The sensational Marvin Priest made a spectacular entrance onto the Australian music scene earlier this year when his incredible solo debut single, the thumpin' 'Own This Club', became a smash hit, going double-platinum and hitting number six on the ARIA singles chart.
Now, here it is, Marvin's highly anticipated debut mini-album, the brilliant, soulful and sophisticated Beats & Blips.
From the instant everyone got to experience the voice, style and innate rhythm of this impressive young star, it was obvious that Marvin Priest is a debut artist quite like no other. So rarely in modern music does a new artist appear on the scene boasting such experience and depth of skill and talent.
Marvin's musical bloodline explains a lot. The son of reggae superstar Maxi Priest, Marvin spent his childhood touring the planet and soaking up all the international music world had to offer, long before he was even old enough to start high school.
The London-born, Australian-based young singer says he made Beats & Blips with one objective in mind. 'I really wanted to make an album that makes you dance,' he says of this eight-track debut. 'It takes you on a nice little journey. It makes you dance but it's also got a few moments where you can just chill and listen to the music.'
Beats & Blips includes Marvin's three hi-energy singles to date: 'Own This Club', 'Take Me Away', his second Top 40 hit in a row (already gold!) featuring international pop princess Wynter Gordon, and Marvin's upcoming summer anthem, 'Feel The Love' featuring New York hiphop star Fatman Scoop.
Beats & Blips saw Marvin collaborate with some of the hottest producers, singers, writers, mixers and remixers around the planet - including the legendary multi-Grammy winning mixer Serban Ghenea (Taio Cruz, Ke$ha, Chris Brown, Katy Perry), plus Fredrik 'Fredro' Odesjo ('a Swedish white Rastafarian living in New York,' according to Marvin, whose other production credits include Sugababes, Wynter Gordon, Kelly Rowland and Guy Sebastian), as well as local bred talent, including Melbourne's Styalz Fuego (who's worked with, among others, Kelis and Snoop) and from Sydney, production duo Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci, better known as DNA.
DNA were Marvin's main collaborators on Beats & Blips, working with him on four tracks. "Which was just a given because they're awesome," says Marvin. "I vibed them so well and they really understand me. We just had a load of sessions and almost every session that we have, we come out with fantastic songs. It's ridiculous."
Add to this incredible list four-time Grammy winner Manny Marroquin (Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Usher, Kid Sister, Will.I.Am) and the legendary Phil Tan (Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Tinie Tempah, Ludacris).
Despite drawing on this extraordinary collection of collaborators, plus working on the album right across the globe, as far and wide as Marvin's hometown of London, across to New York, and here in Australia, what makes Beats & Blips hold together so brilliantly is that it is 100 per cent Marvin's musical vision. And, of course, there's that voice.
'I've worked with so many different people to find the sound that I want,' Marvin explains. 'They all played great roles on this album. I needed each of them to do what they do best, because I want to take you on different journeys and to different places, so I needed to have people like Fredro on there (producing two tracks, 'Take Me Away' and the reggae-driven 'Waiting') and I needed to have people like Fatman Scoop, so they can all bring in their elements.'
Aside from Marvin's hi-energy tracks, Beats & Blips also displays the breadth of his grooves and styles. 'Waiting' has a reggae-feel with a state of the art dance edge, 'Real Love' is a soul-inspired ballad, while the epic 'Work It' features a guest appearance from a very special artist, Maxi Priest.
Maxi didn't take too much convincing to get involved. 'I was like, "I really like this song"' says Marvin. 'So I went to my dad and I said, "Dad, c'mon, jump on this, man, it will be right up your alley, it's got the right reggae, calypso sort of drums." And he said yeah and it's turned out really good.'
Marvin only started his music career about three and a half years ago when he took up a regular gig as a back-up vocalist in his dad's touring band. Naturally, Maxi didn't want his son getting lost in his shadow and would invite Marvin to the front of the stage to share the spotlight, regularly duetting with his dad and even penning tracks for albums.
Marvin's natural talent didn't go unnoticed amongst Maxi's circle of superstars. Marvin was soon asked out on tour by those other leading lights of British reggae, UB40.
Then, in 2008, Marvin's life and career took a most unexpected turn. During a trip to Australia as part of the hugely successful Ragamuffin tour, which featured both Maxi Priest and UB40, Marvin fell in love with the country.
He soon returned for an extended stay and quickly found himself in the thick of the local club scene. Hot local DJ Nino Brown invited Marvin to collaborate on one of his best-selling Blazin compilations. Marvin has also since worked with pop heavyweights such as Brian McFadden and Ronan Keating. Late last year, Marvin lent his voice to a track called "Rockstar" by a couple of hot local producers, Tom Piper and Jono Fernandez, and the song proved an instant club hit, peaking at #2 on the ARIA Dance charts.
Which brings us to Beats & Blips. This is a sophisticated, soulful, beautiful, world-class recording that will turn Marvin Priest into an international star. Australian fans are lucky enough to get to hear it here first.
Beeps & Blips is the brilliant debut album from Marvin Priest. Get ready to dance. You won't be able to help yourself.