Sometimes you meet someone so humble about their art that you almost forget how talented they are. I’ve been working the NYC scene for a little over 3 years now and I’ve got boxes of mixtapes and demos from artists I’ve met while out shooting and networking. Some suck, some are average and then some of them, well, they are just plain dope. I met Marty through my homeboy Cal who I met at Sway on a Monday night. Cal and the rest of the “ALIEN” crew are alot of fun and always bring with them good times. One night, Cal told me he was working with this artist and was wondering if I would be interested in shooting him. We setup a very informal shoot during the summer. I scouted a couple of locations and shot an editorial style group of images over two days. On the second day it was just me and Marty and I got a chance to really get to know him, his connection to music and his family. As a photographer, it’s really dope when I get a chance to know my subject and that opportunity doesn’t always exist. Marty struck me right away as more then just someone I thought was good people, he struck me as good human being. I’m not the guy concerned with vanity and your outsides, for me life is about whats inside and he came across as modest but confident and yet unafraid to talk about his struggles with a career in music versus the 9 to 5 route. Who can blame him. The rap game is a gamble and for a kid attending college, this kind of internal debate is not only justified, but very wise. I am a high school drop out and not one day goes by that I don’t regret staying in school so I connected with him immediately on the issue. Luckily, Marty is managed and promoted by a collective called, The Murphy Group that is firmly planted in his corner. We should all have a team like them.
And so, in closing this opening paragraph, and because I am a fan, I’m going to have to quote one of my favorite movies, A Bronx Tale, “there is nothing worse then wasted talent”.
TONE: These days, music is all over the place. We have cats who say nothing with their music, others who say alot and then those somewhere in the middle. What point do you hope to make with your music?
MARTY: I hope to inspire and motivate people to be themselves. When you think
something is funny, laugh at it. If you think something is sadâ€¦shed a
tear, maybe even two. Just act as you feel, feel me?. I feel like
people are not only more critical of others now more than ever but they
are more critical of themselves especially with blogging at an all time
high, and because of that people are either afraid to be themselves or
afraid to be too much like someone else. Through the music, I just
hope that people feel that Iâ€™m being true and respect it enough to want
to do the same.
TONE: Is inspiration and motivation something that comes to you easily or
is it a struggle and how so?
MARTY: Inspiration isnâ€™t hard for me to come by because Iâ€™m inspired by almost
everything. Whether it be a scene from a movie I watched or an
argument between some dude and his girl in the supermarket, Iâ€™m going
to take something away from it.
TONE: How has the environment you grew up in influenced you creatively?
MARTY: Well I grew up around my family members who migrated from Jamaica and
Jamaicans donâ€™t care what ANYBODY thinks so they taught me to be myself
from the beginning but where I grew up, there was a lot of everything.
From the 3-car garage gated communities, the 2-family apartment
complexes all the way to the one bedroom welfare housing and even a cow
ranch or two. I feel like the fact that the spectrum was so wide
allowed for me to be exposed to so many different things that would
later on influence my music. Iâ€™ve been to the pool clubs where the
wealthy had annual memberships and Iâ€™ve been to the hood where niggas
were getting knocked out and robbed for wearing the wrong color or
having new Nikes on. All the mixes of social classes, styles,
genres and cultures forced me to open my mind at a young age so
although Iâ€™m deeply rooted in Hip-Hop, my subject matter is ever
TONE: How have you been affected by Barack Obama being elected as
MARTY: Iâ€™ve been extremely inspired. It proves that with hard work and
dedication you can do anything you set your mind to. Now itâ€™s like,
â€œDamn Marty, Barack has the whole world listening, the least you can
do is get a few people to download your shit and feel it.â€ Sidebar:
Download my shit!
TONE: What musicians influence your music and in what way?
MARTY: Iâ€™ll have to say my biggest Influences musically are 90s R&B and
Hip-Hop/Soul artists like Common, Lauryn Hill, Dâ€™Angelo, Wyclef, Mos
Def and Andre 3000 but creatively in general I definitely look up to
Bob Marley as well as the Rat Pack. The way Bob Marley would just feel
the music and let it the music tell the story was unbelievable. And the
swag of the Rat pack?! Pshhhâ€¦you know.
TONE: Favorite comedian?
MARTY: Eddie Murphy hands down. Not only because his last name is that raw
shit but this guy is a comedic genius. Dave Chappelle is definitely a
close second though.
TONE: Tell me a little bit about the Murphy Group and it’s members.
MARTY: As of now, The Murphy Group is a collective of creative, motivated
individuals who have a passion for art and success. Each member has
their own niche and generally calls their own shots but when itâ€™s all
said and done it all falls under one roof. The Murphy Group. Bloaw!
TONE: What’s going on with your current project (album)?
MARTY: Iâ€™m currently working on a 5-track concept EP with the multi-talented
Melo-X as well as the release of my first Mixtape dropping in the first quarter of 2009.
TONE: If you could be anything in this life, what would it be?
MARTY: If I could be anything in this life itâ€™d be a â€œgreat role model.â€
Yehâ€¦.it sounds cheesyâ€¦but when Iâ€™m gone, I want people to be able look
at the life I lived and say, â€œDamn, Marty was a real dude. Motivated,
respectful, ambitiousâ€¦all thatâ€¦â€ I want to be someone that kids say
they want to be like when they get older and at the same time, have
their parents respect it the same.
Peep more pics and an exclusive leak of one of Marty’s tracks on my website, PHOTOBYTONE.COM.