You learn something new every day, and you learn about fifty somethings new in a conversation with Michael Vincent Waller, or MVW. I jumped on a call with the composer-turned-trap producer, and we talked about everything from classical composition to artist relationships to his latest single, “Tru Tru” with TiaCorine and Lil Cherry. The new track makes you feel like you’re floating through space or simply on drugs.
Waller combines the classical world with pop and hip-hop, and his versatility almost goes without saying. He’ll capture street-rap energy in one song, then turn around and build an instrumental around a cello in the next, and both will slap. Looking to the future, he talked about his goal to be “surrounded by music” – working on projects of his own, continuing collaborations, and existing in a lane outside typical genres and classifications.
MVW started his career as a composer after studying music at NYU, releasing under his full name, Michael Vincent Waller. The Staten Island, NY, native quickly built up a catalog, going so far as to earn a 7.8 rating from Pitchfork on his 2019 classical project, Moments. To put in perspective, this is the same score they gave Drake’s 2017 hit album, More Life. A year after that, Waller took a hard left turn and started making rap music.
Inspired by the Young Thugs and Pusha Ts of the time, he started producing hip-hop. The new sound stayed true to his classical roots, and he often includes samples from his older work in his production. Since moving into this new role in 2020, he’s executive-produced two full albums as MVW with features like Desiigner, Lil Gotit, Zelooperz, and Matt Ox.
As a producer, Waller also wears the hat of an A&R. He’s constantly discovering new artists and planning out which artists would sound good on which instrumentals. He talked about his preference for artists who feel different and sincere. “It’s just about being you,” and not always trying to make a hit or venture too far outside the box. In recent years, Waller found both of these qualities in Valee. The two have recorded a laundry list of tracks together and have a collab album on the way.
While you wait for that, check out MVW’s latest single, “Tru Tru,'' and in the right mood, give his classical music a listen too. Learn more about MVW below:
Focus on that inner drive which you feel the most. Unexpected turns in your path should be embraced. Channel the unknown, and let that elevate you.
Tough... I'm extremely grateful for the audience that has listened to my work, and to see that play out has been extremely rewarding. But to answer the question at hand, maybe “Right Back,” “Never That,” and “TikTok” from the project CONNECTIONS, and “Still Do” and “4Fit” from CLASSIC$. Maybe my whole catalog, ha!
I always felt like my journey is my legacy. Each interesting experience shapes who I want to be. At this stage, I feel like it’s the fact that I am able to traverse different artistic worlds (contemporary classical and hip-hop) finding their commonalities and how they both are about breaking the rules. This helps develop a wave length for continuums of inspiration. I want to explore how to make hybrid genres a vehicle for aesthetic transformation. I want to be remembered as someone who really worked towards surveying the spectrum of art.
I like to paint, I also like to eat. I enjoy any events that focus on culture. The different ways to connect around aesthetics and the palette can deepen the communication of that personal experience.
Listen to “Tru Tru” with TiaCorine and Lil Cherry, my first single of 2023. Stay tuned for more projects this year. A new album with Valee is imminent. Also writing some new classical works. Overall, trying to keep as motivated and focused as possible, letting higher energy inspire what is next.