Josh Martinez

De Canadese rapper Josh Martinez was in Nederland om de Goudvishal te rocken. Eens kijken wat er allemaal te vertellen valt over deze persoonlijkheid (Tekst: Engels).

Mr.Martinez, first of all, thanks for accepting to do this interview. Let’s start with a few basics. You are Canadian rapper with a Hispanic stage name(well.. the last name at least). What’s the deal?
It’s all my edge and attitude…it can’t all be locked into one simple person, so i condensed it into a Latin stud revolutionary crooner persona that Josh Martinez fits into perfectly. It’s actually a charatcter I’ve build over the years that is both me, and a what I’d like to be for other people. Josh Martinez is me, and bonus DVD footage.

Seeing you performing love, you seem very fond of your country. Where does this patriotism come from?
Canada is funny to people worldwide, cause we’re not very well known, except for our peacekeeping, hockey and shitty pop music (Celine Dion, Bryan Adams). Canadians generally like to laugh at themselves, are pretty charming and nice, and globally we don’t go to war all the time, so the world sees us as this little beacon of cool, next to the massive American cultural juggernaut next door. We make a lot of really good music, specially indie hiphop and indie rock. Canada is a funny place to be from, and I like being canadian cause it’s funnier than being from the States. But truthfully, I’m a dual citizen as I was born and lived in the States when I was a kid. So I’m a semi-patriot.

You have been around for a very long time. Some of your peers from back in the days have somewhat become household names (Sage, Slug, Anticon Fam, etc). You on the other hand have not struck side-deals with large labels like Epitaph or Mush, but decided to create your own label, Camobear Records. Why?
Not sure, sure which I’d gone to the other way and become a somewhat household name. I have been around a long time…it’s hilarious to even think that. I don’t know, I like all those guys and enjoyed some of the music they made, but whether for personality reasons, or just general geography, none of the other labels really appealed to me as a place to put out my
records (also Epitaph never asked). Plus control issues meant I’d always be waiting to put out a record if I gave it to someone else, and for awhile, I needed to constantly make new records to be on the road so much. Everytime I play a city again, I want to have a new record on the merch table for them. When you play some places 4 times a year, you can’t really afford to wait for others to get your work done.

You recently started working with a management firm. How does this affect you financially? Do you lose on commission?
Great question. When you let someone manage your business, that you had been managing somewhat successfully, and then you cut someone into what is already not a lot of money, and give them commission so you get less than before, well, it’s a bit crazy. It was hard at first, but gradually, the commissions have proven themselves worthy of their investment, and I
have gotten a lot of mileage out of the help my management has given me. If my next record is as good as I hope it will be, they will be the ones earning their money, and keeping up with all the activities of the business, that I won’t have to run. As an artist, I’ve always been really involved in
the business of my career, and so I know how a lot of things work, so it’s harder to be taken advantage of. But it is too big for me right now, so it’s nice to have support. But remember kids, no pro manager is interested in you till you have vreated a lot of opportunities already. So do your work if you want to grow up and be a big strong rapper like me.

I see that you do over 200 shows per year. How do you manage to save your voice for shows? Do you get bored and say ’what the hell am I doing, how long can I do this?!" ?
I’ve been bored for the past 2 years. It’s hard, I only did this as a hobby, then it took over my life, which has been a really good thing, but I feel like I’ve been doing too much of the same thing for awhile. I need new challenges, not just yet, but soon. My time in music is coming to a head for
sure, but I’ve put so much effort and time into it by now, I just have to follow through and hopefully get enough money to sell out big time.

You are very talented. Watching your live show, I even enjoyed your singing more than your rapping at times. Don’t get me wrong, your MC’ing is of top standard, but I also believe that your singing is high quality. How did you build your vocal talents? Did the side projects give you a helping hand in this?
In the past 3 years, I’ve been moving more toward singing and have made a really conscious effort to get better at singing, so I could do it with conviction. I sing with a rock band called The Pissed Off Wild, and that record is like rock-punk-rap. Been working on that for a couple of years in the background and hopefully soon that’ll be done to show the world. I like it the most right now cause it’s the most challenging. Turns out I have a pretty decent voice, it just needs to strengthened and exercised so I can have control when I open my throat and know the right notes will come out. I guess, it just comes from really listening to a lot of music that wasn’t rap, and finding I liked melody more than lyrics a lot of the time. For me, I try to find the right melody then slot the words into it once I’ve got the tune locked in. Plus chicks dig singing so if girls like the music and come to shows, then dudes will come and behave cause they want to make it
with the chicks. It makes everything better for everyone.

Your album ‘Midriff Music’ was critically acclaimed. The HiphopInYourFace camp fully agrees, the album has a very melodic feel to it.While the quality of the production and mastering of the album is top notch, the packaging looks a bit ‘simpler’. Was this a conscious decision?
The album was not supposed to be a real release, it was just a tour record that people started to really like. It kinda confused me actually. After a couple of tours down the West Coast of the US, Camobear decided to release it properly, but still not expecting much. The record ended up winning a bunch of awards, got funding for a video, and in general people were saying it was my best album. I think up Buck Up Princess is better, more rounded, and the new record should be a combination of both of those records, I hope.

Which video did you enjoy doing more? ‘Nightmare’ or ‘Just a Dood’ Why?
Nightmare took 7 days of 12 hour shoots, so I’ve never spend more time on a video that’s for sure. “Just a Dood” was nice cause we got money from the government to shoot it, but I really didn’t end up liking the overall polish of the video. It was shot on film, where “Nightmare” was 3600 digital stills animated. “Just a Dood” was supposed to have a salsa dancing scene with
me anda beautiful girl in that crazy little Hawaiian club but we ran out of time. Dance scenes would have been cooler…

Any final messages to the Dutch crowd?
Can’t wait to come back and play shows and show you Dutchies my new record, as well as to bring my band, The Pissed Off Wild, on tour over there. Also, though its kinda low class, I’d like to thank you for the hookers. They were great.

Geplaatst door bowie op 11 februari 2007