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First Look Friday: Chloe Martini Interview

Photo of Chloe Martini taken by Edward Cooke of WMA.

Warsaw’s own Chloe Martini is one of the hottest up-and-coming acts in the game. Don’t believe us, well, don’t say we didn’t hip you first. As one of the music industry’s most exciting talents, this artist, songwriter and producer has kept heads on a swivel with her brand of unique, soulful vocals. Self-taught, Chloe Martini built her reputation through her insanely popular remixes of tracks from SiaJanelle MonaéPusha T and Destiny’s Child on Soundcloud.

With sounds and moves like that, she quickly bubbled onto the radar of established acts and DJs such as Snakehips and Annie Mac, even joining the former on the road at some of Europe’s largest festivals including BestivalOpen’er and Way Out. Her second effort, Never Twice The Same, which is due out in March, has already become a mainstay on people’s must-hear, must-watch lists, as the single, “Change of Heart,” is a dance floor groove ripe to knock away the Donald Drumpf sadness.

Eager to join her friends like Anne-MarieChiara HunterVanessa White and BB Diamond on that throne of great up-and-cominng talents, this week’s First Look Friday subject makes huge waves in our chat. Discussing her influences, how it was to develop as an independent artist and how she sees the future of the industry, Chloe Martini is certainly a highly sought-after star-in-the-making.

Okayplayer: To music snobs the world over, you are making an impact. What is it that those in music game are seeing and hearing that the rest of the world has yet to discover?

Chloe Martini: Oh, wow! Thank you! I hope that they can see a uniqueness in my music and hear my passion for working with strong and interesting vocalists. I am not really part of a “scene” and a huge part of that is because I am based in Poland. Although, most of my collaborations have happened in London, Paris, Montreal, et cetera. At first, I was worried about that, but I have come to realize that this gives me space to be inspired by the sounds and art that others don’t necessarily have access to and I have come to see it as a positive.

OKP: For those who have a passion for music, they honed their skills and practiced their craft. Who are your most cherished influences in music and why?

CM: The late Prince influenced so many people, including myself, and continues to do so. He taught me that labels don’t really exist. Either you’re talking about music or sexuality. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are my all-time favorite producers. I thought I have listed to everything they’ve ever produced, but they are such a prolific duo and have worked since the early ’80s that I’m guessing I’ve only heard about 50% of their productions.

They can never, ever do wrong. To me, they defined the sound of mainstream pop / R&B music of the ’80s, but also a bit of the ’90s. And when I say mainstream, I mean that in such a positive way. That is the beauty of it… their songs were widely popular but also had a deep, rich + beautiful soul. They defined an era, but they are timeless at the same time.

OKP: Can you talk about how your life was while developing as an artist? How did you react to your first bits of press?

CM: I feel like deep down I have always had it in me that I wanted to become an artist, in some form. I couldn’t get excited about anything in school. I was raised in a family where academia was valued the most, well, it was the only thing that was valued really. So, at the point when I was graduating from high school, I soon after started studying pharmacy. I still couldn’t imagine that being a musician could be a profession for me. I had no one around me to be a living proof of a happy and successful musician.

I just knew that pharmacy studies weren’t for me, so I dropped it and my only escape was music. Soundcloud was the platform that really helped me reach people out there who started to appreciate my early creations. It was all very new to me and extremely motivating. I’m grateful to this day to everyone who’s ever wrote a note about my music on their blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other platform.

OKP: With incidents involving people of color, police and racist occurring almost on a daily basis around the globe — how can your music (and/or others) help to relieve the trauma that is being experienced by the masses?

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