15th State - South Dakota - 15th Interview Rascal Martinez
Next stop, home of Mt. Rushmore, the 15th state on this project, South Dakota. While struggling to find an artist with the limited time in SD, I figured I reverse my search tactics. Instead of looking up hashtagged posts on Social Media, or going through SoundCloud or Bandcamp, I looked up bars/restaurants online that had live music. As I sat in a Starbucks, (my usual go-to spot on this trip), I cracked my knuckles and got to searchin’.
It was refreshing to see a good amount of places offering live music, opportunities for local talent in South Dakota, so it took some time to go through event posts past and upcoming, looking up the sites of the featured artist and listening to their music. I found an event that was happening my last night there at a bar called Fernsons. The artist featured was good, quality voice, had a professional sound to him, and from a genre standpoint, was different from the artists I met up with so far. His name is Rascal Martinez. There was a phone number on his site, he picked up right away and was on board for the interview.
When I arrived to Fernsons, I knew I was at the right location—there was a trailer hitch in the parking lot that had Rascal Martinez written on it in big letters.
Adjusting his microphone on his shirt, he talked about how he was also on tour in the midwest and had just did a radio interview with South Dakota Public Broadcasting a day prior. As busy as he sounded with performing shows, doing interviews, working on new music, he was super chill, calm and collecting. Stylish, happy and super laid back, is how I can describe Rascal Martinez. He was all smiles and welcoming, and had this Modern James Dean look about him. As soon as we wrapped up the interview, he hit the stage with his drummer and bass guitarist and immedialty got into character.
Not only was the locally brewed Fernson beer great, Rascal Martinez and his band killed it. Putting his own Americana spin on covers and originals, he had everyone in the bar on a vibe, and drew more people in. He did everything from Originals, to Folk, Classic Rock, Motown, and current hits. Check out some intagram posts from his gig below - the first clip he remixes Jay-Z's 99 problems, putting his own spin to it, and the second, his rendition of Pina Colada.
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Beginning in New York with hip-hop artist based out of Brooklyn, Latasha, we’ll be traveling to the remaining 47 states not including Hawaii and Alaska. We’ll be interviewing an Independent artist per state, catching a performance and/or music sessions and more, which we'll put together at the end of the tour to make a larger visual experience intended to not only showcase and highlight the independent talent we link up with, but to also embrace creative diversity within America.
Social and Sponsors
You’ll be able to stay updated through our social; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. After the first couple of weeks, thanks to our prize sponsors—Image-Line, makers of music software FL Studio, and Bandzoogle, a company that’s helps musicians better their online portfolios—we’ll be running some contests and other campaigns where artists we’ll be able to win prizes.
Types of Artists
We’ve got the majority of states booked already with talent and currently filling in the remaining. The first few stops will kick us off on a hiphop start, however we will be meeting with artists from a wide range of genres; alternative rock, pop, acoustic, electronic and more. Some are just starting out, and others like Hannah Mrozak from Wisconsin, who has advanced on both The Voice and American Idol have a great amount of experience and just need to get heard by the right ears to help them get where they want to be. As we meet with artists, in addition to updating snippets on our social, you’ll be able to see pics and clips on the blog.