Natalia, better known as “MyVerse” in many states and in other countries, might look like a tiny package, but she is a lyrical giant when she gets a mic in her hand.
Being a performer, poet, writer, rapper, singer, activist, and more, keeps this Floridian quite busy on stage and off.
SB: Let us know briefly who you are and where you’re from.
MV: My name is Natalia also known as the poet/emcee named MyVerse; I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. My father is from Panama and my mom is from Puerto Rico.
SB: Now growing up with ballet, writing short stories, singing in the church choir, if not for your brother, do you think you would still be into hip hop or would you have pursued another path?
MV: I was destined for public speaking . I naturally growing up was always a fan of quotes , arts and philosophies. My quest in Hip Hop started when I seen how much lyrics correlated with my poetry. I found word play to be fascinating. Though my brother always encouraged that music should have substance he never really played positive secular hip hop. I feel that he very much influenced my love for quality in music.
SB: Do you prefer spoken word more or being an emcee/rapper, would you choose one over the other or do you plan performing both in your career?
MV: I will be doing both and much more in this career.
SB: Talk about military school for a minute, how did that come about and how did it influence you as an artist?
MV: Due to ungovernable behavior in high school, I went to 3 different schools before I went to military school to get to graduate. I voluntarily went to get my diploma early at the age of 17. Florida Youth Challenge Academy is where I discovered the art of spoken word and where I first performed my pieces on stage.
SB: For those that never heard of you and think you’re new on the scene, you’ve warmed up the stage for many artists such as Das Efx, EPMD, Brand Nubian, Joel Ortiz, Jada Kiss, Styles P, Rock Steady Crew and others. Besides opening up for those artists, who was it that influenced you at such an early age, or still influences you now in your lyrics and your style of flowing?
MV: It was an honor to do so might I add. But if it came down to who truly influenced my lyrics it would have to be…. life. As far as style, Gang Starr’s album “Moment of Truth” was what really influenced my connection in putting my poetry to music. Lauren Hill of course is also a big part as far as her voice projection and delivery. Word play aspect – Big pun. Political aspect – Immortal Technique. Song constructing aspect – Erykah Badu and Mos def. Story telling aspect – Nas.
SB: Not only have you had your own open mic nights “Prolific Mondays” and helped build the Orlando team (Team Rock It) for the nationwide “Brand New Voices” spoken word competitions in 2010 and 2011, but you help with a Catholic Charity to bring awareness of refugee families escaping political or religious persecution, by creating a furniture drive/pick up that accepts gently used house wear for donations. Do you think it’s every artist’s duty to give back to the community and help others since they have a ‘public voice’ or is it just up to each artist individually?
MV: Not just artist but as Humans, have an obligation to humanity for a greater good. Change first starts home.
SB: Where did you get the name “MyVerse”?
MV: I used to be called “DyVerse” but realized there was another artist with that name. I wanted a name that was original and represented me with no way to tarnish it. I wanted a name that no matter which you put it, I’d still have the upper hand.
For example if someone were to say “My verse is wack” I’d say “I Know!” or if they said “MyVerse is ill” I’d say “I Know!” I created it with the intention to battle.
SB: Do you feel you have more control or freedom being and independent artist or would there be more of an advantage being on a major label?
MV: Of course when being independent you have more creative control , as opposed to fitting an image to make back the loan these major labels give you. But labels can be beneficial as far as providing a budget to market your work. It’s a matter of being careful who you sign with. Also it’s up to what you really want. SB: Being that you started before you were a teenager, what advice would you have for someone that young that wants to do what you do?
MV: If this is what your heart desires, cultivate and master it. Do not waste time.
SB: Where will I find MyVerse in 5 years?
MV: You will find my 2nd album on iTunes; My poetry book in Barnes & Noble; and me being a commentator on current events either on TV or the internet.