Spotlight on LA-based singer-songwriter Jared Martinez
Jared Martinez is an LA-based songwriter with a truly unique attitude and sound. Although the commonly associated picture in a listener’s mind when it comes to singer-songwriter is a lonely guy standing in a bedroom recording a melancholic ballad with an acoustic guitar, Jared Martinez’s music is a lot less narrow, going for an energetic and uplifting vibe, not unlike legendary artists such as Queen or The Beatles, but with a snappy modern vibe closer to One Republic or The All-American Rejects. Jared Martinez has just released his album, “do you really wanna hurt me”. A portion of all sales will go to the Shropshire Music Foundation which provides musical instruments and education to children in war stricken countries. Here is an exclusive interview with Jared.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
Jared Martinez: I have been singing and writing music since I was four years old but I really got my start in my junior year of high school when I wrote what became “Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me” in my high school music theory class. Now a few years later, I’m really doing something with my music!
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Jared Martinez: Growing up I heard a lot of 80’s music, artists like Queen and YAZ come to mind. As I got into my early teens The All American Rejects music really connected with me and I want to have that effect with my music.
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Jared Martinez: Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic is a huge inspiration to me as a songwriter, producer and performing artist. If I could work with anybody it would be him. I’m listening to a lot of new independent artists right now, some that come to mind are The Living Strange and Celestial.
- Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry and fellow artists, and if so how have you handled that, and criticism in general?
Jared Martinez: Any criticism I get turns into motivation to work even harder. There will always be people who don’t support you 100%, but if I spend all my time trying to make other people happy, it wouldn’t really be my music anymore.
- Do you consider Youtube and videos an important part in promoting and marketing music and have you published any videos yet? Jared Martinez: Yes! YouTube is an amazing place to discover, listen to and watch new music. My entire catalogue is going to be available on YouTube in one form or another, including some music videos!
- Studio recording or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why?
Jared Martinez: I definitely prefer performing live, the feeling you get when you’re up on stage bearing your soul through your music has no comparison. I really do love recording and producing, as it allows me to get really up close and personal with the music while I try to capture the essence that my songs have live.
- Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Do you write and compose them, and do you work with other writers and composers?
Jared Martinez: I wrote and produced my music on this album, with the exception of Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me and Lock it Up which were produced by Jordan Higgins. I have a lot of really talented friends in the industry and I love running new ideas and music by them.
- What is the title of your latest release and where can fans find it?
Jared Martinez: My debut album, “Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me” can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, etc. and even Bandcamp – https://jaredmartinez.bandcamp.com/releases – where you can name your price! You will also be able to find the album on YouTube shortly!
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist apart from your apparent young age?
Jared Martinez: Drawing from my experiences I have been able to really put myself out there through my music in a way that I just can’t do anywhere else.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Jared Martinez: Desire. I want my music heard and felt by as many people as possible in as many places as possible. A dream of mine is to be performing on stage and hearing the audience singing louder than me!
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Jared Martinez: It is so easy now to get your music available to the world…and this ease really drives up the competition. There are so many talented artists out there and I can’t wait to see my name up with the best of them.
- Do you play any instruments and how do you usually compose your songs?
Jared Martinez: I play piano/keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. I typically come up with a lyric, and then take it to the keyboard until a song is flushed out. Sometimes both come together!
- How do you achieve your sound? Do you work from a home recording environment or do you use a professional sound studio?
Jared Martinez: Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me and Lock it Up were recorded and produced in Jordan Higgins’ studio, the rest in mine. I try to capture the essence of a live performance in my productions, opting for less takes and going all the way through the song instrumentally and vocally.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Jared Martinez: Don’t wait for your “big break”. I have to go out and do it on my own, or else nothing is going to happen. Luck isn’t just having an opportunity come your way…but also being ready when it does. People told me not to quit piano lessons, and I didn’t listen. Who knows how different life would be, no regrets!
- What are your thoughts on talent shows like American Idol, The Voice and the X-Factor?
Jared Martinez: Shows like these have huge potential for catapulting careers exposure wise, however they are not the “be-all end-all” as there are so many more working musicians than have ever been contestants and winners of these shows.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Jared Martinez: These are definitely a key part of my career, and in my opinion all the artists competing for exposure create an environment that really forces the “real talent” to work even harder…and get that much better in the process. I’m a big believer in the saying “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” This could not be more true in this industry.
- How would you ideally like your sound and style described?
Jared Martinez: As my own! Real, easy to relate to, uplifting, etc. If I were to create a new genre, I would call in Hard Pop.
- How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you do everything by yourself?
Jared Martinez: Everything is currently done in house by myself: booking, promoting, social media, etc. I am managed by Chrome artists who represent other such artists as Ed Barker (When You Smile-2014) and INXS lead singer, JD Fortune (new release 2015) and world famed music producer, composer and arranger, Dr Richard Niles (Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, The Pet Shop Boys, Boyzone).
- As you work your way through your career which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award or Platinum music sales?
Jared Martinez: I would say platinum music sales, because that would mean my music is getting to millions of people, connecting and sharing a piece of myself with each and every one of them. Which would hopefully open me up to a Grammy!
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Jared Martinez: I am never willing to lip sync during a live performance.