[Interview] Get To Know Mvjor, The Most Connected Chicago Artist You Haven’t Heard Of
[Interview] Get To Know Mvjor, The Most Connected Chicago Artist You Haven’t Heard Of
Making it in the music business isn’t an easy task but people like Mvjor show it can be done with hard work and perseverance. The multi-talented Chicago artist has a work ethic that matches anyone in the city and his improvement focused mindset has helped him make some big connections across the country. With him being head of MvMix and running his own studio, Mvjor has had his work cut out for him and it’s been paying off. From allegedly selling fake lean to Famous Dex to assisting with FBG Duck’s come up to forthcoming tracks with Fetty Wap and Young Thug, Mvjor has proven himself to be a big behind the scenes player who’s on the verge of reaching new heights.
It is often more important to build deep roots and strong connections than gaining fame, especially in the hip hop industry. Even though he may not be a well-known name to fans, Mvjor has proven that the relationships he’s built are powerful and have been the basis for some wild stories. One studio session with FBG Duck and Billionaire Black consisted of 400 Xanax bars being found by the building manager and ended with someone being shot in the leg. Another night Famous Dex stopped by the studio and was in search of lean, which somebody allegedly provided. Unfortunately for Dex, that person supposedly ended up finessing him on 16 ozs of NyQuil, which was when Mvjor learned that rappers, even famous ones, aren’t always who they present themselves as.
Wild nights aren’t the only thing his connections and hard work have brought him. Mvjor has worked with a handful of prominent rappers, but one he has collaborated with intimately is FBG Duck. The Chicago rapper just signed to Sony which has also led to Mvjor working directly with the company, but things weren’t always looking this bright. While he was a well recognized figure on the Chicago rap scene, FBG Duck started “becoming the rapper that he is now” “when he found a reliable studio” and someone who would be there with him through every step. Mvjor has now leveraged that relationship into something big for the both of them, and he continues to use his connections to advance his people. After meeting a producer in Atlanta who worked with Fetty Wap and Young Thug, Mvjor sent over 20 beats to get a placement from the two superstars. Once he got them he allowed relatively unknown artists such as Chicago’s JBone to hop on them, giving them legitimacy and a major point on their resume going forward. This uplifting and collaborative thought process has helped a variety of artists grow their brand.
While his experience with prominent artists will get him the attention he deserves, his focus isn’t purely on nationally known acts. When asked who his favorite artists to work with have been, he stated that his “favorite sessions are from people who just don’t even know how to rap,” and not because they waste time. He says “they’re actually trying to become good at something and that means more to me than the money and all that shit,” and it’s this mentality that has made Mvjor one of the busiest people on the scene. He doesn’t ignore artists that haven’t made it yet and he’s not afraid to tell you if he’s “not feeling your song,” but he’ll help you improve it at the same time. That candid yet supportive attitude became apparent with one quote: “I’m gonna tell you WHY I’m not feeling your song, tell you what you can do so I CAN feel your song.” Finding an honest voice from someone as talented and connected as Mvjor is a rare occurance and he knows that from experience. Starting out as a rapper/producer showed Mvjor that studios and the talent in them isn’t reliable, and as he put it, “You sit there and record the best song of your life and then the guy that’s mixing it fucks it up. Like damn, you don’t even know what this song could have been.” Experiences like these are what inspired him to start MvMix and begin running the studio. He wanted to be that consistent, reliable, honest, hard working studio that was so difficult for him to come across. While that professionalism is apparent now, it wasn’t always that way.
Mvjor has changed his demeanor over the past few years and longtime fans have been able to see the transformation take place. There are plenty of potentially life changing events that can happen, but few are as paramount as having a child and once his son was born, Mvjor started taking things more seriously. When speaking on his past, Mvjor says he “used to be turned up all the time, all the time, all the time, always poppin’ a pill always off some kind of drug, always tryin’ to find out where the party’s at type of shit,” but that changed quickly once he found out about his kid. “When I found out I was having my son it was like a 180 change, like alright I can’t be spending all this bread doing shit tonight when I could be spending that bread making sure I got rent paid and bigger shit, like making sure my family’s straight.” Since this shift in perspective, things have been growing progressively for MvMix and Mvjor. Once he started saving his money he realized just how much he was making, but while he may be living comfortably now, he hasn’t let that slow him down. He’s taken on so many projects recently that he’s had to hire another producer, named 905 (@thereal_905), to help man the ship. From new mixtapes to new albums to work with new artists like Lil Scrappy and Lil Wop, there’s plenty of work to be done.
You can read the entire transcribed Q+A below.
You’ve been in the game for quite some time now, how’d you first get into making music?
