For 16 years, the classical-meets-hip-hop duo of Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste has been merging string arrangements with modern beats and vocals. Their new album Take The Stairs is releasing on November 1.
Wil and Kev first met as two hip-hop heads and reluctant orchestra students at Dillard High School Ft. Lauderdale, becoming classically trained on the violin and viola through their high school and college careers. After college, they reconvened to produce beats for South Florida rappers, eventually becoming popular in local clubs where they covered hip-hop songs on violin. After being invited (and winning) Showtime at the Apollo, they were approached by Alicia Keys’ manager, who asked them to perform with Keys at the Billboard Awards. That was the first of many invites, and since then they’ve worked with Wu Tang Clan, Tom Petty, Lupe Fiasco, Alessia Cara, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, and many more.
The duo plays over 200 shows a year, and many of these are performances for young low-income students in urban communities. Wil and Kev aim to challenge stereotypes and preconceived notions of what a “classical musician” looks and sounds like. We just released their new track “Showoff”, a classic instrumental that breaks down those barriers, accompanied by a new video that features a variety of athletes and influencers showing off their own impressive feats and stunts.