Terrace Martin Will Headline His First International Tour With The Polly Seeds [Exclusive]
There isn’t anywhere in the country that you can go without hearing the name Terrace Martin. The Grammy Award winning, critically acclaimed producer, songwriter and musician has had a career that most would give their right arm to have. You already know the accolades: worked with Quincy Jones, produced with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre and was one of the architects behind Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly. Well, if you’re not familiar with this Locke High graduate, now is your chance to as the celebrated hitmaker is gearing up to go on the road. Yes, in an exclusive chat with Okayplayer, the cooler-than-a-cucumber saxophonist and keyboardist spoke with us about headlining his first international tour.
Dubbed “Terrace Martin + The Polly Seeds,” Martin comes fresh from his Brooklyn performance with the legendary Herbie Hancock to introduce the world to his new band, The Polly Seeds. Consisting of our own First Look Friday subject, Baltimore’s budding songstress Rose Gold; bassist Brandon Eugene Owens, who has worked with Martin and Terence Blanchard; drummer Trevor Lawrence Jr., who has played with Anthony Hamilton and Big K.R.I.T. and Taber Gable, a Juilliard-trained, jazz prodigy who has more rhythm in his pinky than most in their whole body. Together, these musicians will shatter faces from Amsterdam to Germany to France, all the while creating a new work of art for the masses to enjoy.
Yes, that’s right, audiophiles! In addition to seeing one of the best to do it live and in living color, Terrace Martin is working on a new album, which will be released through his own Sounds of Crenshaw imprint via Ropeadope Records. As one of the most sought after producers on the West Coast discusses with us his latest adventure, Terrace also hints at a new project in the works with a certain BET Hip-Hop Award winner, explains why his work is a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience and details what the “Double R” method is. This chat is littered with goodness for longtime and new fans of the 3ChordFold ambassador, so read carefully, pre-order those tickets and enjoy!
Okayplayer: However you want to play it, Terrace, man. Tell us about your intent to go out into the world.
Terrace Martin: Okay, cool, man. Basically this is my first headlining tour overseas and [to commemorate] I am going to take out a new group with me called The Polly Seeds. We’re going to hit a lot of different places. We’re going to go around the globe, play music and also record a new album. What makes it super special to me is that I am actually going to be creating my next wave of creative ideas and music. All of the records that I’ll be working on while I’m seeing places like Germany, Amsterdam or Holland is because after this tour there ain’t no telling what I’ll be into when I get back, y’know what I’m saying? I’m about to get into this new Kendrick [Lamar] record and just be straight zombies, man.
OKP: It’s a great time to be alive, Terrace, I will say that, man.
TM: You know what, Kev, it is a great time to be alive. It’s also a great time to really just go out and spread love to the people. With everything that’s going on in the world, to be honest, being a black man and all — I feel that we’re under huge attack. I always tell people that all lives matter, but all lives aren’t being hunted down. I just want to do my piece, contribute to the art of love and just go around the world, spread this black music with this black love and let them know that we exist. Tell them straight up that we’re out here and that we’re still pushing that line in a positive setting.
OKP: How do you feel that your music helps to ease the trauma that black-and-brown people are experiencing at the hands of racist and police in this country and abroad?
TM: I feel and hope that what I’m doing with this art is being conveyed to the rest of the world. Really, I aim to be spreading the “Double R” method, honestly, which is “respect and relax.” I believe we all don’t have to get along with each other, but we all should respect each other. Through my music, I try to convey that in all I do. It’s like this, man… when I look at a song like “Alright” and I see people marching in the streets to “Alright,” instead of fighting back at the police, they are just embodying the music. Whether it is singing the words to “Alright” while Kendrick is rapping or chanting as the saxophone is playing, they are showing the world a statement of power through respect and through peace. That is what I stand for and pray that my message is conveyed like that through the music I continue to create.
OKP: To go back to the tour — who are you going to be taking with you on the road and who will be your backing players?