TheVIPPReport: Louisville native Marzz shoots for the stars

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

Inside the Mercury Ballroom on a June summer night, Louisville’s newest sensation Marzz waits in anticipation to give fans a show.

As music fills the streets of South Fourth Street, crowds begin lining up with tickets in hand, ready to see the return of the up and coming R&B singer at the Ballroom.

“I feel it’s the atmosphere is what makes it so different,” they said.

Marzz, who is signed to Keep Cool/RCA Records, is back at the venue for a second time where others like fellow Louisvillians Bryson Tiller and Jack Harlow have also graced the stage.

“I just wanted to connect and vibe with yall, this is my home,” they said.

This night, it’s different. It’s the first time since releasing their full-length album “Love Letters” to fans – Martians as they call them, across the country.

“Baby, that’s my heartbeat. Got me looking – going crazy,” they said.

The journey to Marzz started in Louisville for Laria McCormick, a Fairdale High School graduate. The humble beginnings put the singer on the path to reaching for the stars.

They started singing in church from an early age where their mother and grandmother were both heavily involved in church leadership.

“Since I was a kid, I grew up in church. Singing in the children’s choir, I feel like that had a lot influence too. Literally being a pk, my aunties and them always had me singing solo in the choir, I used to hate it cuz it’s like literally all eyes on me,” Marzz said.

Marzz said their sound and gender identity, which is non-binary, moved them away from the church and toward the R&B billboard charts.

Marzz prefers the pronouns “they, their and them” – not “she.”

“I feel like in the church there was a lot of judgmental people. You know what I’m saying, it’s kind of weird to transition from that, but it felt good to transition into a place where I felt welcome – where I knew that ain’t nobody going to judge me,” they said.

Drawing from personal experiences of hardship and heartache, Marzz poured out feelings on pages of notebooks – each with different colors – that would eventually become the inspiration for their debut release.

“I feel like really didn’t start getting into song writing in my music until I was like 11. You know what I’m saying, that’s when my mom and dad was going through a divorce. I kind of just went to notebooks. You know, just expressing myself, I wasn’t a real verbal kid growing up. I have different color notebooks that I write in,” they said.

It wasn’t until an Instagram post, standing out from the typical scrolling, that garnered the attention of super producer Timbaland. The stars began aligning for the young artist.

“Usually, I get like 300 views but then the day that I posted it this Jhené Aiko freestyle I believe. I had went in my phone, I woke up, and I see my phone kept going off – what’s going on with my phone and I look on my Instagram — I seen Timbaland repost it and I was like hold up – I was like hold up I started screaming, I was crying. I was like is this really him?” they said.

The social media post, plus their connection with Timbaland and several recordings in tow, landed them in front of RCA Records.

The songs of love and heartache would be released as a six-track EP that would take on a deeper meaning.

“Just me exploring, you know, figuring out self, loving myself, and understanding who I am as a person, you know what I’m saying.”

The standout single, “Countless Times,” dives right into their world.

The Mercury Ballroom would seem as far away as the moon, where Marzz was headed. 

They captured national attention performing during the Soul Train Awards on the BET Amplified stage, receiving kudos from the likes of JaRule.

From that moment, Marzz skyrocketed into the stratosphere. They have been named a “Future Five Artist” by SiriusXM and Billboard magazine’s “R&B Rookie Artist” in April.

“It was a super humbling moment for me. I was like dang, ‘this is so incredible’, you know what I’m saying? I was like, speechless, I was like they really mess with me. I appreciate all the love cuz what else can I say other than thank you for hearing me,” they said.

The young artist’s career is coming at a time when the tide is changing in the music industry. Social media is playing a huge role in how hits are determined.

Their meaningful melodic vibe is separating them from the rest, pushing the realm of R&B music beyond its limits.

“I think I’m outside the box, like I don’t think that I make just R&B music. I make everything, like, it don’t matter what it is. I don’t even know if it’s got a name to it. The genre or the type of – whatever the beat or wherever the beat is taking me, that’s where I go,” they said.

Music and the way hits are made might be changing, but it’s not about topping the charts for the young artist.

“I ain’t gon’ lie I don’t think I would be this far—you know what I mean? I still have so much more to go but I’m super grateful to be where I am at,” they said.

It’s the emotions of break-up and finding new love that gives Marzz and their Martians a world of their own .Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.comor follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

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The VIPP Report: The “Classic Man” performs at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY


In 2015, the song “Classic Man” by rapper/singer Jidenna gave him the nod for a Grammy Award. Now, the artist that has sharp eye for fashion announces his Louisville show.   His new album “The Chief” was released in February. Fans will get to hear his new songs on Tuesday, August 8th.  Roman Gianathur will open for Jidenna at the Mercury Ballroom show.

