By DJ Dave Hoffenberg
This Friday, Dec. 28, the place to be is the Clear River Tavern at 9 p.m. for the hip hop stylings of rapper Jarv. He is definitely the biggest act to ever hit the floor of the Clear River Tavern. With over 45,000 Facebook likes, he probably has more “Likes” than all the acts that have played there combined. He’s bringing his friend Ethan Sumner, who goes by Nahte Renmus, to open the show. You see what he did there?
Jarv will be performing classic hip-hop. He said, “Most of it’s fun and funky.” He’ll be performing over a beat machine, but the beats are all made by him. The show is 100 percent originals, everything he does is made by him and everything Renmus does is made by Renmus. “Basically, I’ll be DJing for myself,” said Jarv.
His musical influences which reflect in his performance are Tribe Called Quest, Del the Funky Homosapien, De la Soul, Brother Ali, Atmosphere and Aesop Rock.
Jarv was born Nathan Jarvis and he has lived in Windsor, Vermont his entire 25 years of life. He started making music when he was 15, got his first professional gig when he was 20 and now, for the past three years, he’s been doing this full-time. That first pro gig was at “A Fest For Wes” in Hartland. He performed with the “Lynguistic Civilians.” An old high school teacher recommended them and got them on the show. “From there they were like,‘You guys are really good,’ and then they helped us get a bunch of shows. That’s pretty much how it all started.”
Jarv said when he first started rapping, it was more comedic. “I would make funny little songs for my friends. I started taking it more seriously when I was a junior in high school. The thing that made me want to start rapping, like really rapping, was Atmosphere’s album, ‘Overcast!’ I was like, ‘Oh wow, I want to do this.’”
Now he is doing it full-time. He regularly tours and has played in places in the middle of nowhere, like in Montgomery, Vermont; bigger venues like the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts; and also in famous clubs like the Troubadour in Los Angeles. That place has hosted the best musical acts of all time. Jarv recalled, “That was sick.” He mostly tours around New England, but has been down the East Coast and had one tour across the country. The bigger tours and best shows he’s done have been with R.A. the Rugged Man who Jarv said is “super dope.”
Jarv entered an online rap contest that R.A. was running and he placed in the Top 10. R.A. then invited him to his apartment in New York City to film a little freestyle video for his YouTube channel. “From there we became friends and he invited me out on his tour.” He has a video on Urban Leak that went viral and has over four million views – it’s only him rapping in front of a mic. That helped him grow on Facebook, but he said that with all those likes, it’s tough because they’re all spread out. People ask if he’ll come to Germany, but he said he probably only has like 12 German fans, so probably not worth it.
Jarv just opened for KRS-One in Greenfield, Massachusetts at the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center. He said that was crazy. He also opened for RJD2 there.
Jarv has three albums to his credit and just released “Jarvage Vol. 2 (Full Mixtape)” in October. He also has “Jarvage Vol. 1 (Full Mixtape)” and “The Boiler Room” with Thief. He has three albums in three years which is quite impressive. He threw together “Vol. 1” just so he could have something to sell on his first tour with R.A. He said, “The reason I call it ‘Jarvage’ is because it was mostly garbage throw away songs that weren’t going to be on an album.” He considers “The Boiler Room” to be his first real album. “‘Jarvage Vol. 2’ I look at like ‘Vol. 1,’ but I definitely put more time into it. It has more of an album feel than ‘Vol. 1.’”
When making his music, Jarv starts making the beats first. “However that makes me feel or whatever I picture is what I will write about. If it’s a dope, classic hip-hop beat, maybe I’ll write some rhymes. Certain beats will make me want to write more of a concept thing or I’ll write a story. The beat will dictate whether it’s funny or serious or braggadocios.”
Jarv loves all of it. “When people are moving or engaged, it’s a feeling unlike anything else. I guess it just makes me feel really cool [laughing]. I’m probably seeking attention to make me feel good about myself. What’s cool is that I make music first – I’m a recording artist. That’s what I’m trying to do for my job, so sometimes it’s stressful. If I play a really good show and people are into it, it makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing. What I’m doing is worth it.”
He’s definitely doing something right. Seven Days called him, “The most prominent MC in the state of Vermont.” Come see why and then tell me all about it because I am super bummed I won’t be able to attend.
Photo courtesy Dave Hoffenberg