Every season, we will be coming out with a SiKK Magazine cover featuring an artist who we believe has begun to make a significant difference in the creative community. Vol. 1 features rapper and composer, Mavi, who uses all of his verses to invoke the progress he wants to see around him.
Mavi comes from Charlotte, NC, where he began making music in 2014. He is well known for his projects Beacon and No Roses. Mavi is currently working on another album, Let the Sun Talk, which is an 11-song track scheduled to debut in April, 2019. Read his interview with
SiKK Magazine below:
S: How would you describe your style to other people?
M: “It’s definitely rap music, hip-hop for sure. But it’s also really narrative and symbolic. I try to use hip-hop as a conduit to doing something, rather than being a composer of hip-hop songs…My songs are statements, and poems, and equations of their own.”
S: When did you start creating music?
M: “I started writing music on Christmas Day, 2014. It was really inspired by me listening to a lot of MF DOOM. He has real dense and voluminous music. It requires a lot out of the listener and the composer, mind wise, in order to reach the messaging, and the messaging was worth reaching. That was a practice that I didn’t know hip hop was able to do, but once I saw it, I knew this was something I could and had to do."
S: Describe your past projects.
M: "Beacon I released when I was 16. We recorded it in Micah’s closet when things got sour between me and this little arts program in the city where I had begun doing my recordings. It was really DIY, as far as it was a completely one-person project in terms of writing, finding all the beats and getting it mixed. It was just me and Micah in there who made that sh*t. It was a little teenage treatise on how and why n*ggas at that point wanted to express ourselves.”
M: “After that, when I first got here, I made No Roses, which is kind of like a breakup album describing some of my experiences when I first got to Howard, as far as growing as an individual and embracing some of the realities of my family back home. Acknowledging the growth from kid to not a kid that needed to happen. That anxiety that came with all of those factors, we just put that on wax and that’s No Roses.”
S: As a rapper, how does rap make you feel?
M: “Rap connects the dots for me. Rap is a place where a person like me can be an artist. It’s one of the few places where you can be an artist when you’re a Black man. Even if the art that comes from it is sh*tted on by society, it’s a place where you can be an artist and be your full self, within your art…It makes me feel strong and able, just off how I can rearrange language to still be cohesive…It’s given me so much, it’s given me travel, It’s given me food, It’s given me love. That’s why I have to go so hard, just because it’s not a game in terms of what I’m giving and getting…It’s a slice of power more than anything. It makes me feel like I’m a person.”
*Photographed by Allison McAdoo.