RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LA ARTIST JOSHUA MARTIN
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
It started when I wrote my first song at 10 years old. I recall feeling hungry to write a song almost in the same fashion you feel hunger for food. The songwriting process is surreal because you create something out of nothing and it feels like such a spiritual, magical, out-of-body experience. I’ve been writing music ever since.
Introduce yourself and your musical history.
My music always feels nostalgic. I’ve been heavily influenced by the music of the 80’s and 90’s, both in English and Spanish. When I write music I intuitively know the language I need to write the lyrics in.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
That’s a great question. Personally, I know I’m succeeding despite having many obstacles in my way because I’m pursuing a dream. I’m not a spring chicken, I don’t have a technically good voice, I don’t have a label with millions of dollars to back me up, but I’m still writing music, releasing it, and allowing it to find its organic audience. I would rather have 100 people that love my music and connect to it on a deep emotional level than have millions of streams from listeners that would consider me to be disposable. The way the music industry is nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to make any money off music. You are forced to use it as a springboard for tours and merchandising and even still, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make any money on tours. Some acts actually lose money on tour because it’s so expensive.
How has your songwriting skills developed over time?
My vocabulary has expanded over the years which helps, but ultimately I write what is in my heart. There are many experiences in my life that inspire me to write. I always have something to write about. There are millions of love songs out there and they’re all saying the same thing, but with different words. That’s how I feel about most of my music.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Having someone manage your social media is important because it’s a full-time job, especially with the various platforms you have to engage. I don’t have time to do it, so I have help. Asking your friends and family to share your music helps as well. Get on podcasts, make content, do collaborations, and seek magazine’s and other online media outlets that are looking for new talent to showcase. There are tons of social media outlets out there looking for new artists to support. You just have to look. There’s always the easy way out which is to throw money at the problem and pay someone to create an ad for you with your music and target it to a specific audience in a specific location. I’ve done that before on release days to increase engagement.
Tell us a funny story from the road.
I’m not a touring act but I have performed a few times at specific events that are for a good cause. I don’t have a funny one per se, but one time I was told at the last minute, literally the last seconds before I had to perform, that due to technical difficulties they were unable to add reverb to the mic. If you happened to be there, you heard my raw unfiltered vocals with no echo, no reverb no bells and whistles. I was having a full-blown panic attack inside. I could have just brought my dollar store mic that has reverb built into it. I probably would have sounded better. As I said earlier, my voice isn’t technically good. I’m not a singer, it’s just something I do.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
My music is quirky and different and you can enjoy my music in two different languages. My Spanish music sounds like Café Tacvba and Aterciopelados, while my English music sounds like The Cure and Pet Shop Boys. As a songwriter, I have written all types of songs, from country to reggae to jazz. I enjoy writing catchy music. There’s a pop element to all of my songs.
I hear you have a new song coming out. What can you tell us about it?
Yes, the song is called, “High Go Down” and it was recorded over one year ago. It’s an indie-pop track with 80’s inspired elements sprinkled on top. I worked with an amazing producer called, Tokøta. At the time, it was my first time working with a producer because I normally produce my own music, but after watching his content on Tik Tok, I became a big fan. I sent him a demo of the song and asked him to recreate it from scratch. He not only recreated it but the energy of the song completely shifted. It became almost a new song, and I felt the need to make it even greater, so I sat down and wrote a new melody for the bridge and reworked the chorus. I re-recorded the song and did tons of vocal exercises before my recording session to make sure it sounded as good as possible. I’m really happy with the finished product.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new song?
That I should leave the production to the experts and stick to what I do best, which is to write great songs and melodies. I enjoy producing but it’s not my expertise. I always have input on the overall production but I learned that I don’t have to do it myself. It’s been a fun experience working with different producers and collaborating on the overall execution of the song.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I would love to film a video for the song but I have no time to do it. Videos nowadays are made for the artistic element and are created for fans to enjoy but videos don’t usually result in money back. It’s pricey. A small-budget video can cost $20k. I’d rather film a video on an iPhone but I have no time. I have great people in my circle that can help me and I’m grateful for it. One of these days I will block some time on my calendar to film a video. I’m very close to Joshua Tree and I love it there so much that I would more than likely film there.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I’m not just an artist, I’m a songwriter. I’m always looking to write for other artists. If you’re interested, send me a message on my socials. You can find me on Instagram @JoshuaMartin.Music