Marv: The Soon-To-Be Crowned King Of Melody

Interviewed by Vivian Nnabue

If you loved jams like Tiwa Savage’s My Darlin’, Reekado Banks’s Kiss Me and Pasuma Wonder’s Ife (to name a few) then you have already connected with Marvelous without even knowing it. 

His impeccable songwriting skills have been endorsed by many industry titans but his singing talent are even “badder”. Signed under TOT Empire which was collectively floated by himself, Reekado Banks and their older brother Temi, Marv or Marv Tunes (as he popularly known by) is now ready as ever, to share the rest of his gifts with the world.

In this exclusive interview, he spoke of his come-up, his takeover plans, his relationship with Reekado Banks and what to expect from him in a matter of weeks.

Is Marv the short version of your real name or is this just a way of saying your music is marvelous?

My music is marvelous actually but my middle name is Marvelous too. Babatunde Oluwatobi Marvelous Bello.

Describe your music in just 3 words

It’s very sweet lol.

How long have you been friends with Reekado Banks and how did you guys meet?

About 12 years now, we grew up together. His father is a pastor in my church and we were all children in church. I lost my dad, so his father sort of adopted me and became my father so he’s more like my adopted brother. We’ve been together like forever, stayed in the same house till now so that’s how it is for us. I was a chorister in church and all.

Why and when did you go into music? Were you influenced by church?

I’ve always been doing music all my life, like since when I was little, I started playing drums from a very tender age. I’ve been playing the drums in the choir for like a long time. I’m a very professional drummer by the way, so the love for music grew like that from different choirs. There was a time in my life I was in like 10 different choirs. I just really love music. After secondary school, I went to Muson to learn what it is to be a musician. It has always been music for me.

Who was the first artiste you wrote music for and how did you get the deal?

It wasn’t a deal per se.We were in the studio and we were like “this beat is nice”, but he was like, he doesn’t have anything to write on it and I’m like “I have this idea o” and I dropped it and he was like “e bad o” and that was it. We were in the Mavin studio. Although the song is not out yet because D’prince has like one million songs he hasn’t released yet. There’s also one particular song that I co-wrote, that is the Pasuma featuring Tiwa Savage song, I love that song. We were just working in the studio, then Pasuma came and Spellz played the beat. Reekado and I were like “we have something o” and we dropped it and the song came out really nice. People liked the song.

Is there a possibility of getting signed under Mavin or you’d prefer to freelance?

I’m not actually freelancing because me, Reekado and our elder brother Temi, we are running a record label on our own asides Mavin’s platform and it’s called TOT Empire. The name came from Temi’s birthday 10-03.

‘I believe it’s only God that can stop somebody’s career’

-Marv (Mr Melody)

Have you done any songs and when will they be released?          

I actually shot a video last year and it’s going to be dropping in two weeks. It’s a song called “abeg”, it’s a “hustle song, and it’s for people that came to Lagos to hustle. The song will inspire people. Writing music for me is about vibe, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with something that is happening to me at the time. It’s just the inspiration that comes from me, I can decide to write about anything. I can decide to write about sex, even if I’m not having sex.

If you were to get 3 wishes, what would you wish for and why?    

  I would wish for money, more money and small height lol.

What do you think are the negative sides of being in the music industry?

I think it’s the fact that people always assume things about people without researching to know what could have triggered something. Let me give an example. You hear that artist “D” did something on the internet then fans start raining curses on the artiste, without waiting to find out the actual truth of the matter or that maybe someone is trying to tarnish they guy’s image. Like the person is in his house like “what’s happening” etc. I think that is the negative side of the whole thing. Asides that the money is sweet, Fame is good too…

Don’t you think fame influences people negatively?

I don’t know, it depends on the person’s personality and the people around you actually. I don’t believe fame and money will change me. I’ll still be me,  Don Jazzy is still him despite the fact that he has the money, he has the fame, and he’s one of the biggest celebrities in Africa and he’s still level headed, so why would I change?

Where do you see your career in the next 5 years and how hard do you work for it?

I want to see myself as one of the biggest things in Nigeria’s music in 5 years, like when you want to say “these artistes are the biggest in Nigeria”, you should call my name too. I’m working as hard as I can, I’m always in the studio, keeping late Nights, doing things to make sure I get to where I’m going too so hopefully it pays.

How high is your body count?

I’m a virgin, I don’t know any woman, you can see my innocent face lol!

What is that thing that you do that might just be your weakness?

 I believe it’s only God that can stop somebody’s career. I don’t think I like any one thing to the extreme, I try to be focused on my goal.

Do you believe humility and good virtues are inbuilt?

Yes, but if they are not, you will learn it.

What are the top 5 songs that make you cry when you hear them?

Ok the number one song that I really like,  is Reekado Banks “Move”. That song is really sweet and really nice. He actually did two verses and had to remove one. The first time I heard that song, I was in the house and I was like fvck!!! How can you come up with a song like this?” Heart attack by Trey Songz is another song I love, Without my heart by Tiwa Savage and Don Jazzy, that song is genius. I think Michael Jackson “black or white” that song is good too, and “Aww” by Dija…

What legacy do you want to be remembered for?

I’d love to be remembered as that guy that does good music, that gives because I like to give when I have and to be that guy that people talk good about.


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