“I remember the first time I discovered Whitney Houston. I was 6. I made my mom buy every single, DVD, and merchandise on eBay.”
Yates recalls singing since the age of 4 and credits his college studies and first relationship with his decision to pursue a music career. Although he felt he had something to contribute to the industry at 18, it wasn’t until the age of 21 the singer felt comfortable enough to share his music.
Originally from the West Midlands, music has always played a big role in the family with Yates’ father being obsessed with the 80’s and his mother a huge fan of R&B. The fond childhood memories of driving his parents insane playing hits like I Have Nothing and I Wanna Dance with Somebody on repeat came to an end one day when Yates returned home to no stereo in his room. “You can imagine my reaction,” he laughs.
“Nobody can prepare you for the struggles you’re gonna face when you’re starting out . . .”
In just two short years, Yates has amassed a noteworthy number of performances, some of his most memorable moments consisting of playing the O2 Academy in Birmingham just this past August. He credits his growth to being around music royalty since the age of 17, but stresses the music industry is not an overnight thing and requires thick skin.
Yates’ approach to the creative process can be described as casual and sometimes spontaneous, although he shares he would like to have something more formal. From waking during the wee hours of 3am to disappearing during night outings with friends to record new song ideas, Yates is an artist dedicated to his craft. “For ballads, I definitely prefer to be in an intimate setting with a piano or guitar and a co-writer. Up tempo tracks are a little different because you want to feel the vibe of the song . . . Me and my band get together and just jam for five hours.”
As an artist known for penning heartfelt songs, often filled with grief Yates shares that he’s not a depressed person. “When people meet me they seem so surprised I’m as bubbly and outgoing as I am . . . As personal as my songs are . . . as real as they are, I’m trying hard to separate them . . . from how I am (seen) in my day to day life.”
“I can’t lie that I’m bricking it though but I’m excited.”
Next week, Yates is preparing to release two singles Last Time and a rework of Fire In My Heart, featuring U.S. rapper Gary Michael Houston on 30 November 2018. His upcoming performance in Cargo (London) will be his biggest show yet and he’s excited. The launch of his official website is set for next year.
Yates advice to upcoming artists would be to “do as much groundwork” as possible. He urges artists to reach out and connect with musicians, promoters, managers, and other key players who may be able to influence their career. “Make your name stick in their mind. Share your music with anybody who will listen.”
While Yates enjoys baring his soul to live audiences his busy schedule has taken its toll his family, friends, and personal relationships. “I find that part difficult,” he shares, “But they understand that I’m reaching for what I’ve always wanted to do. They are always with me.”
You can listen and learn more about Martin Yates by searching MartinYatesMusic on all social media platforms.
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