Interview: Black Violin Returns to SXSW


Black Violin – “Virtuoso”: SXSW Music 2013 from SXSW on Vimeo.

When Wil B and Kev Marcus of Black Violin hit the stage, it’s an unusual sight in the contemporary music scene that demands attention. The classically trained violinists appear more Biggie than Beethoven as they blend their skills with hip-hop, R&B, and pop music. Last year’s appearance at SXSW, including opening for Dave Grohl’s keynote speech as seen above, caught the industry’s attention, and now they return once again with violins and bows in hand (full schedule below).

Giant Step caught up with Wil B before their trip to Austin.

What kind of training did the two of you do to get to be such accomplished players and how did you meet?

Kev and I met in high school, Dillard Center for the Arts, in Fort Lauderdale FL. In high school, we play at least 3 hours a day which prepared us for college. We also had an amazing teacher that motivated us and told us that we can have a full scholarship to college and that’s exactly what happened.

We know you have collaborated with a wide variety of high profile artists. Which ones stand out the most to you?

We’ve collaborated with so many amazing artists, but the one that would stand out to us would be Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.

You performed at the 2013 Kids’ Inaugural Celebration with the First Lady and her daughters in the audience. Tell us what it was like being a part of such a historic event.

That night, to put it simply, was perfect! Being able to perform for the president and first lady the vice president and the second lady and also being able to extend our Fanbase was just an amazing experience. Also being on the bill with such artist as Usher, Smokey Robinson, Jamie Foxx, just to name a few, an amazing experience.

You play all kinds of events and venues- massive concert halls to clubs, children’s programming to standard concerts – what do you hope listeners take away from your live sets?

We hope that our audience take away the truth of our show which is to think outside the box. We’re doing something that’s never been seen and we would like them to do the same.

After having great success at last year’s SXSW, you are returning again. What is your favorite part of hitting Austin this time of year?

Our best part about hitting SXSW is enjoying all the amazing performances by so many artists that we’ve looked up to and also artist that would never heard of seen before.

Catch Black Violin at SXSW

Saturday, March 8th
10:15pm- Midnight Garden Party @ CTC House & Garden

Sunday, March 9th
8:15pm- Crowdtap Party @ Haven

Tuesday, March 11th
1:30pm- Fighter Interactive Showcase @ Empire Automotive Patio

Wednesday, March 12th
3:10pm- Only Rocking Roll: 50 Years of the Rolling Stones @ Convention Center (Room 16AB)
3:30pm- Rules: Defying Genres in the Music Biz (Panel w/ Kev Marcus) @ Convention Center (Room 10A)
9:40pm- Proper Entertainment Presents: An All-Star Lineup @ Symphony Square
1:00am- SXSW Official Showcase @ The Main II

Thursday, March 13th
2:00pm- Tequila Mockingbird’s Annual Back Alley Bash @ Tequila Mockingbird Outdoor Stage