DMV is taking over the music industry for the Summer. Virginia native Sleaze has a new single out called " Shake Sum " that is sparking online. Inspired by Wiz Khalifa, Sleaze has been dropping banger after banger. We recently caught up with him and got to know him better. Check out our exclusive below.
Tell me in a few words, who you are. How would you describe
yourself in a short story.
My name is Khyli Mavin, from Smithfield, VA. I’ve been making music
since 2015 during my sophomore year of college at Louisburg College,
(Louisburg, NC). I'm a Virginia native, having lived in 5 of the 7 cities. And
also lived 2 and a half years in North Carolina during my college time and
1 year after graduation. I’m a country boy to the bone with a bit of city
● What’s your stage name and how did you come up with it?
My stage name is Sleaze or Sleazefrmda4. The 4, being an abbreviation
for the number 24, alluding to 24 Jamestown avenue from the
neighborhood I spent the majority of my life in. Sleaze is a term that was
brought about by one of my favorite artists “Wiz Khalifa” who used the
term as an expression of reckless individuality.
● What got you into music?
What got me into music was being around artists during my most
influential years. There were people very close to me that were artists &
even though I wasn’t in a place of confidence to pursue the life of an
artist, I always knew that I had a talent for music.
● What was life like growing up?
Growing up I was nothing like how I am now. I was a really shy and timid
person, heavy on the video games and anime. Naive and just wanted a
Life for me growing up was really a lot of me learning who I was over
and over again. I did a bit of moving around in my younger years so I was
around different energies and personalities and as I got older I realized
how a big part of how your experience as a person goes is based upon
how well you can adjust to countless energies you encounter on this
● Who is your inspiration? What keeps you going to get up daily and
put effort into your music career?
My first inspiration in music was Wiz Khalifa, mainly because I was told
for a while before I even knew who he was, that I favored his image.
Once I took the time to investigate who he was, I started to learn that
his points of view and ways of expressing himself were ways and
energies that I wished I embodied. In more recent years I’ve taken more
of a liking to Kendrick Lamar and his ways of expressing and making
● What is your creative process like? What is the meaning behind
your current single?
My creative process is actually quite simple, I write songs really quick
when I have a beat that speaks to me. I’ve yet to develop a strong
freestyling ability but likewise I’ve seen in multiple scenarios that my
ability to write a song in-studio is second to none. I write and record
songs to completion in under 30 minutes pretty consistently. My current
single “shake sum” is basically the latest installment in my journey of
manifesting & expressing my own self confidence. In the question “who
gone shake sum” is not based solely from a place of sexual expression,
not meaning chiefly an ass being shaken. But who’s gonna make a move,
who’s gonna take a risk, who’s gonna do what makes them happy.
● What is the name of the current single/ep/album that you are
pushing? Do you prefer people to buy it or stream? And why?
I’ve been between names of my current ep because it’s taken so long for
it to come to fruition. My original name was “Good Guys Finish Last”.
But due to cutting ties with the producer who did most of the work for
that version of the tape, and evolving from the mindset I was in during
that process, I mostly trashed it.
I’m currently between the options of “Music To Manifest To” or
As far as whether I’d prefer it bought or streamed, I'm willing to get into
the public ears whichever way is more convenient for them. There
aren’t many people buying music these days when it’s so easily
accessible, but for those who support me enough to wanna pay for it,
then I’ll graciously accept.
● With the industry changing so much, would you stay indie or sign to
a label? Why and why not?
I’ve had this thought many times that if I was offered a record deal;
would I take it and honestly, I’m not against it. It’s something I’d have to
mull over for as long as possible until I feel like I have the entire contract
and fine print understood, or get the most trustworthy legal advice I can
about the contract. Likewise if I’m in a position of traction and
consistency, and my fans are showing out and supporting me to the
extent that I can sustain my vision then I would absolutely stay
● Do you feel like the music industry has gone down since the
pandemic? Why or why not? Were you affected by the pandemic
with music or everyday life?
I feel like the music industry has evolved dramatically since the
pandemic. It made it harder in some areas and easier in others. Harder
for those who had traction in house at actual brick and mortar venues, it
slowed that side down drastically. But for those who’ve always been
heavy on social media, it opened up the avenues for the live stream
shows and versus battles that gave people the same content they
wanted but through a “safer” Avenue. I would say that I was definitely
affected by the pandemic music wise because I was just starting to get
traction in clubs and open mics but when that was cut off, it sent my
situation back to the drawing board since I was and kinda still am behind
the curve on social media.
● If you were given a chance to sit down and have a business dinner
with a celebrity who would it be and why?
I’d love to sit down with Kanye West; As radical as he is, I feel that his
abrasive & uncanny approach is the type of energy that I need to really
get in people's faces. The complete disregard for people's thoughts and
reactions is something to be studied and admired. On top of his proven
business acumen, his musical prowess is second to only Pharrell &
Timberland in my opinion.
● How do you balance everyday life tied into your music career?
Truthfully, theres not much balance in my life as far as music goes.