Tickets are on sale for the artist who’s on the cutting edge of contemporary culture. They are $29.00.  The show is scheduled for 8:00 pm. Don’t forget this is a general admission standing room only venue that holds approximately 900 people.

If you have a story idea, send it to Sherlene Shanklin at  Follow us on Twitter @sherlenemediapr @vippcomm @thevippreport.


The VIPP Report: Louisville native Bryson Tiller adds a second show in his hometown

By Sherlene Shanklin

Someone mentioned to me yesterday that Louisville native Bryson Tiller will have two show in Louisville as part of his “Set It Off” tour.  I looked at that schedule multiple times and just didn’t see it.

Then in the last hour the Grammy-nominated artist announced three popup shows and there it was “LOUISVILLE”.

Tiller will start the popups tomorrow, June 1st with The Roxy in Los Angeles, CA. The second on will be June 3rd in New York at the Bowery Ballroom and then his last popup will be in his hometown of Louisville, KY.  He will be at the Mercury Ballroom on Wednesday, June 7th.

The Mercury Ballroom is an intimate venue where the patrons stand.  It holds around 900 people.

The show is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. This is what the Mercury Ballroom is saying about the concert:

The VIPP Report: Soul artist Leela James will be in Louisville


By Sherlene Shanklin

A few weeks ago, I told friends that I had found my new cd to hit repeat on.  Now, I’ve learned that the artist will be in Louisville.  R&B and soul artist Leela James will be at the Mercury Ballroom on Wednesday, June 14th at 8:00p.

James’ new cd entitled “Did It For Love” is filled with soulful anthems and stories of love from “Don’t want You Back” “All Over Again” “Hard For Me” to “Take Me”.  It’s a cd full of soulful ballads.

Daley will open for James.  He currently has the single “Until the Pain is Gone” featuring Jill Scott.

Tickets for Leela James go on sale Friday, May 19th at 12:00p.

If you have a story and/or would like to be an advertiser for The VIPP Report contact us at the following: thevippreport at vippcommunications dot com.



The VIPP Report: DJ Envy from The Breakfast Club travels to the Derby City to celebrate being apart of a new radio station in Louisville



(Louisville, KY) Big Don MJ Entertainment and 93.1 The Beat welcomes one of the top morning show hosts in the radio industry.  DJ Envy of The Breakfast Club will be a part of the MidSummer Night Affair on Saturday, August 6th at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY starting at 10:00 p.m.

DJ Envy will be spinning live throughout the evening to celebrate the new Hip Hop and R&B station and The Breakfast Club’s poplar morning show slot in Louisville featuring Angela Yee, Charlamagne Tha God and Envy.

iHeart Media started the station in May of this year and DJ Envy’s morning station started their broadcast in the area on June 13th.

Guests must be 21 & older to attend this event. Door open at 10pm. Regular general admission tickets start at $23 which give you VIP access to the second floor. There’s a limited amount of early bird tickets and they are $13. Prices are subject to change without notice. Dress code will be strictly enforced.

For additional information contact MJ Entertainment at 502.409.0531.



The VIPP Report: The Mercury Ballroom welcomes Lupe Fiasco


Grammy-nominated artist Lupe Fiasco will be in Louisville Tuesday, April 26th.  “The Show Must Go On” artist will perform in the Mercury Ballroom at 8:00 pm.

Fiasco’s career started while raping in junior high school.  Thanks to the support of Jay-Z, was signed as a solo artist to Arista and eventually landed at Atlantic Records.

You can see him live in Louisville tomorrow night and tickets are only $25 at the box office with Student ID OR online with code KICKPUSH.

If you have a story idea, send it to  You can follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm.


The VIPP Report: Travel delays cause Bone Thugs n Harmony to postpone Louisville show with fans standing in line



Due to a travel delay, two members of the group were unable to make it to Louisville tonight.

The show will now take place on Saturday, March 26th. Hold onto your tickets they will be honored at next week’s show. If you are unable to make it on the 26th, refunds are available at point of purchase.

In a statement sent to me says “Both Bone Thugs-N-Harmony & The Mercury Ballroom apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We sincerely hope everyone can make it make back next Saturday. Thank you.”

If you have a story idea and/or would like to be an advertiser contact us at  You can follow us on Twitter at @Sherlenemediapr for real-time news.


The VIPP Report: Bone Thugs n Harmony perform in Louisville


Tonight, it’s the meeting at the Crossroads as Bone Thugs n Harmony celebrate their 20th anniversary of their Grammy Award winning song. 

They are known for their fast –pace rapping style. The Ohio natives don’t have too far to travel to entertain their Louisville fan-base.

