the past couple of months, working with some really cool producers like Alex Adair, Blinkie, Kideko and George Kwali. I’m planning to release more club tracks like ‘Girls on the Floor’ pretty much from the off, so keep an eye on my socials for all the new music. I’ve also got a gig at the end of January (27th) with Jonas Blue for his Electronic Nature show at the Electric in Brixton. That’s going to be wicked playing alongside Jonas, EDX and Jack Wins. I’m really looking forward to it.