• Life Is Art Magazine

Leonardo Martinez

Shares His Experience About Being a LGBT Influence in the Music Industry

Background Dancers (from left) Steven Lopez Hazuki Nabana Allie Peterson Patrick Joseph Diaz

The moment I knew I wanted to be a singer was when I saw Beyonce live for the first time. That was when I said “That’s the type of show I want to do." She just exemplifies what it means to be a full artist.I think how she conducts herself allows us to pay attention to her work more than her daily life, and I appreciate that because she doesn’t live in the gimmick of social media.

If I could change one thing about the industrytoday I would change the formula on how artists and talent become recognized.I would change it back to those days so that way music could be appreciated and words could be heard. Getting signed to a label these days requires you do all the work for them. Including having a social media following. You have the right look (even if does not always include the right voice). Agencies will run with anyone who's already packaged themselves because then they don't have to spend time or money building them up. That doesn't mean every social media influencer can find a label, and then get and signed. Sometimes their music will flop (which makes me smile inside because they need that reminder that the craft should not be taken for granted).

If you want to get signed by a label or develop recognition, you have to invest in everything. Your time, money, energy, and focus needs to be your music. Being a musician is not about money or fame. Money comes and goes. It is about the music and the message it sends. After you create content, you need to get it out there. Create music videos and then submit them to film festivals. When mine started winning awards, it put attention on my material. If your material gets a buzz people will give you a chance.

Your content needs to be personal. My most personal song is “Blink.” I wrote it as a therapeutic release to a burden that was inside my spirit and heart. As a member of the LGBT community I know what it means to be told “You don’t even know what you want." I mean the church has not been the most welcoming. But that doesn't stop the journey I am on with God. Personally, I feel the love from him every day. I want to spread the message of self respect and the power of love. The LGBT community likes to communicate through sex and I want to help people understand that just because I'm gay that doesn't mean you can just grab me inappropriately.

I watched the movie I Can Only Imagineand I really related to that lead character. So I wrote Blinkas a means to say that no matter how much life gets at me, we are only in this life for a blink in time before we are with our maker. It just reminded me how insignificant things are and to not let negative opinions get the best of me.

Always remember this, don’t act like you’re bigger than you are. Prove your worth. You will have work in gigs that don't pay. That's okay. Don't turn down an opportunity to showcase your artistry. Nothing happens overnight. Appreciate challenges because that means your moment is coming closer. Don't rely on someone that doesn't work as hard as you do. A manager, dancer, choreographer, etc. if they are not working as hard as you, then they aren't going to help you in the long run. The right people come along when they see your passion.

#showbusiness #leonardomartinez #music #dance