In between, they’re selling out venues that in some cases seat thousands of fans. “If someone says you can’t do something, you should use that as fuel to prove all of them wrong and break stereotypes,” Marcus said. Since they came together, they’ve tried to take what they love and do it in a way that’s different than everyone else. The title of their latest album, “Stereotypes,” sums up in one word what motivates them. They’re the first to admit that their image doesn’t match the stereotypical violinist. “I understand these kids. and Europe. The pair’s message to the kids was as much about music as it was about inspiring the children to overcome the odds and chase their dreams. Wearing hoodies and baseball caps, they look more like hip-hop artists than classically trained musicians. They shared a music stand at Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wil B plays the viola; Kev Marcus plays the violin. They grew up playing classical music in the school orchestra, but what they listened to on their own time was hip-hop. Now, two former high school classmates have found a way to blend the two genres in the breakout duo Black Violin. Earlier in the day, Wil B and Kev Marcus performed for the elementary students at STRIVE Prep-Ruby Hill school, where all children are on the free and reduced lunch program. This year alone, they have performed for nearly 100,000 students across the U.S. “When we were growing up, we were always talking about, ‘How can we do this in a way that no one has ever done it?’ ” said Marcus, whose actual name is Kevin Sylvester. Black Violin visited Denver last week to perform at the annual fundraising gala for the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation. That’s why we do what we do,” Wil B said.  
“I could have been a seriously troubled kid, but yet I found art, I found the viola,” said Wil B, whose birth name is Wilner Baptiste. Now, they spend their lives traveling the world, sharing their music and their message. “People will be like, ‘Oh, this isn’t cool, the violin isn’t a cool instrument.’ Well, we said, “We’re gonna make it cool,’ and that’s what we did,” Marcus said. In 2005, Black Violin won the coveted competition “Amateur Night at the Apollo,” putting them on the national music map. Black Violin band members Kevin Sylvester, left, and Wilner Baptiste play at Stride Prep Ruby Hill K-8 November 15, 2016. “We want you guys to do the same thing,” Marcus told the kids. That’s what they did, and it worked. Now about 15 years later, they’re scoring the soundtrack for the FOX TV show “Pitch.” They’ve performed or toured with Aerosmith, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Linkin Park, Tom Petty, Lupe Fiasco and the Wu-Tang Clan, among others. “If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a basketball player, whatever you want to do, just find a different way to do it  than anyone has ever done it.”
This story was first published on — and they’ve been creating music together ever since.