Jamaican reggae artiste Denzel Martin will make his first-ever appearance on a major local stage this Christmas, in Black River when he appears on the GT Extravaganza show. The Jamaican who now resides in Chicago, USA tell us about himself and how he got started in the music biz...
Q. Who exactly is Denzel Martin and what is your musical niche?
A. Denzel Martin is a soulful, thoughtful, creative, and hardworking entrepreneur. I bring my own style and interpretation of love by writing music that expresses my views and hopefully exerts a comforting view to those who listens to it.
Q. Tell us a little about your formative years.
A. I was born in Kingston. At a young age, I went to live in Portland with my grandparents then moved back to Kingston to enroll in the Jamaica School of Arts now the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Art. I recorded and released my first song "Memory" in those years then migrated to the United States in my late teens.
Q. When did you notice or become aware of your interest in music. Who is your influence(s) and what spurred your interest?
A. I remember how intrigued I was listening to music as a child. I was always singing and observed how music made others happy. Whenever I was feeling down, music comforted me. I especially love the kind of music that touches the soul. The good music leaves me thinking and takes me back in time. My influences are Beres Hammond and Maxi Priest.
Q. How often do you visit Jamaica and what are some of the activities you partake in on your visits?
A. I come to Jamaica as often as I can. Jamaica is truly my favorite place in the world. I have to have fried fish and festival on the beach whether it's in Helshire, Fort Clarence or at Port Royal. Jerk chicken and pork definitely! Sampling the Jamaican cuisine is a big thing for me I have to treat my taste buds. Then there are the beach adventures in themselves, the great Dunns River Falls, a mineral bath and sand, sea and fun at a resort. There is also the entertainment nightlife, as an artist, I have to check those out in Kingston all while linking family and friends. Going to the studio is always a must, I really make the most of my trips and its worth it all the time.
Q. You said you are most inspired by Beres Hammond and Maxi Priest, why?
A. Sir Beres Hammond is my idol, from I was a young man. His music suits me, who I am and what I believe. I am an easy going person but deep in thoughts. If you're a Beres Hammond fan you will understand this. Maxi Priest is also another artist I admire. His soulful sound and style, topic, stance are all me. I must add though that the Mighty Diamonds and Third World have also inspired me.
Q. How did the concept for "Love Song" came about?
A. "Love Song" came from personal life experiences, as well as being able to observe daily challenges that others encounter in relationships and this we try to capture in the video (click here to watch). When I wrote "Love Song", my intention was to allow persons in a relationship or with similar experience to view themselves through the music, or simply relate.
Q. Who produced the track?
A. My friend and fellow musician/singer/songwriter Robert Burchell owns the track; after a listening session with him, I liked it so he gave me permission to use it. I have written quite a number of songs, as it turned out "Love Song" was most fitting. I got in the studio, made a few adjustments to the rhythm then recorded it. "Love Song" is a production of my label Lafayette Concept Records.
Q. Name some of the songs that you have released to date?
A. "Love Song" is my label's debut release it's been out since May of this year. It is also my first official song release. I have just completed a second single which is on schedule for a January 2018 release. I will announce the name of that single closer to its official release date.
Q. What plans do you have for your career over the next 3-6 months?
A. I am working on an EP which I hope to release in 2018 as well. I'm in the official introductory stage of my career. It is important for me spread my wings in every nook and cranny of the Jamaican music scene so this is the focus for the next few months.
Q. What would you like to achieve musically?
A. The thing every artiste strive for, international recognition at every level. My goal in achieving this feat is making timeless music. I will not settle for becoming a statistic, I really want to make a solid contribution to the industry and become recognized as an artist who inspires people.