Before I hopped on the phone with Thelonious Martin a couple weeks back, I was expecting a talented young producer to speak on his success at such a young age, throwing stories at me about the exciting lives of teenage musicians thriving in the urban metropolis of New Jersey and New York. I was not expecting quite possibly the most grounded young musician I have ever spoken to. Thelonious Martin just graduated high school and is already primed to take the next step in his young career. “Within the first few years of me being in school, I always told myself, I want to go to school… I saw that fact that going to school is more important than anything,” states Thelonious who claims that while he’s at school this coming year at Columbia (Chicago), you will be able to find him in 1 of 3 places: the classroom, his dorm room, or the studio. After releasing countless beat tapes, Martin is ready to move on from that part in his career, wanting to focus more on mixtapes and albums.
His collective, Tastemakers NJ, is a lifestyle brand comprised of artists, musicians and business savvy teenagers that have recently released the compilation Summer Ale, proving they are yet another young collective poised to make their brand known to the larger Hip-Hop Community. “We have people to handle the marketing stuff, people to handle all the photography, artwork, and like in terms of small operating things we don’t need a big corporate head saying ‘oh we gotta do this and that today,’ because if we’re really passionate about making music, we are going to handle our business.”
Equipped with a check-list of goals he’d like to accomplish by the age of 25, this 18-year old musician operates at a much more mature level. Striving to never take a day off, Martin has all the skills, aside from the music itself, that molds a young musician into an internationally acclaimed artist. Oh yeah, you don’t get those skills without a strong passion for the music at a young age (middle school), and when you start that young, the music takes care of itself. Dropping his last beat tape (ever?) Super about a month ago, Martin just wrapped the mixing for fellow Tastemaker Topaz Jones’s debut LP Hello My Name Is. The beats thump and the MC’s always come correct, as Thelonious and Tastermakers NJ both will definitely be around just as long as they please. Read on after the jump