The Local 913: MKV
Part of being a Hip-Hop star has always been bragging about how good you are at making music. However, that wasn’t always the case with Marcus Vaughn who records under the name MKV. "I never really wanted to perform before," says Vaughn, "I never even thought the music was good enough." Which is crazy to think about when you hear Vaughn and his partner Warren Parker in the group Lucid Music. Their style of hip hop is what you might call old school – 2 MC’s and DJ creating something new out of something old through sampling. Nowadays, though, Vaughn has been finding that his beats almost never contain samples. "Mostly I’ll just sit in front of my keyboard and come up with a melody and base everything around that," says Vaughn, though he's certainly not abandoned sampling completely. "Just the other day," he says, "I went outside and I got a little recorder and I captured these birds just chirping outside and I built a whole instrumental around birds chirping. You never know what could spark it!"
Vaughan was recently able to quit his day job and focus on music as a career. Some of that is performing, but a big part of it is making beats and teaching people how to use beat making software. As technology improves and becomes less expensive, the doors become wider and more people can fit through them. Which can be both good and bad for the genre says, Vaughn, "Now anybody and everybody thinks they can make beats and they think it’s as simple as pressing a few buttons, looping a few things and, bam that’s it. But, I feel like it also gives people access that probably couldn’t afford it before. Now they can actually make beats and do things, so I think it’s both good and bad."
As is true with any great artist – Vaughan can find inspiration everywhere and his time spent online sparked a new song called "Blue Lights." "I’m on the internet and on YouTube a lot and you just see that everyone is so focused on having more friends on the internet than having friends in real life. "They’ll say, ‘Oh, I’ll post a new song if I get 200 likes.’ They need that validation'" he says, "So I think that song got sparked by seeing how people want to be Instagram famous. You’ve got girls doing whatever, people lighting themselves on fire, doing the dumbest things you could possibly do just to make money."
MKV, no matter what outlet he’s creating in, his positive message has always been his drive. "The thing that’s important to me was the message. I always had a message to say so I feel like that took over my being shy or not really wanting to get out there," he says, "Even when one person said, ‘I really like this song. It changed my view on things,’ that gave me the motivation to keep going and pursuing it."