A changeling, a chaser of truth, a musician with a relentless passion for authenticity, Aidan Martin is the real deal. Throughout his career, he has remained true to his roots and has consistently produced music that is polished, accessible and uncompromisingly rock ‘n’ roll. Or – as he calls it – AfroRock/PurpleBlues/Rhythm&Soul/Freedom/Changeling.
Just as the mesh of genres proclaim, Aidan is a multitalented musician and songwriter, while his work is underscored by an undeniable sense of purpose and soul. In a time when audiences are seeking the next big thing by scrolling through their social media feeds, it has become increasingly hard to find a musician who is true to his art; a musician who breathes groovy blues and plays to the soul of rock.
“My mother was a music teacher and played piano, cello and the flute, while my father sang and played guitar. I remember hearing the baby Yamaha Grand Piano through the air vents all the way in my room,” Aidan said of his early years.
Growing up in a musical family, including an older brother playing in bands, it was written in the stars that Aidan would end up a musician, no matter where he went. “I never had the intention of becoming a singer, or a songwriter, for that matter. Writing a song is not something you can force, and I believe when you’re writing lyrics it should be honest and meaningful.”
A man with blues in his blood, Aidan is always searching for that honesty and meaning, for a place to call home and for a sound to make his own. It is this yearning that will propel Aidan to continue his never-ending quest to make music that matters.
In 2002 Aidan found himself in Edinburgh, a searching young man sitting in a room teaching himself to play the guitar by studying jazz records. Once back on South African soil, Aidan joined his brother Jonathan Martin, an acclaimed guitarist and vocalist in his own right, on the music scene. “When I was in primary school, my brother was already in bands, and so I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Doors.” The Martin Brothers went on to record the albums In My Blood (2007) and Machete (2010), and continue to share the stage to this day.
Establishing himself as a serious musician, while revealing his heart and soul, Aidan recorded his first album, Inside Out in 2013. The songs range from groovy tunes to full on shake-your-head-and-feel-your-heart-burst rock. Fans have come to recognize the tunes Inside Out, Lost & Found, Weather Girl and Feels So Good, and added to the mix, the roots-rock-beats of the West African Blues track, Farka Touré Blues.
In 2016 Aidan started work on his second Album Titled ‘Refugee’ and released the songs over a period of time through 2016. The title single Refugee – with its eerie undertone and provocative lyrics – was the first release, followed by No Kind Season, Never Forget You, Waning Hypnotized Illusions and the African Blues hit Get Together (released with an alternate version).The full album was released in 2017.
“Inspiration and influence change over time, but what comes out is a sum of one’s influences combined with what is uniquely your own sound,” Aidan said about the process of recording Refugee. “It’s important to have a solid foundation, but also to keep moving forward. The production of Refugee is strong, while it shows how I am growing as a songwriter and a musician.”
At the helm of steering Refugee into world-class production is Graham Ward, award-winning producer, composer and songwriter, who has worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Bee Gees and Toni Braxton, to name a few. “Graham brings years of industry experience and compelling talents to the table and adds that extra ingredient to the music. We were very lucky to work with someone of his calibre,” Aidan said.
Crossing many borders, Aidan toured Tanzania in early 2018 and collaborated with local musicians, most notably with prominent contemporary Gogo musician, Msafiri Zawose, on a track called Bagamoyo – to be released later this year. A trip to Europe followed where Aidan performed in various venues in Germany and The Netherlands.
Aidan Martin might see himself as a refugee of life, but he sure continues to turn his determination into a thing of beauty.