On Thursday, March 17th, it’s Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the Mercury Ballroom.  Formed in 1990, the group have collaborated with hip-hop/rap legends like Eazy –E, 2 Pac, Notorius B.I.G. and Big Pun.

Tickets are $27.50 in advance.  Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 8 p.m.

You can purchase tickets by going online at or at the Louisville Palace Box Office.

If you have a story and/or would like to advertise contact us at You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm or @Sherlenemediapr for real-time news.

The VIPP Report: Independent Powerhouse Tour 2016 featuring Tech N9ne


He earned the name Tech N9ne for his rapid fire rap lyrics at a young age.  Now, fans in Louisville and surrounding cities will see him for the first time in the Mercury Ballroom on Saturday, April 9th.  The Independent Powerhouse Tour will also bring Krizz Kaliko, Rittz, Mayday!, Stevie Stone and Ces Cru to Louisville.

Tech N9ne has worked with Kendrick Lamar, B.O.B, T-Pain, Cee Lo Green and Wiz Khalifa.

If you purchase the tickets in advance you can purchase the for $28.  Doors open at 7 p.m. and showtime is at 8 p.m.

If you have a story idea, send it to  You can follow us on Twitter @Vippcomm.

The VIPP Report: Biz Markie in concert at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY

On Friday, January 15th , the Mercury Ballroom will take you back in time where hip hop and rap was in the infant stages and aspiring artists in the genre were trying to make a name for themselves.  Fast forward to 2016 and these artists are considered legends like the one who will return to Louisville.  Biz Markie will be apart of the 80s vs. 90s Mashup Bash.
Tickets are only $15 to see this infamous dj and legend in the hip hop game.  Biz Markie has performed on the turntables for exclusive events such as Super Bowl, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Show, Grammy after parties of our course the some of the biggest Kentucky Derby events.
This will also be The411 with Sherlene Shanklin thank you for your support event.  I’m going to send at least 100 people to this event.  All you have to do is like my public figure page to be eligible and then look for the announcements.  I’ve even attached the link for you below.
If you have a concert announcement that you would like for me to announce send it to  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram at Sherlenemediapro.
The VIPP Report will also give away tickets for this concert. So, follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.

The VIPP Report: Monica will perform in the Mercury Ballroom


By Sherlene Shanklin

She’s no stranger to Louisville and her fans adore her because she brings it every time she hits the stage.  R & B artist Monica will return to Louisville to perform some new music from her  seventh studio album titled Code Red.  She will be at the Mercury Ballroom on  Monday, November 23rd.

Her new cd will feature tracks from  Missy Elliot, Lil’ Wayne and Akon.  Tickets are $32.50 in advance. Showtime is 8:00 p.m.  Tickets subject to price increases day of show. Tickets may be purchased at or at The Louisville Palace Box Office.

If you have a story idea, send it to us at  You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm @Sherlenemediapro.

The VIPP Report: Blues artist Rhiannon Giddens will be in Louisville this week at the Mercury Ballroom


The founding band member of the Caroline Chocolate Drops spreads her wings and flies solo to launch a tour.  Grammy winning artist of blues and folk Rhiannon Giddens will perform in the Mercury Ballroom on September 17th.  Giddens will also feature members of the Louisville Orchestra during her show.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at or The Louisville Palace Box Office.

If you have a story idea and/or if you would like to be advertiser contact us at  You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.

The VIPP Report: Ohio native Lyfe Jennings will make a stop in Kentucky to perform in the Mercury Ballroom


By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television/The VIPP Report

I’ve been hearing for weeks that R&B artist Lyfe Jennings would perform in Louisville.  I received the date of Thursday, September 24th but the venue was unknown,  Now, I have that information.  Jennings will perform at the Mercury Ballroom on 4th Street in downtown Louisville.   The tow level, 16,000 sq. ft. venue seats 200.  Tickets are $27.50 and the show begins at 8:30 pm.

Fans of the Toledo, Ohio native will get to hear some of his hits like “Must Be Nice”, “Statistics”, and “Never Never Land”.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

The VIPP Report: George Clinton makes a stop in Louisville for a concert in May

The VIPP Report:  It’s all about the “Atomic Dog” on Thursday, May 7th at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY.  Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and the innovators of what we know as the Pfunk will be in concert.
George Clinton and Parliament –Funkadelic will blend elements of Jazz, Rock, Pop, Classical and Gospel to give that unique sound loved and admired by their fans.
Even though they made their mark in the 1970’s and 80’s, they still have fans who know their music as soon as the musical interlude begins.
Tickets are $32.50 in advance.  Doors open at 7 p.m. and one hour later the show will begin.  For additional information go to
 If you have a story idea, send it to  You can also follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.