Mariana Martinez is a young singer-songwriter from Minnesota, building her music and image from the ground-up on her own—all while balancing school and other responsibilities.
Interviewer: How do you balance music and school?
Martinez: Balancing music and school was a bit difficult, dealing with the fact that my focus was completely elsewhere. I would sometimes listen to the beats I received from my good friend and producer Richie in class while the teacher was teaching. I know that isn’t the brightest idea, but it was something that couldn’t be controlled.
Interviewer: What inspired you to put yourself out there and start creating music? Were there any problems you faced due to this?
Martinez: Putting music out was very difficult for me—I wasn’t ready for everyone to hear that side of me. I would always put songs on a Soundcloud account that very few people knew about. I knew there were people doubting that I couldn’t do something special with it, but I knew if I was patient in my craft, more people would appreciate it.
But I legit woke up one morning, and the first thought in my head was, “I need to make music for the rest of my life.” And from that point on, nothing stopped me. I called studios all around Minneapolis in hopes there was a cheap session. There wasn’t, but I knew I had to do it.
Interviewer: Do you play any instruments?
Martinez: I play the keyboard a bit, and I play with a lot of plugins on programs. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar, which someday I’ll get lessons and I’ll do it.
Interviewer: Which bands/artists inspire your own music?
Martinez: When I think about my inspirations for music, only two people come to mind. Not that all musicians and bands I have ever listened to have never left an impact on me, but the biggest impacts thus far have been Jon Bellion and Russ. I owe tons to them. I remember watching Jon’s “In The Making” videos on Youtube, and it made me cry one day. I went online and bought Logic Pro, bought a keyboard, and away I went. Russ, mentally, has inspired me. He talks a lot about self belief and that’s a big part in anything you do. Both huge inspirations of mine.
Interviewer: How does your songwriting process go?
Martinez: My songwriting process isn’t at all what people would expect. I never write down my lyrics, I freestyle everything on the beat, I go back and listen to what I loved the most, re-record it, and keep adding onto it until I have a song.
Interviewer: Which one of your songs is your favorite and why?
Martinez: My favorite song that I’ve released thus far has to be “Missing Half.” The direction I took with that song is the direction I’m taking with my EP which I hope will be coming soon! “Missing Half” is absolutely beautiful to me. Every emotion I’ve felt about someone I cared for—someone I thought was meant for me, but the relationship didn’t work out yet I still want the best for them—poured out. I love making music; I love that song.