Exclusive: Five Minutes with Phoenix Martins

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Greetings Earthlings. I’m good thanks for asking, I’ve been doing some university work as well as working on some music production for another band I’m in called Parliament Of The Owls.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

I would describe my sound as ethereal, cinematic, interwoven soundscapes, with a touch of other worldliness.

What are the 5 most influential albums that have influenced you the most?

Wow only 5 ok in no particular order here goes:

1.Fela Kuti – Zombie
2.Bjork – Vulnicura
2.Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
4.Radiohead – Scottish Mist ( Hope this counts)
5.James Blake – The Colour In Anything

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

Dean Blunt, Radiohead, Father John Misty, James Blake, D Double E, Wiley, Skepta, JME, Cadel, Novelist, Trim, Ibeyi, Dry That River, Beaty Heart, Mark Pritchard, Bjork, Zomby, PJ Harvey, Fatoumata Diawara, Warpaint, Brain Eno,Seun Kuti & Egypt 80.

All these artists keep it fresh & continuously push the boundaries of what originally is and means.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?

The key pieces of equipment for me are violins, chello & viola also my Roland SPD FX, electronic/acoustic guitars. An a variety of effects pedals.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?

A challenge you say ; )

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

Internal and external experiences.

Take us through your songwriting process.

I work holistically & create poems furthermore I trained as a dancer which adds to the dynamic and shaping of my songwriting process.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

The best gig I’ve ever done would have to be a gig at the Roundhouse [Camden] in one of its more intimate spaces called the Clore.

This was the best because in that space, I have experienced many different performances at different points in my life. The space has so much character & I’ve been fortunate enough to develop and grow in this space which it is also situated in the centre of the Roundhouse that at times feels like it is the centre of my universe.

And the worst?

The worst, never had a bad gig, I often wonder what the notion of a bad gig even means.

I remember hearing that Paul McCartney & Bruce Springsteen did a gig once that was shut off early & Bruce Springsteen just carried on where he left off at his next show.

It is all a work in progress, I guess.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

I would be an Athlete, I used to complete for my local athletes team when I was a kid. I traveled to different cities in the U.K. competing in different categories like shot put, javelin, discus, short distance and cross country competitions. I’ve always enjoyed playing sports and keeping fit.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

I don’t have anywhere particular in mind, I would say those, that I would like to perform somewhere with great acoustic depth….oh and somewhere by the ocean.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?

If I could perform alongside any other band or artist it would have to be one of my favourite lecturers, Lisa Busby.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

Oh yes, I’ve been working on a variety of projects including a solo project where I had the opportunity to fly to Denmark & Finland, which will be out shortly.

Also I’m in two other bands –

1. A duo – Parliament Of The Owls [Electronic Music] 2. A 4 piece band – Mariachi [Rock Music]

Stay tuned.

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