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Meet Martie Faye

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martie Faye.

Martie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My mom used to tell me that I was the loudest newborn in the hospital, she even said that the nurses predicted that I would be a singer someday. I was born in Naga City, Philippines but spent a portion of my formative years raised by my mom in Makati. I’ve always had a penchant for the arts and performing, which my mother noticed early on. When I would stay with my cousins and grandparents in the province, I would sing “Reflection” from Mulan and “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid all the time. Those were always my go to on the karaoke machine, and as Filipinos know…there’s always a karaoke machine.

My mom signed me up for ballet lessons back in Manila and encouraged me to keep singing. She would always take me to live shows and ballets. The most memorable show for me was a performance of The Little Mermaid. I still remember watching how the lights moved in time with the music and thinking to myself how amazing it would be to be singing up on that stage.

Being surrounded by so much art and music in the Philippines fully cemented my love for performing and creative expression. I’m so grateful that my mom has been supportive of my creative pursuits ever since I was a kid and that she fostered a love of singing in me. Sometimes, she would say that I was born loving music as she would always sing karaoke while she was pregnant with me. I owe so much of who and where I am today to my mom; for all the sacrifices seen and unseen.

Eventually, my mom married my step-dad and we moved to a whole new world: Massachusetts. While I already felt rooted in my love of music and singing, I was discovering the various ways people could tell stories. Despite my love of the arts and performing, I also found peace spending time alone in between the pages of a book. It was amazing to me how words on a page could make you feel, imagine, and dream of so many things. There was an idyllic appeal to storytelling that I resonated with, even when I was younger. Writing was how I processed all sorts of thoughts and emotions. Despite my combined interests in writing and music, it took me a very long time to come to the conclusion that I could be a songwriter.

I like to think I whittled my way down to it.

When I started this journey, I thought I would be a novelist when I grew up. I came up with fantastical subplots for my characters, even going so far as to chart out sequels. Then I discovered poetry. Not just the cute little couplets from primary school, I discovered spoken word poetry. The eloquent flow of phrases and the roundabout structure was so beautiful. It was almost like music. Suddenly, I found myself wanting to write more concisely, yet each word was weighted and no space in a piece was wasted.

Along this journey of self-discovery though, I still felt pulled to the stage. Performing, whether it be dancing, acting, or singing, filled me with an indescribable joy. But so did writing. I was unsure of how I could manage these two paths. While I loved music, I didn’t quite see myself like I did my favorite singers and musicians. They were larger than life and their songs were quick and witty. Though my poetry took on a melodic and rhythmic tone, it was lengthy.

The thought of me being a solo musical artist never really struck me until a few years ago. In 2017, my family and I had faced a tremendous series of events that changed the course of all our lives. I couldn’t afford to go back to college, in all sense of the word. But, we are not a family of defeatists, and my mother is an optimist, so opportunity was just around the corner.

My mom had found an audition for a talent showcase in Hartford, CT. Eventually if they approved you, you could be selected to perform at the national showcase in Los Angeles. The possibilities flooded my brain as I realized that this was something that was possible. Every dream that had flashed and flickered before me became more than that, now they could be goals.

My brother Nikolai and I have been blessed to be able to perform at The Industry Network twice now. Each time challenged me, personally and as an artist. In 2018, I had met with and collaborated with Savvy Soundz to record and produce three songs. It was my first time toplining, a songwriting technique where lyrics are written over a pre-produced track.

I loved every minute of the process, from writing to recording, I knew that this is what I would be excited to be doing everyday of my life. Making music. Writing music. Performing music. This was the culmination of both my passions.

As of right now, I’ve been living in Los Angeles for about a year and a half trying to pursue music full time. I have four singles out on multiple streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music. For two of my singles, I had a hand in either co-producing it or produced it by myself. But all four were written by me. The ability to sing my own words is a gift that I cherish as an artist.

I’ve also been grateful for the handful of performances I’ve done while out here before we sheltered in place. From my first gig at the Frances Howard Goldwyn Library (shout out to James and Vox Open Mic!) to being chosen to perform at The Voice Open Mic night. I’ve also performed on the Walk of Fame from time to time to practice.

Currently, I’m writing and producing my debut EP, “Reaching Out for A Lullaby,” which I’ve been recording in my apartment’s closet (best acoustics for recording when on a budget!).

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve been searching for how my artistry fits into the current media landscape. I love the soft and bright sounds of the 70s and 80s. I love the poeticism of Joni Mitchell, but I loved singing like Adele and Ariana Grande at the same time. So, I had to kind of grapple with what my sound is. The great thing about music nowadays though is that genre is so blurred, musicians don’t feel like they have to stick to one aisle anymore. And that makes me really excited to keep carving out my own path and sound. I still haven’t fully figured it out, but I learned that as long as I stay true to my roots and make music from my soul, then it will resonate.

One way I keep grounded while facing challenges and struggles is to lean into my faith. I’m a Christian and my relationship with God has had a tremendous effect on how I navigate through life. Especially moving out to LA from Massachusetts, which was a massive shift in my life that took some adjustment. This comfort I feel in my faith is something I’ll be touching upon in my debut EP, with my upcoming song “Hands.” I’m truly grateful for the support, the people, and the opportunities that God’s placed in my life. As well as the ability given to me to weave words of comfort and tell stories that hopefully everyone can relate to.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I like to sum myself up in a short little phrase: Filipino born singer, New England raised songwriter. All artists have the ability and capability to bring something unique and valuable to the table, and I bring a fusion of my experiences. I grew up listening to all kinds of music: gospel, country, pop, funk, hip hop, musicals. Literally so many genres, I can’t pinpoint my favorite one. I like to think that bits and pieces from all these genres are cohesively melded into the music I create now. And not just sonically, but lyrically I’m inspired by a wide array of writers as well. From classical literature and poetry to the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Taylor Swift. My music’s got a little of everything.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Yes, it’s incredible to see that music is becoming increasingly accessible due to technology. Not just in regards to how it’s made but how it’s distributed. For example, my current set up is an iPad/Macbook, an audio interface, a mic, and my guitar or keyboard. I can record whenever and wherever it’s convenient. Not only is it easier for independent artists like me to create content, but now we can reach a variety of audiences. Even though I’m based in Los Angeles, my music has reached people in Europe and Asia because of streaming platforms that have a global reach. That’s so cool! And with all that’s happening in the world right now, digital platforms have been the safest way to connect with and reach new audiences.

On top of that, independent artists can truly make it “big” without large label backing. For example, Chance the Rapper is a Grammy-winning independent artist who built his career from the ground up through self-distribution. This was unheard of even just a few decades ago. It’s also easier for people to find great music that they wouldn’t traditionally hear on the radio. With social apps like Tik-Tok and Instagram being great platforms for upcoming artists, regardless of genre or creative field. It’s so exciting to see how technology will keep pushing artists toward innovation; there’s no ceiling for the heights we can take creativity.

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Image Credit:

Alithea Louise

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