One to Watch :: Quavius
Marquavius Mcdonald raised ears and made a name for himself with his quality debut EP, self titled Quavius on Lustwerk Music back in September last year. Since then he has been plying away his creative calling producing tracks and uploading them onto his SoundCloud and Bandcamp free for those to listen. A home grown talent from Jacksonville, Florida, Quavius is a master selector able to flip genres with ease and style. First and foremost though he is a producer determined to get the sound of the South East out into the world. We are delighted to have got a chance to spread the word and catch up with this young pioneer.
Tell us about your musical upbringing in Florida. What did you listen to growing up? Did you play many instruments?
Well I lived with my grandparents early on, they were very strict coming up and we weren't allowed to really listen to rap music so I started out listening to a lot of R&B, Gospel and Blues. The first piece of music I ever bought was box set of Motown hits, pretty much the only thing I could get away with. My Grandfather played guitar and he taught me for about a year then I pretty much took it from there. I play piano as well but I didn't start playing seriously until I was about 18.
Who are some of your major pop influences?
I was heavily influenced by James Brown and Michael Jackson just from there showmanship alone, I could watch videos of them performing all day if possible. Also Prince, Stevie Wonder and D'angelo for their musicianship. Those are the artists I always find myself going back to when I need any inspiration.
Your first EP on Lustwerk Music, which we featured in our roundup of 2016, felt like a well structured and balanced record from an accomplished artist, not their debut release! Can you tell us more about the EP itself and how it came about creatively.
Well, the EP is pretty much a compilation of the work I've put out on SoundCloud over the years as well as some new material. Songs like 'Can I Be', 'Composure' and 'Magic Man' were done almost 2-3 years ago, but everything else from 'Love The Way' to 'Adiddas' were created last year once I knew I had an official outlet to release the music.
How did you meet Galcher Lustwerk?
Well he was the first person to reach out to me on SoundCloud and show love for the music I was making. I would send him Mp3's and vice versa, we just had a genuine appreciation for each others music. He pretty much introduced me to a lot of House and Techno music unknowingly which became inspiration for me creating a track like 'Composure'. Eventually he hit me up and asked If I wanted to put a record out on his label Lustwerk Music, I was ecstatic to do so and here we are.
It feels like the two of you could collaborate and have a big future ahead of you, are there any plans in the pipeline?
Nothing for certain right now, being that we have different schedules and are in different parts of the country but I’m sure if we ever sat down to do so it would be great to say the least. I'm not the kind to force any kind of chemistry, if we ever do find that common ground to create that would be cool but if not that is cool as well. Either way Galcher has always been like a mentor to me when it comes to a lot of the business, but time will tell for any collaborations.
While your initial EP takes the path of intricate and complex ‘hip-house’ you have lots of unreleased material on your Bandcamp and Soundcloud that ventures into dub, drum and bass, rap and lo-fi. Are you dedicated to creating all types of music whatever the genre or sound, or are you trying still trying to find your niche and then once that has happened stick with it and explore that further?
I consider myself a producer before anything and I go through a lot of phases when it comes to music. One week it may be LTJ Bukem and I want to create Drum n Bass, the next month it may be all Flyte Tyme productions and I'm creating within that style of Funk and Electronic. At the end of the day I try to learn and understand as much as possible when it comes to all styles of music, so that when I sit down to create I'm not so limited.
What is the club culture like in Florida? Have you been involved for long?
Florida has a strong dance and club culture, but a lot of it has never left beyond the state. Growing up in Jacksonville there would be a lot of foam parties where you would hear artists like Tampa Tony, Piccalo, Grindmode and Iceberg which would always set a party off. In my eyes Florida is the origin for a lot of urban dance music where twerking and such became what it is now. I would be in the club every weekend having the time of my life and this was all before I even turned 18, but once I got more into creating music I slowed down. I love clubbing, but I also wanted to be apart of the music that was making the crowd react so crazy.
Do you have any other other future developments with any other labels or projects?
I have another project coming out on Lustwerk Music sometime this year, don't have a date or anything set yet but I'm certainly in the creative process for that now.
Finally can you please tell us about the mix you did for us?
This mix includes some unreleased material from myself as well as a few songs I've loved over the years.