Christina Martin’s “Two Hearts,” is the newly featured video on our website (www.songwriters.ca).
Christina’s is about to launch her new CD, “I Can Too,” on September 7th, 2010, and recently secured distribution with EMI. With a storm of activity impending, Christina took some time to answer some questions, share her experiences and give some tips to fellow songwriters.
1. Congratulations on securing distribution with EMI. What advice can you give fellow songwriters about seeking and securing distribution. Building any good relationship takes time. I encourage anyone to focus on making the kind of music you want to make, and then taking opportunities of as many conferences and opportunities to showcase your music live to interested parties. Its always a good idea to research WHO you want to work with, as there are many options out there, and then to personally invite key people to your live performances. Introduce yourself but don’t be too pushy or annoying. Just be yourself (hopefully you are not naturally pushy or annoying).
2. What’s your favourite track on this new album, and why? My favourite track on the album is I Can Too. Its definitely my favourite song to play live because things get really rock’n towards the end of the song. There’s anger, attitude and confusion at the heart of this song, but the message is meant to be clear and empowering for others.
3. This is your third CD release (according to your website). What did you learn from making the first two CDs that you applied to making “I Can Too”
- Don’t be scared to speak up in the studio.
- Keep it real and simple.
- Don’t waste peoples time.
- Don’t waste MY money!
- Be sensitive to others when you are communicating that you don’t like what they are doing with your songs.
- Work with people who have similar tastes in music and style and who are far more talented than you are.
- Don’t be scared to try new things… but trust your gut in the end.
4. What is the story behind the title track of the album? “I Can Too” was written years ago. I recorded a demo of the song with two friends (Andrew Sisk, Daniel Ledwell) and then began performing the song live with a band. After about a year or so the song evolved sonically.
I think for most of my life I have had a strong sense of needing to prove something to someone, hence the title I CAN TOO. My father was the same way. I can think of many different scenarios where I felt I was being told that I could not do something, someone was being disrespectful or abusive verbally/emotionally, I felt taken advantage of or was angered by someone else being taken advantage of, hurt by family or friends or by situations I found myself in around the world, struggling with feeling out of control. There were plenty of times in my life that I convinced myself I was not capable or good enough to follow a path with more heart, my own decisions influenced by subtle or strong ‘messages’ from loved ones and/or society, or by me just being confused. I think the 20’s can be a really confusing time for people. As you get older you can really grow tired of beating down the things that feel so natural to you and that make you happy, only to live up to someone else’s expectations. I got tired of trying to live up to what I thought others expected of me. I grew tired of working for everyone else and feeling like I had nothing to hold onto at the end of each day. I was tired of being disappointed in relationships. Everything was making me unhappy and depressed. Its obvious to me now that even when I wrote this song 5-6 years ago I didn’t even have the confidence to sing the song to anyone. I just wasn’t there yet.
I decided to call the album I Can Too because I believe this song carries many simple and powerful messages, and reflects where I feel I am at today in my personal and professional life. The song dances around the themes of confusion and struggling with multiple messages in a big and sometimes very confusing dying planet. It is a song that I hope encourages people to move from a place of disappointment to a place where they can find meaning and purpose in life. Its about ultimately getting to a point in your life through trial and error where you have the confidence to do what you feel is the right thing to do, and having key people in your life who are supportive.
5. How long did it take to put this album together? Any major hurdles along the way? We spent about one month in the studio recording and mixing. I don’t believe in taking too much time in the studio to record a project. The only major hurdle was having to re-record the bass and drums for I Can Too three times. The first time the ‘feel’ was wrong when we listened back to the track. The second time there was a technical error and we could not retrieve the tracks to work with. The third time (and this was cutting close to our deadline) things worked out! It was almost comical as we started with this song in the studio, we were the MOST excited to record this title track, and had a clear vision for the song. However it ended up being the last track for us to finish recording.
6. What role has the Halifax music scene played in your development and growth as an artist. The Halifax music scene continues to be extremely supportive of everything I have done musically since the release of Two Hearts in May 2008. It wasn’t until I was more open to what the music industry had to offer me that things started to really develop and grow in all areas. I feel lucky to have worked with many of the best musicians in Canada in the studio and on the stage (Dale Murray, Adam Baldwin, Rose Cousins, Jason Vautour, Brian Murray, Kris Pope, Andrew Sisk, Daniel Ledwell, & Matt Charlton to name a few) and they have shaped my music as well.
The Funding Programs offered through Nova Scotia have been essential to my growth in recording and touring, as well as my growth in international markets. You don’t need money to write songs, but money and support have allowed me to focus entirely on my company and growing as an artist.
7. What’s your favourite part about doing what you do? I get to do all the things I love doing every day if I choose: Make people Laugh, Make people cry, Travel, Be Alone, Write, Organize, Manage, Be Social, Run, Swim, Have Coffee With a Friend, Write a letter to someone…. I get to live out my dreams. I have never been this happy!
8. What do you dislike the most about doing what you do? My least favourite thing is grant writing and spending too much time on administrative tasks, which unfortunately takes up a large portion of each and every day. But I’d rather work for myself than do administrative tasks for anyone else.
9. Any words of advice to aspiring songwriters who have yet to complete an album and tour as you have? Try not to be scared and be prepared to work your ass off! Figure out what you want to accomplish (i.e MAKE A PLAN) and every day work towards achieving your goals… one day at a time… every day! AND you are NEVER too young or too old to start doing what you love to do!
To read more about Christina Martin, visit her S.A.C. profile: