Love Pretty Lights? Listen to Marvel Years!

Cory Wythe, better known to fans as electro soul producer Marvel Years, is proving to be quite the musical force as he embarks on a East Coast tour with Gramatik‘s live band, Exmag and duo The Floozies this fall. He’s been recently featured on Pretty Lights‘ ‘A Color Map of The Sun Remixes’ with his rendition of the PL classic “Where I’m Trying to Go.” Oh, and did I mention that Cory’s only 20 years old? Yeah, the kid has got it goin’ on.

Marvel Years’ beautifully groovy style and innate musical talent has definitely caught my eye (as well as thousands of other fans nationwide), and when I got in touch with the young producer I jumped at the chance for an interview. Check out the conversation below as we talk touring, Pretty Lights and what to expect from Cory in the latter half of 2014.

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OTB: So I know that you’re from Vermont. What is the electronic music scene like out where you’re from?

MY: I think it is still catching on in a sense. There is more of a jam band scene than anything else, and I think the band Phish coming from the University of Vermont might have had something to do with that. But in Burlington we get all kinds of big electronic acts that come through, so I think it is just a matter of time before it grows.

OTB: What initially sparked your interest in the electro funk genre?

MY: I’ve always wanted to incorporate my guitar into my live shows, and the funk/blues aspect of that genre really caught my interest because it was close to home for me. I could jam my guitar over it and it didn’t sound out of place, as opposed to playing guitar over house music…which would be weird.

OTB: Do you play any other instruments? Would you consider adding any other live components into your gigs?

MY: I can hold my own on the drums and bass and can play a bit of piano. I’ve thought about down the road incorporating other instruments such as drums and maybe some live keys like a rhodes or something similar. I’m definitely feeling it out as time goes on.

OTB: At what point did you have that “aha!” moment and you realized you finally made it as a DJ?

MY: I still think i’m a long way from making it haha, but it was probably around the time when I went on the Rebel Era bus tour with GRiZ. Traveling to a different city every day with a group of amazing people and playing your music to sold out crowds and getting paid for it…that was the most mind blowing thing for me. That was the moment when I realized I could do this for the rest of my life and be perfectly content with it.

OTB: Obviously you have a very Pretty Lights-esque sound to your music; which artists have had the biggest influence on your sound? And who would your ultimate dream collaboration be with?

MY: Definitely producers like 9th Wonder, Nightmares on Wax, Gramatik and others were a big influence. I got the whole idea and technique of sampling from those dudes. I don’t know if I have an ultimate dream collaboration, I think it would be cool to collab with some really weird and completely abstract artist that has no place being involved with my music haha. It would be fun to make it work and experiment with it. Also my uncle who absolutely shreds the keys would be awesome to get into the studio.

OTB: Which track of yours are you the most proud of? Why?

MY: Don’t really have one track in particular, but I’m pretty satisfied with any of my classic rock remixes. “The Who” remix is definitely the most fun out of the bunch to play live.

OTB: What was it like for you getting featured on Pretty Lights’ remix album?

MY: It definitely caught me by surprise, but it was an awesome experience. Can’t thank him and his team enough for the opportunity.

 OTB: What DAW do you use, and what DAWs have you played around with?

MY: I produce all my music in Logic Pro. I was introduced to it in music class back in high school and just stuck with it. I’ve also messed around with Ableton and Fruity Loops. 

OTB: Getting to travel all over the country and play at different venues and festivals must seem like a dream already. But tell us about one specific experience that you would describe as your favorite gig of all time.

MY: Ah man, any show in Colorado is loads of fun. There was also this show I played in Urbana, Illinois with GRiZ that was crazy. And also this show I played in NYC with Manic Focus. At both of those shows I did not expect the crowd to give that much energy at all, and at both shows the crowd’s feet were leaving the floor for an hour straight. Awesome vibes from those two.

OTB: Having just finished the Retro Electro tour you must have some pretty sweet stories from the road. Any super strange or funny experiences?

MY: Nothing in particular but theres always some weird shit that goes down. We did sleep in a Walmart parking lot one night after one of our shows (in the RV of course).

OTB: What’s your favorite food to eat while on tour?

MY: Mac & cheese all day and also gatorade. And any type of Cape Cod Chips when I can find them.

OTB: What’s the number one question you get asked a lot that you wish you never again had to answer?

MY: My cellphone number.

OTB: What can we expect from you in the latter half of 2014 aside from the tour you’re about to embark on?

MY: More new music and more shows, so keep tabs!

OTB: Any last words for your fans?

MY: New hats dropping soon!

Well, that’s all folks.

To download Marvel Years’ music (for FREE!)- or to see if he’ll be stopping in your town- check out his Soundcloud and Facebook pages!

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Maddy Bahner

Maddy Bahner

Maddy is currently a senior at the University of Washington studying Public Health. When she's not studying or sleeping you can find her twerking or hula hooping at the nearest music festival.
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