I really started making music, messing with music when I was like 12 or 13. My dad was a DJ but not full time so he had some equipment I would work with even though I wasn’t good haha. I used to write raps too but I wasn’t really good at that either.
You also run a studio, what are some of the craziest moments you’ve had doing that?
Every day something crazy happens; the #1 thing was probably during a Billionaire Black and FBG Duck recording, I wasn’t even there but I’m told that someone comes in and drops 400 xans on the vending machine. When he sees it, the building manager comes to the studio and somehow some shit goes down and someone ends up getting shot in leg! Next day I end up getting kicked out of the whole building.
What inspired you to start the studio?
Well it started when I was rapping first, and I tried producing but I wasn’t good at making beats but it was still something I loved and I knew I needed to make my own beats. So when I was 16 or 17 I decided I didn’t need to be famous, it would be dope if that happened but I decided I’d be okay simply making liveable money doing what I love, making music. Another thing is I saw there was a need for quality, reliable studios and people that were honest and help you grow. It’s hard to believe in yourself when you don’t have the studios that you can rely on doing their part. You sit there and record the best song of your life and then the guy that’s mixing it fucks it up. Like damn, you don’t even know what this song could have been. One example is FBG Duck, when he found a reliable studio he definitely did step up and start becoming the rapper that he is now and there’s a lot of other artists who I’ve helped, I feel like most of them maybe didn’t take rap that serious and all of a sudden they’re doing it full time. My favorite people are the ones that haven’t made it yet, like the people that I’ve recorded who have already done something who’ve already damn near made it, it’s like you got to your checkpoint now — good job –now I gotta go back to people who need help.
Even though you’ve been clearly putting in a lot of quality work, there aren’t many publications who are paying attention. Why do you think that is?
I think that they just haven’t realized how big this is yet, you know? And the thing is I don’t think what I’m doing is anywhere near how big it’s gonna be, so I can’t even really expect anybody yet to reach out. Because everybody’s watching right now, everybody’s trying to see like, is this really the next move? Is he really doing what it looks like he’s doing? Woo woo, you know what I’m saying, Duck just got the deal, people are like does Mvjor have anything to do with that? There’s a lot going on right now. To be honest with you, I haven’t paid attention to who talks about me and who doesn’t, but from a PR level I just feel like I’m still low-key, people still haven’t realized what I’m on. Once it hits the fan then it’s gonna be everywhere but I just gotta keep doing what I gotta do. I can’t complain if they’re not talkin’ about me, I gotta give them something to talk about.
You’ve been making some big moves behind the scenes, working with artists such as Young Thug and Fetty Wap. How have you gotten so connected in the industry? When can we expect to hear some of that music?
How that works is… basically this game is about who you know. Everything damn near is who you know the other is preparing your talents for when you do meet those people. So what happened was I got connected with a guy who recorded them down in Atlanta and he had hit me up and he was like “damn bro do you want a placement? I can get you a placement right now, I’m recording these people. All you have to do is send me about 20 beats and I’m gonna get these guys on one of them.” So I sent him over the beats, he made it happen and we went about it like that. J Bone actually recently just hopped on the Fetty one and we’re gonna be releasing that soon. But it’s all about just who you know. If you know people in this industry, I tell people don’t burn your bridges… at all, because the thing is that you never know when that person is gonna have a bridge you’re gonna need to cross. So, it doesn’t matter how your emotional state of mind is, don’t put no negative energy towards blocking a blessing. Even if you feel like it’s not a blessing right now and you can probably afford to lose it, in the long run you never know. That’s the trick to this life, it’s learning stuff like that.
Too many people want to burn bridges haha
And then want to cross them again!
Right! So, you not only produce music, but are also CEO of MvMix. Can you talk a little bit about MvMix, what it is and how it came together?
So basically, MvMix is what I would have wanted for me. Like I told you, I was a writer and a rapper before I started producing music, so MvMix is something I would have wanted for myself if I was able to have two of me. Being able to have somebody to be there and motivate me to finish a song, help me make something great, give me input not tell me that it’s good if it’s not, somebody who’s gonna help make a beat from scratch if I feel like doing that, somebody who just acts like they’re a part of my music. So I was like, let me not be selfish and because I know what I would want, let me try to give that to Chicago, let me give them someone who’s gonna believe in them, someone who’s gonna go above and beyond. It’s more than the quality, it’s more than the sound. MvMix is an experience. When you walk in that studio, you damn near feel like you at home. You damn near want to take your shoes off. That’s the kind of atmosphere we got at MvMix and that’s why a lot of people don’t understand why I’m winning, how I’m winning the ay I’m winning. That’s why people think it has to do with quality or that I got a sound I started, if you listen to songs they chop ridiculously, it’s a sound I created but it’s bigger than just that sound, it’s everything. MvMix is definitely for the people who need motivation, who need an extra reason to wake up. That’s what MvMix is.