Unfortunately life events have been taking dominion over my time and
resources, but in the grand scheme I guess that’s just an excuse lol. The
lack of balance is really stemming from the lack of confident energy due
to the lack of comfort in my everyday life but let’s not go so far into that
rabbit hole just yet. I’ll say in a nutshell, I fit the music into the spaces
that aren’t occupied by work & bills.
● Tell me about your most memorable moment in your career?
I’d say I have about 3 very memorable situations so far in my journey as
an artist. Number would be having jadakiss actually reply to a dm and
talk to me about a placement on an independent artist tape he was
putting together. Unfortunately I couldn't pull the money together to
make that happen. The second would be performing in Atlanta for Ugly
money niche and ryme records. To date that’s been the biggest stage,
venue & crowd I’ve experienced. And 3rd would probably be one of the
last times I performed at the first radio station with 94.7. It was the first
time I had a packed room with people truly vibing to my music and
having so many people approach me afterwards.
● What style of music do you prefer to make? Would you ever try a
I’m a very versatile artist and I feel like I can approach any type of style,
but personally I feel like my bag is really in upbeat, hyper, motivational
type music. Anybody can make shooting and drug music and call it art
but I feel like the industry is way over saturated with that sound. My bag
is in talking about overcoming adversity, finding self confidence, feeling
good about yourself and your progress. I can’t just talk about what
everybody else is talking about.
● Do you have a celebrity crush?
● Is there anyone who you would collab with right now?
Wiz Khalifa, Big Krit, JID, Kendrick, J Cole, Curren$y, Kevin Gates. All my
● Who is the producer and engineer behind your music?
My main producer and engineer for the bulk of my career has been my
high school friend Deontre Fenner, better known as Tajuan. He makes
pretty much all my beats minus a few. I recorded my first ever collection
of songs with him and developed what would turn into the sleaze you all
love and enjoy today. Big shoutout to him. I’ve worked with Ace Firefist
from Newport News quite a bit as well. Things are how they are with
that situation but shouts to him anyway.
● What are you currently working on and what is next for you?
As I’ve said earlier I’m working on my first real deal project that gives a
comprehensive look at who I am as a person and as an artist. For the
sake of the conversation, we’ll just call the project you can do it. But this
will be my official introduction into the music industry.
What’s next for me is grabbing hold of the energy I need to push myself
to the top. My goals are set on going on an official tour by next summer
at least opening up for a big name artist. Traveling, concerts, festivals,
merch, becoming a recognizable entity.
● When it comes to fashion, what's your dressing style ?
My fashion style is what I can best describe as a mixture of east & west
coast 90’s retro kinda vibe. I love jerseys from any sport, ripped jeans,
flannels & button ups, flashy colors and all around uncommon items. I
took note as to how artists such as Fabulous, Wiz Khalifa, Tyler the
Creator & Asap Rocky put together looks.
● What is your creative process like and who inspired you to make
My creative process is, in my opinion, pretty straight forward. Im not yet
a skilled freestyler so I’ve honed the skill of writing verses with precision
and in very little time in most cases. If I’m feeling myself, I’ll have a song
written, recorded & ready to go in under 30 minutes. If a beat is being
made during the session it may take me the same time it takes for my
engineer to finish making the beat, but by the time he has the beat
wrapped up I’m usually writing my last lines.
I was inspired by the friends I had around me, a few of my close friends
were always rapping even long before anyone had access to recording
equipment.. My brother Yung Trap & our late friend YTN Blingg we’re
the Me being the shy & reserved type, I found my way into the freestyle
sessions by learning how to beatbox.
● If you could open up for one celebrity who would it be and why?
Some artists I'd love to open up for and be on tour with are definitely
Wiz Khalifa & Kevin Gates. I feel like my style of music would correspond
the most with the crowds they attract. They’re the artists I feel like I
relate to the most and who I could learn the most from as an artist and a
person all around.
● Any funny stories or embarrassing moments you want to share with
A funny and slightly embarrassing moment in my career I don’t mind
sharing would probably be the first time I tried Molly and had a
performance at west beach tavern. The embarrassing part was honestly
just who I was with and how I conducted myself. I got on stage and lost
my shirt immediately. But, the energy that the substance lended me,
led me to win the competition that night and was offered an opportunity
to perform in Atlanta at a bigger event, which I allowed someone I
shouldn’t have been in business with in the first place to pull that
opportunity from under me.
● What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your music
If not for music my life would most likely revolve around building &
racing cars and bikes. I grew up around technicians all my life. My father
works on & races dirt bikes, my step father runs a dump truck company.
And I’m obsessed with motor sports of all kinds, especially drifting,
rallycross & moto cross.
● What is one message you would give to your fans?
The best message I can give anyone who’s looking for the next thing
from sleaze is to just be patient with me on this journey while I’m
figuring out what it means to really embody an artist. Stick around and I
promise I won’t let you down. For the music lovers who need something
to pep them up in the morning, those who need an encouraging word,
or just wanna turn up without the mention of guns and drugs in every line.
Sit tight, the good part is about to come.
Please follow Sleaze on instagram.