Meet L.A. Based Rising Pop and R&B Artist
Los Angeles based singer, songwriter, and producer Darius Martin pioneers expansive alt R&B music complete with pop-laced hooks and island-drenched soundscapes. Writing about the beauty and struggles found in life, Martin aims to connect with his listeners on a deep level, pouring his own emotions and autobiographical experiences into every release.
Born in El Paso, Texas, Darius Martin spent his childhood in Alamogordo, New Mexico where he took influence from the vastness of the desert. Relocating to Southern California in high school, Martin was an active and serious athlete in his teenage years. Fate though, had a different plan, and when a serious illness sidelined Martin, he began channeling his time into discovering his new passion for music.
Influenced by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye, Martin began experimenting with different sounds and genres aiming to achieve a sound that is fresh as it is timeless. The songwriter attended the prestigious Los Angeles Film Institute where he graduated in 2020. His college experience further reinforced his passion and ambition to pursue a career in music. In 2022, Martin released his debut single “Ring.”
Darius Martin Ft. Story. – “Options” (Official Music Video)
Meet and Get To Know Darius Martin
Kulture Vulturez: You initially grew up in New Mexico?
Darius Martin: Yeah, I was born in Texas, raised in New Mexico. Alamogordo back and forth between the two pretty much my whole life.
Kulture Vulturez: Alright, then you relocated to California. What was that transition like for you?
Darius Martin: Definitely a shock. I grew up in a town of 30,000 people. And then, you come to California, they have stadiums that fit more people than that. So, it’s definitely a shock, but you learn how to move with it. The biggest thing that’s a struggle for me is the traffic out here. I hate traffic.
Kulture Vulturez: Growing up, what type of things you can say you were involved in that you can say prepared you for a life of music?
Darius Martin: Growing up in such a small town, everybody knew everybody. I kind of felt like you’re always on a platform anyways. Everybody’s always kind of watching what you’re going to do next, what you’re going to say, what your family’s up to. There’s always some kind of little rumors and gossiping going around there.
I spent a lot of time DJing, so that really helped me prepare. And just participating in basketball, football, and different sports. Hanging out with different eclectic groups of people really prepared me to be the best version of myself that I could talk to anybody in a room. I could shake hands with anybody. It’s not a big deal now for me to just walk into a room and make sure that my presence is felt.
Darius Martin – “Crazy Now” Official Music Video
Kulture Vulturez: Can you recall your introduction to music? Your earliest moments that led you to kind of fall in love with music?
Darius Martin: I fell in love with music. The moment that I realized that music was really popping for me is when my dad used to listen to Kanye West “Put On” with Young Jeezy every Sunday before we went to my football games. So, I listen to that in the car. That feeling that I would get right before I was like maybe one day I could do this and get people hyped up and give them that feeling that they’re about to go just kill it or whatever they do.
Kulture Vulturez: What do you feel like impacted you to making decision to become an artist and start releasing music on your own?
Darius Martin: I was in Ohio and my friend had taught me how to make beats when I was over there for college. I ended up getting sick when I was in Ohio, and I came back to California. From that moment when I made that first beat, it just kind of kept going. After I made that first one, it just was it for me. I just kept staying in the studio.
I worked at multiple jobs after that, but nothing hit me the way that music hit me, even though I wasn’t making money at the time. It was just, this is it for me. I know one day if I keep my grind and I keep my head down and I stay focused with this something’s going to happen.
Kulture Vulturez: Now getting into the music business. What do you feel like you can add to R&B or just music in general?
Darius Martin: I feel like because of where I come from. I have this almost country type of background. I also have this hip hop background, this EDM background. I have a lot of different types of genres of music that I’ve worked on and that I’ve listened to growing up. I feel like me being in that position that I can make a different type of beat for any type of genre. It helps me to cross the barriers.
Most of your R&B artists, you’re not going to look at them to drop a hip hop song or a country song. You’re just going to look at them to drop more R&B. So, I feel like I might be able to push that boundary of let’s just make good music. Let’s stay away from the genres because genres really just put you into a box. Let’s just make good music on how it feels, the feelings you get, the vibrations that you’re giving off, the hurts, the frequencies that you’re giving back to the universe. You know, I feel like that.
Darius Martin – “Waves” (Official Music Video)
Kulture Vulturez: Do you have a vision of where you want to see yourself? Did you come in with the expectations?
Darius Martin: I came into music with the same mentality that every artist kind of has. I wanted to change people’s lives as much as possible. Not all music nowadays is bad music, but I feel like the music that we should be putting out should be a little more uplifting and a little more positive than what’s.
Kulture Vulturez: Anything leads to you wanting to make more uplifting music, because everybody, just like you said, is releasing music that is more negative or more partying.
Darius Martin: I was just honestly going through life. I’m sitting there one day and I’m going through my playlists on my phones and every song that I’m skipping over because I’m just like, this is not how I feel. This is not the vibe I want to be on. This is not the energy or the messages that I want my soul to gravitate and hold on to. I took that and I said, if they could do it, then I could do it. So I might as well just start making my own music, try to make it different, go from there.
I got eight songs out now, and just been dropping music consistently. Now, I am working on an EP and an album, as well more singles coming. I was actually just in the studio yesterday working with a couple artists. Just keep grinding and trying to make sure that everybody around me is also elevating their mindset and their productivity.
Kulture Vulturez: Releasing several songs over the last year, what have been some standout songs and fan favorites? Are there ones that mean the most to you and best showcase you as an artist?
Darius Martin: The “Already Won” video was really good for me. I had already dropped a couple of videos before, but when I hopped onto the set of that video, I felt like my confidence had just completely taken over. Whether I was in front of the camera, I was moving, just everything. From that point forward, my music got better. My confidence grew. Just everything from that point forward just elevated for me. So, that song for me was just it.
But the fan favorite, right now it’s looking like “Options,” the way that the numbers are going up. But the fan favorite is going to be “Crazy Now” because of the visual for that one. I feel like my message on that was a lot deeper than a lot of the other songs because some of the songs are just kind of fun love songs. “Crazy Now” was really about some issues that I was going through or that maybe I saw somebody else going through. It was more relatable to them on a deeper level.
Darius Martin ft. Dribble2much – “Already Won” (Official Music Video)
Kulture Vulturez: Do you feel you’re going to have roadblocks and obstacles because your music is pushing positivity and not something else like everyone else?
Darius Martin: Of course. I’ve been talking to labels and different companies before I ever started dropping music. When I would show them the music, they’d be like, it’s cool, it’s nice, but let me know when you make something different. I am like, ‘No, this is it.’ The music that I’m making, I feel this is from my soul.
I don’t want to talk about the drugs, the women, the typical things that you would expect a black guy to be rapping about or singing about in front of a camera. I felt like I needed to switch that narrative and be better than myself, not necessarily better than the next person, because you can’t even compare ourselves at that point. You got to keep being better than yourself every day. Once you get that mindset down, everything else just kind of falls into place for you.
Kulture Vulturez: What do you have next coming up, that people should be looking out for?
Darius Martin: I just dropped “Options.” I had shows this weekend, which were amazing. It was my first two shows actually. It was lit, man. I had a good time. I got more shows coming up. But it’s exciting. More music coming out. I got this song called “Secrets” that I actually performed in the club Friday and they were going crazy for it. So I’m really excited for that song to come out.
Just more EPs, more albums, more singles, more videos. I’m always on the grind, man. I just had a studio session yesterday. I left there like six in the morning, came up, woke up this morning, had another interview and then hopped on here. I just feel like now I’m really in my flow of things, just getting everything going and just it feels good to just.