I feel that, having a family is so important, especially in the hip hop game
Yeah! You gotta think, people really want to believe that they’re gonna make it right? But when you wake up and start telling people your dreams, by the time you go to sleep you’re gonna lose a lot of motivation haha. They’re not gonna believe you, they’re not. And the thing is I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be that person, like damn I just showed my song to major and he just, he wasn’t even feeling it. Even if I’m not feeling your song, I’m gonna tell you WHY I’m not feeling your song, tell you what you can do so I CAN feel your song. The world’s just fucked up sometimes haha.
On top of all the work you’ve been putting in, there’s also been a character change over the past two years, why did that happen?
So, for the people that see this that have been following me, you definitely know what he’s talking about. I used to be turned up all the time, all the time, all the time, always poppin’ a pill always off some kind of drug, always tryin’ to find out where the party’s at type of shit. When I found out I was having my son it was like a 180 change, like alright I can’t be spending all this bread doing shit tonight when I could be spending that bread making sure I got rent paid and bigger shit, like making sure my family’s straight. Having a son definitely did change my real life but as far as my music and everything I’m doing, my music is still so lit, I’m grateful that I was able to control my life. It’s like a car, if you’re driving a car 150 mph down the e-way, you don’t have that much control. You know which way you’re headed but you don’t know how you’re gonna be able to control that shit, it ain’t no different in life. If you’re driving fast you might crash, if you’re living in a fast way not trying to make sure you’re okay, you might crash. I’ve seen a lot of people crash in the time I’ve been working with them. One guy I just recently lost a couple days ago, he had a big drug problem. Another guy, he got into a car accident. There’s just a lot of stuff and tomorrow ain’t promised. If you want to have a blessed life, you have to start blessing yourself. Maybe you gotta make sure you’re eating right, need to make sure your living situation is okay then go back and approach the music and get the blessings from music. But it always starts with yourself.
Do you feel like you’ve been taking it more seriously since you’ve had your son?
Oh man, hell yeah! It went from, before he was even in the womb, I was doing music and I was making a lot of money but I was not saving I was not investing I was not doing anything more than turning up at night, wake up, hurry up rush to a studio session that I’m late to, make the money, spend it, and go and do it again. When I had a son it was more structured. Now it’s like I’m making this money because I’m gonna save it and I’m gonna spend it here and boom, after 9 months of that, ever since then I was like “damn, I racked up all this bread?” I didn’t even know I was making this much money. Definitely having a son, getting that structure is what made it more professional. It made it more like, “I can trust Mvjor” because I got a reputation now of really doing this shit. It’s not like “I just went to the studio session, he was late, he looked like he was fucked up, hair all crazy,” now it’s more just, I can be trusted.
Since that change, have artists come to you and expressed they like the professionality?
No haha. I’ve seen improvements but no one is gonna say it. They don’t have to say it, it’s not something they have to say. It’s just better for everybody.
Who are your favorite artists you’ve ever gotten to work with? What about them made them your favorite?
Nah, like I said I love working with the people who are on because obviously they’re good at what they do I’m good at what I do, and when we get together we already know we’re gonna make a hit. But to be honest with you my favorite sessions are from people who just don’t even know how to rap. That’s my favorite, and it’s not because they bullshit their time, it’s because they’re actually trying to become good at something and that means more to me than the money and all that shit. So as long as you’re trying to become good at something that’s all that matters.
What are you working on now? What can we expect from you in the future?
Man, it’s so much going on. Recently I just hired another producer to take on a lot of the work I have coming up, that way I can focus, I got Sony I’m working with directly now, so I had to hire somebody else. We are dropping an album with that producer I hired his name’s 905 you can follow him @thereal_905. Even if you want to stay in tune without doing anything you can go on the Instagram MvMixOfficial. I’m working on my solo music right now and I’m also working with Duck on his EP then we’re gonna drop 905’s album as a show of his beats and his production. Then I always release MvMix mixtapes every 3 months I release one of those and that’s basically all the best songs from that 3 month span in the studio. So I do that as well, shit I’m probably gonna drop another production album, I do that every so often. If you’re following me you’re never gonna stop listening to music haha. I’m working with people like Lil Scrappy, Lil Wop, there’s so many different people and so many different projects I can’t even say “this is what we’re doing” just follow me and you’ll be bombarded with shit haha.
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview bro, it was dope.
Shoutout to 4th Shore hip hop, you know what’s up, if you want to get in tune with all hip hop, follow them right now, MvMix cosign, that way, appreciate you!