Martin $ky Reveals His Authentic Self In 'Stay True'
On November 29, 2016 Martin $Ky tweeted out "I'm not rapping anymore next year. I plan on producing full time and I'm not joking. Working on an instrumental album as we speak.” Almost a year later that tweet is reality, releasing his much anticipated project Stay True last week. When These Days interviewed Martin a year ago he expressed that production was his first love, and foreshadowed that 2017 would be a journey for him finding his place in hip-hop. All these unknowns are answered on Stay True, confirming he chose right focusing on production, fine tuning his skills behind the boards.
“Stay True is just an introduction to who I REALLY am as an artist/producer. It's my first official album as a producer(Wave 1 was an EP) so I wanted people to get a feel of where I'm about to take my sound and get them used to what I do now.”
Each beat seems to have been dropped from the future, ahead of his time. From strong bass, to obscure synths, vocal samples mixed together perfectly and off kilter rhythms, there’s a new, more emotionally complex energy in his music. The transitions flow so eloquently that the project feels like one cohesive song. Take a ride, starting off with beginning track “Right Place”, signifying his joy in finally doing what he loves, and follow all the way to standout closing track “Going Going Gone”, looking to a bright future (no coincidence this track was co-produced with Sango).
The album establishes a recognition factor for $ky’s songs. There’s TV static, fuzz that contrasts with high pitched, indistinguishable vocals. Organic instruments & nostalgic flutes next to computer beeps. Low range bass riding underneath skittering high hats. Vibraphones! A lot going on, yet you clearly identify his distinct sound within 30 second of pressing play. It’s a skill people attribute to the best producers of possessing in their music, from Pharrell to Just Blaze, the list goes on. One of the brightest examples of this is found on “Philosophers Stone” as Martin combines all of his best elements with an out of this world synth, booming bass and a great vocal sample combining for a track that’s both ethereal, hype and inspired all at once.
"I want them to understand who I am as a creative and break me out of this box as an artist. I get associated with a certain type of sound a lot and my style is so much more than that. I don't think much of the project sounds the same, but it does all tie together in the end and I'd hope that it leaves the people with a sense of clarity on who I am and what I'm really passionate about."
Martin has also been able to produce excellent collabs alongside other artists. Jamvvis and Sango serve as the only features on Stay True and on each Martin combines both of their sounds together flawlessly. This is evident on “Going Going Gone” with Soulection’s Sango, whose well known Brazilian beat elements mixed with Martin's futuristic sound make it worth being in rotation the rest of the year.
Says Martin, “I just hope people can become a little more open minded after listening to this project. Every single time I've played the album for someone, they claim to really enjoy it."
Throughout this project it's clear Martin is in a way better space mentally and musically. Aside from everything, Stay True shows that directing his focus to production will likely be a career changing move. Similar to J Dilla’s Welcome 2 Detroit or Pete Rock’s PeteStrumentals, this album feels that it will be a staple in this producer's career for years to come. It's the project that'll let people know that they may have expected one thing, but there was a whole different artist waiting for them once they let their expectations dissipate.
"I want them to understand who I am as a creative and break me out of this box as an artist. I get associated with a certain type of sound a lot and my style is so much more than that...I'd hope that it leaves the people with a sense of clarity on who I am and what I'm really passionate about."