Musician Martina Blazeska has earned a big social media following with her dazzling guitar style and stunning voice. She joins us on Close-Up Culture to discuss her rise as an artist, being inspired by Sting, her upcoming single, and much more.
What are your first memories of making music?
I remember in middle school, a friend showed me how to play the legendary Nothing Else Matters intro on guitar and I became completely obsessed with how that felt. Playing guitar really fascinated me and I kept going, as that exact feeling stayed and is still present.
Can you talk more generally about your upbringing and the type of music you were drawn to?
With the love for guitar came a lot of curiosity for all music that features the instrument. I was listening to a lot of different music. From acid jazz to indie to metal, I was on an active journey to discover as much music as I could. At the time I was very drawn to the modern singer-songwriter genre and artists like Norah Jones and Jamie Cullum for example. And also developed a lot of love for the 70s and 80s classics and bands like Steely Dan, The Police, etc.
You got a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music focusing on Performance from Berklee College. What was your development like as an artist, and how did you find your voice?
Developing as an artist through Berklee was a very interesting and unique experience. The institution offers a lot and as students we have the time and opportunity to explore different things. Primarily I was able to further develop myself as a guitarist. I studied a lot of fingerstyle guitar which helped me find my personal style that is very prevalent in my current music. Being exposed to so many different styles, music cultures, backgrounds in a pool of talented and aspiring musicians really expanded my horizons and the way I approach music and art.
Who have been some of your biggest influences?
One of my biggest influences is John Mayer. His songwriting, guitar playing and musicianship have brought me so much inspiration that I owe a lot of who I am as a musician to him. Also Sting, it’s again that similar distinct combination of skills that makes for some of the greatest music ever written in my opinion.
Nowadays I’m also inspired by many up and coming artists such as Holly Humberstone, Blu DeTiger and Elise Trouw, to name a few.
You received international recognition for your performances on social media. How do you reflect on the attention you received and the journey you’ve been on since?
I’m very grateful. I have a strong community behind me and even though it still feels like I’m at the very start, I feel comfortable and confident in having a platform that enables me to carve my way as an artist and musician. I’m also about to share a lot of new music and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel excited for having that opportunity.
One of my favourite covers of yours is Blackbird by The Beatles. Do you have a song or performance that holds particular significance or meaning to you?
The song Shame from my first record is very special to me. I think that was the first song where I discovered my true songwriting style and genre.
Can you tell us about one of your favourite, or most inspiring, live music experiences?
In 2018, playing acoustic guitar for Rosanne Cash in the Agganis Arena in Boston in front of around 7000 people, with Nile Rogers and Esperanza Spalding in the audience. It still feels surreal.
You’ve got a huge social media following, toured Europe and collaborated with some incredible artists. What would you say has been the most cool, or noteworthy, experience of your career so far?
Definitely the brand partnership with Ibanez Guitars. Being their endorsed artist and getting to play their beautifully crafted guitars is a big highlight of my career.
Can you tell us anything about the new music you are working on?
Absolutely, I’m really excited to release my new single Trending Love very soon. A nostalgic, vintage sound with 90s era aesthetic would be a good way to describe what’s to come. It’s also very guitar-centered, as always.
What do you value most as an artist and a performer?
Musicianship has always been something that I value highly. The ability to express thoughts, feelings and energy through music, especially through a hand played instrument is truly inspirational.
What are your vision for the future?
Since we currently live through some challenging times I hope for peace, health and love as the driving force. And I hope we continue to be positively obsessed with music and art, as it really makes us move and feel alive.