VELVET CODE (real name Marlon Wurmitzer) is a Canadian electropop artist, DJ, and producer based in Toronto. As a songwriter and music producer, Velvet Code’s influences include Madonna, Freddie Mercury, Robyn, and Muse. His music can be described as a modern take on 1980’s pop with heavy influences of electropop and EDM. Dreamer is Velvet Code’s second full-length studio album and it was recorded in Toronto, Canada with additional production in New York and Los Angeles. On Dreamer, Velvet Code collaborated with songwriter Wendy Starland (Lady Gaga), with production contributions from Gavin Bradley, Joe Laporta (Sterling Sound NYC), Rob Bryton, Robi Banerji and Scott Kelly (Westlake Studios).
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Check out the latest songs from VELVET CODE at the links below while you check out this exclusive interview we got with Marlon!
Break The Silence (FORD Remix): https://soundcloud.com/velvetcode/break-the-silence-ford-remix/s-jKbIW
Mary Offered Ladybugs and Love Yous: https://soundcloud.com/velvetcode/velvet-code-mary-offered-ladybugs-and-love-yous-hardino-remix
Teenage Dreamer (Morlando Remix): https://soundcloud.com/velvetcode/velvet-code-teenage-dreamer-circuit-party-remix/s-Xei73
1) We really love your current song, “Break The Silence” and “Mary Offered Ladybugs And Love Yous”! What was the inspiration behind each of those songs?
VELVET CODE: “Break The Silence” was written during a time when I was contemplating a return to music after some battles with anxiety and depression when I was out of the game, felt like I didn't belong, so I knew I had to win my way back. Luckily, I think things have been going pretty well and I'm in a good place. “Mary Offered Ladybugs and Love Yous” was a good segue into that triumph, and to celebrate the struggles people overcame for human rights. Although there are still walls to climb, there is still a good measure of success that we can build off of. That is my hope, that we continue to strive for happiness and freedom.
2) For our readers not yet familiar with VELVET CODE, can you describe yourself as an artist? What sets you apart from other pop/dance artists of your time?
VELVET CODE: I'm a hybrid electronic music artist because I'm not strictly a DJ, I'm not a singer/songwriter, and I'm not a producer. I'm all of the above mashed together, morphed into a new kind of electronic music artist. My LIVE show makes this all very clear. I perform with a DJ rig, either Traktor or Pioneer, along with my Nord Electro, Roland AX-Edge Keytar, and my Access Virus TI2. I sing live and I perform my songs live. It's never just a track running, and you won't hear me singing overtop of a complete track. My show is an experience of what it's like for me in the studio, for me every day basically. Building my day, my music…my life.
3) What's the music scene like in Toronto? What about in Canada, as compared with the U.S.? We've heard the Canadian government does some very positive things, in terms of legislation, to support Canadian artists. Can you explain?
VELVET CODE: Toronto has a vibrant scene with venues like Coda, The Drake, Rebel, Hideway, The Loft. Artists have the ability to perform as they are with excellent fan support. We're craving new music all the time, and welcome artists from around the world. Canada has ways of supporting the arts, with grant programs like FACTOR where support is provided to Canadian recording artists, songwriters, artist managers, record labels, music publishers and event producers so they can grow internationally.
4) You also DJ! We've heard your weekly “Rise To The Rhythm” radio show on Dash Radio's Electro City and also on Jack'd Up Radio. We know you can also stream your show on EDMSessions lately. Can you describe yourself as a DJ? How is your DJ-persona different from your “artist/singer” persona?
VELVET CODE: I don't consider myself one or the other. As I mentioned earlier, it's an interesting hybrid, something unique that I've created, where I DJ, sing and produce live with a pretty cool light show. It seems to be difficult for bookers to get their heads wrapped around my live setup though, as it might seem complicated, but I run everything through my own system and requires very little in terms of set-up. I'm hoping to secure an opening slot on a tour this spring that will put an end to all that confusion.
5) Do you have any EDM or club/festival releases we should know about?
VELVET CODE: I have an upcoming release called “Teenage Dreamer,” a progressive track that will come out in the New Year. I'm also re-releasing “Break The Silence” and “A Fire Inside” through a remix compilation which will include a version by FORD which is incredibly club ready!
6) You're very active in the LGBT community. Can you tell us about that as it relates to your music career?
VELVET CODE: As an LGBT electronic music artist, and since I've drawn most of my musical inspiration from experiences within the community, I feel it's time to give back and pay tribute to my roots. I am happy to perform for Pride festivals around the world as a way to be a part of something bigger than me.
7) What is the most important message you want to get out?
VELVET CODE: I'm part of a group of artists who have never had it easy. I'm not in my teens, or 20s, and have never been accepted properly in any genre or by any group of music executives. I've had to claw my way up to where I am now and I will never give up. It is my duty to make music and to have it heard. To anyone who is an outcast artist like me, maybe you don't “look the part” or “sound the part” but if you have heart and good work ethic you must NEVER GIVE UP.
8) You also have a clothing line of your own and it's obvious from your image that fashion is very important to you. Is there something “bigger” you want to convey with your styling, beyond just selling merch?
VELVET CODE: Fashion is an important part of my identity, as I always strive to be true to myself. The reason I wanted to launch a fashion line called “You Do You” is I want to start a fashion revolution, one of independence and freedom. I'm working on a number of new designs and slogans for the line that will be released in the New Year.
9) Your music is distributed by SONY Music Entertainment and you'll also be releasing music on QUEENPIN Recordings (Black Hole Recordings) in the coming months and years. You've also been on TV a lot in Canada and you're starting to make an impact on the U.S. EDM scene. What were some of the biggest obstacles you've had to overcome in your career to get to where you are today? What words of inspiration can you give to other aspiring artists perhaps going through a tough time, who are reading this now?
VELVET CODE: The biggest obstacle is that I don't fit into a niche; for example, I'm not a progressive DJ, I'm not an electropop DJ, I'm not a pop singer/songwriter. I'm a mix of all of those things! I've always stayed true to myself and I refuse to change into something I am not, no matter how much easier the path may be. I'll always be an electronic music artist who has transcended the norm. I'm here to break barriers for other artists who feel they don't belong. Because you make music, you do belong.
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