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Nick Martin spent his entire sixth birthday playing, rewinding, and replaying a single VHS tape that his mother had given him as a birthday gift. On the first day of second grade, when his teacher asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, most children answered “a fireman”, “a policeman”, “a pilot”, or “an astronaut”. Martin, on the other hand, had memorized every lyric to the Backstreet Boys concert footage from Madison Square Garden in 2000, and decided that he wanted to have the same cathartic effect on the world that he experienced every time he watched the boy band dance around the stage synchronously while nailing perfect harmonies. Since that day, twelve years ago, Martin has had that captivating effect on every audience in front of which he has performed.
Born Nicholas Herbert Martin on January 5th, 1995, in San Francisco, California, into a multinational family, he was exposed to all genres of music at a very young age. At age nine, Martin wrote his first Rock song and began studying guitar with his stepmother. One year later, he began studying Jazz and Funk alto saxophone, which he continued for the next six years, under the direction of Bonnie Fraenza, Dayna Stephens, Melecio Magdaluyo, and Joe Bagale. At twelve, he self-taught modern piano and won the Stanford Jazz Workshop’s award for “Most Outstanding Musician Under 14”. Still, something was missing. When he was thirteen, he fell in love for the first time, and thus re-discovered songwriting. With so much to express, he combined all that he had absorbed into the music he produced.
Meanwhile, Martin joined a collaborative R&B effort, The St. Valentinez, as a co-writer, lead singer, and horn section leader. After three years of working with a 14-piece band and becoming one of the best upcoming teen bands in the Bay Area, he decided it was time to part ways from the household name that he had helped create, and pursue a different creative avenue. That summer, he recorded and released his first single, “Luvn It”, at Boss Studios in San Francisco, with which he had his first taste of success. The track was a citywide hit.
Six months later, on his sixteenth birthday, Martin received his acceptance letter to Idyllwild Arts Academy. He left his friends, family, and life, as he knew it, behind, to pursue a more intensive musical education. Upon arrival, the Chair of the Academy’s Music Department. Ryan Zwahlen, saw something special in him, and suggested that he change majors from Jazz Saxophone to Songwriting. Martin took the Chair’s advice and became one of the first high-school Songwriting majors in the World. Zwahlen’s proposed idea for the Songwriting major was controversial and new in the world of renowned Classical and Jazz training, but Martin was determined to make a name for both himself and the program. Under Zwahlen’s direction, Martin did just that in his two years at the school, as both an academic and showman.
Martin studied Topline, Pop, Folk, Classical, and Jazz, composition, under Kasaan Steigen, Marshall Hawkins, Kevin Michael Sullivan, Don Reed, and Anne Farnsworth, and honed his singing, songwriting, and performance abilities. By graduation in 2013, Martin had been accepted to UC Berkeley, and moved back up to his hometown of San Francisco. But that July, Martin packed his life into a bag and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his musical dreams.
In the short few months that he has lived in the big city, Martin has accomplished more than some do in years while chasing their dreams in the haystack of talent that is Los Angeles. He has received attention from multiple major record labels, met with industry executives such as Jeff Burroughs (Rise, SYCO, Sony, Bad Boy), and worked with some of the greatest new producers, including FIXYN (Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull), and is waiting for the right opportunity to come his way. In the words of a student at the Academy:
“In your hands, resides an incredibly promising candidate for the next ‘big thing’, the next cultural icon that people will gravitate towards. The diamond at the bottom of the ocean. His name is Nick Martin. He’s got the drive, the talent and the charisma to take the world by storm, but he can’t do it alone. All he needs is somewhere to start, someone to give him his first shot, and to let him prove himself […]”