If you read 303’s preview for MartyParty and Joker’s show at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom this past Saturday, you already know that these two bad ass producers came to Denver to throw down some serious vibes. Any of you that were there know that not only did these two men both play incredible sets, but MartyParty left every single person in that room sweatin’ purple. 303 Magazine was fortunate enough to spend some time speaking with MartyParty before the show and he was excited to share his knowledge with us. Here’s what the South African had to say about his life as a producer, the music industry and his anti-genre hybrid of Purple music.
303: How did growing up in South Africa influence the music you listen to and produce now?
MartyParty: I’d say everything influences everybody. I always had a love for Hip-Hop and when I came to the States when I was 23 years old all I could listen to is Hip-Hop. In South Africa, I listened to mostly club music like House and Electro and stuff like that. I fell in love with the beats of Hip-Hop when I got here. What changed my life was when I realized I wanted to make Hip-Hop without rapping. So I started using beats, tones and melodies, and that’s pretty much what I started to make when I started making music in 2007. So it was kind of like club music with a Hip-Hop beat. The influence of South Africa and the influence of the U.S. come together in my music like that.
303: Tell us about when you and Joker decided to co-headline this tour together.
MartyParty: I’ve known Joker for a while now. We’ve talked online a lot because we have similar tastes in music. When I finished the PANTyRAiD tour I went home and talked to my agent and he asked “Is there anybody you’d like to take on your next tour with you?”
I was like “Well, yeah Joker.”
I was just joking actually, but I asked if we could get him and my manager said “Well let me find out if he has an agent in the U.S. and if he’s available” and he found out yeah we could do it. So I sort of asked for him and I got him. I’m really stoked because people in the U.S. have never really heard his music, especially the stuff he’s playing now. He plays all completely original sets, just like I do.
303: Explain your Purple Movement and Purple sound. How did they begin and how have they evolved over time? What is your interpretation of the idea behind them?
MartyParty: Through the years I’ve been asked in interviews what genre my music is and I just always struggle, so I’ve played around with using different words like synthetic Hip-Hop. I’m just trying to avoid any of the genres because it just doesnt fit in them. The whole kind of Purple Movement is kind of about the underground of various genres. Hip-Hop has purple, club music has purple, Rock music has purple. It’s kind of an in between genre sound. For the longest time possible I’ve always loved the notion of purple from Jimmy Hendrix’s day. That kind of planted the seed in my mind.
Purple is a very psychedelic, melodic experience, a psychedelic and melodic music.
It can be in any tempo, any key, any beat, any of the stupid genres that people like to use. And now that other people have been using it, purple has a life of its own so we’ll see where it goes. I think there is definitely room for another genre word.
303: How would you say your sounds have changed throughout your career and where do you see them moving in the future?
MartyParty: I’ve started producing Hip-Hop as my name, Martin Folb, and it’s going really well down in Miami. When I get back from this tour I have a whole lot of studio dates to keep building my profile. Basically that’s what I’m going to be pushing. I’ll be pushing mostly PANTyRAiD, MartyParty and then Martin Folb. So there’s a lot more commercial Hip-Hop production and trying to bring my sound into the radio beats. I’ll continue to do my MartyParty sound and doing my live shows and progressing that, and then continuing to do PANTyRAiD and progressing that. They’re all three very different but I get to express myself in three different ways.
303: Which artists have most influenced your career? You mentioned Jimmy Hendrix but who are some other great influences in your life?
MartyParty: I mean mostly I’ve been influenced by the producers of electronic music. All of the greats through growing up with House music and Techno, and then getting into Hip-Hop, all the great Hip-Hop producers. And then with the new Dubstep producers that are coming out and making incredible sound designs, and pushing and expanding the horizons of what sound is possible from a computer. All of those people. The newer generation Trap producers and the newer genre producers. I think that’s the beauty of it is that we’re all influencing each other.
I have to say my biggest influence will always be the songwriters of the Rock era who really taught me what a song was versus a beat. I’m not interested in beats. I’m interested in songs.
I like having a theme, and an intro, and a body, and a chorus, and a crescendo and an alto. I learned the structure of what a song should be from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, you know, people who wrote songs. I’ve tried to translate that into electronic music, I mean, that’s what my set is it’s just my songs.
303: Where are some of your favorite places to perform?
MartyParty: I’ve only performed in North America but I love all the regions because they’re all so different. The fans are craziest probably in the Midwest and the South. I’d say the fans are more knowledgeable on the coasts. The East Coast is a little behind, so I kind of like playing there now because they’re so wide eyed and open for something new. My kind of experimental sound they really like. The West Coast is the most mature but the most picky. But I love playing there too because they appreciate left field songs, they appreciate more of the downtempo thing, and they’ve heard more of the sound design.
But it’s always different.
So I craft a set as I’m on the bus and mix and match my songs for the different markets. But I wouldn’t say I like playing for any people more than others. I like playing for five fans or ten thousand fans because you just never know when you’re going to have a really good time.
303: What are some of your favorite and least favorite things about being on tour?
MartyParty: My favorite thing about being on tour is getting into a rhythm you know? You’re playing shows every night so you get really good at your set. You get a confidence and swag about the way you deliver it. So I kind of like that rigorous routine, at the hotel, on the bus, it kind of gives you a sport mode. I don’t like the long drives and missing home and the bad food. All those kinds of things can kind of be a pain in the ass.
It’s all about picking your tour mates and if you get along with them the tour is fun. Really I like it all, I’m very fortunate.
Making music and playing it for people and knowing that they love it is great. I’m in my seventh year of touring and I can finally just play all my own music. And everybody knows every song, it’s really cool.
303: Do you have any plans for festival season?
MartyParty: I have some festival dates planned. I can’t really say but I’ll definitely be playing a few festivals. I’ll be taking some time off in Miami just because I’ve been touring so much but definitely, yeah, I’ll be at some festivals as MartyParty and as PANTyRAiD so look out for those.
303: Describe the moment you and Ooah decided to collaborate and form PANTyRAiD.
MartyParty: Josh came down to Costa Rica when I was living there and I’d been making some music so I played some for him in my garage and he loved it.
We pretty much decided right there that we wanted to do something together and the rest, I mean, is just history.
We formed the first PANTyRAiD album when I came back to the States, based on some of those works and some stuff we wrote together. It all came together about a year after I got back to the U.S.
303: You recently began a column with THUMP on all things EDM. What made you want to write a column?
MartyParty: I just happened to meet one of the Thump editors and they asked if I wanted to do it, so I did it and enjoyed it. And, you know, I’ve continued to do it. I have a lot to say and there aren’t too many people producing who like to do interviews and speak.
So I like to kind of speak on behalf of the community a little bit, just to shed some light on the realitys of the industry and let people know the real story and whats really going on.
I like to write things down just to keep it real. Actually a few other publications have asked me to do the same thing so the column is definitely something I’ll continue doing in the future.
303: Is there going to be a comprehensive list of the Party With Marty Rules and what is your favorite rule so far?
MartyParty: Yeah I think we’re definitely going to have to go back and compile them all up and publish it somehow. I don’t know what my favorite one is… (Whistles) I like the one where you always buy two meals for dinner because you’re going to eat one after the show. Taking care of the ladies, I like that one a lot. Let the ladies dance on stage is a good one.
Keep the DJ stoned is an important one.
The music will be better if you keep the DJ stoned. I know that won’t be a problem in Colorado. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re accepted for who you are and can legally smoke.
303: What has been one of the most important or most memorable moments of your career so far?
MartyParty: Playing at Soldier Field when it was full was pretty outstanding. I wasn’t ready for what it felt like, because I’m a huge football fan too, to get the feeling of being a football player in front of a full NFL stadium. It was pretty crazy. Doing our first headlining PANTyRAiD performance was pretty special too just because all those people coming to see you is an amazing feeling.
I hope to get to play a Red Rocks stage soon. That’s kind of a dream.
Playing at The Fox, headlining at The Fox was a dream of mine. I remember going to The Fox in Boulder when Derek, when Pretty Lights played there and being like “Oh my God this venue is so cool” and then I finally played there and, you know, checked it off the list. Also some big gigs, Basslights in Miami and Ultra were really insane. I think these next few years will be very special because, you know, I’ve worked seven years to get my name to the point where I can headline and do a tour like this. And now I get to really enjoy it, I get to make the venues and the parties my own. And I’m looking forward to presenting that to all my fans.
303: Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans or prospective producers who are reading this interview?
MartyParty: For producers, I’ll say the same thing I always say, which is don’t make the same mistake I did. If you’re working on a song that isn’t going easily or isn’t sounding like a hit song, delete it and start again, don’t waste your time. To the fans, learn to appreciate artists that have produced hits and stayed relevant through genres as they come and go.
Don’t just cling to the latest genre because it dissipates the energy and emotion that’s created.
There’s something special about watching someone who has body of work versus someone who’s just playing hits. I know they’ll come around in general, but I just want to remind people there are other ways of doing it. There are a lot of producers that have been doing it through Dubstep through Trap through Glitch, that have a repertoire of music that when it’s put together it’s a most special experience, I think. To go through the genres with one sound versus just playing one BPM or one genre, which is really what the last few years have kind of been. To the business and industry itself, stop the fucking hype machine, for Gods sake. Stop with the words trying to describe artists and music that never make sense, the must see, must hear, ten genres in a row bullshit has to stop. Get over yourselves, you’re fucking it up for the artists.
Let the music speak for itself.
There you have it people. The Master of Purple himself has spoken. Listen and appreciate the music, and don’t get hung up on trends and what’s popular. Let the vibes speak for themselves.
Gabriel is a music junkie from San Francisco, California, and recently graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a BA in Creative Writing. Gabriel is a writer for the music department of 303 Magazine, and aspires to write professionally. Outside of work Gabriel loves to party with friends at music festivals, snowboard in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, travel the globe experiencing new cultures and lounge with some quality TV on a lazy Sunday. Contact Gabriel by email at Gabriel@303magazine.com.