Recently All The Goods had the distinct pleasure of chatting with the amazing talent known as Marilyn Martin. You might know Marilyn best from her duet with Phil Collins 'Separate Lives'. This song came out in late 1985, hitting #1 on the US charts as well as #5 on the UK charts, Marilyn's voice is as warm and passionate now as it was then.
Marilyn has recorded a brand new album which was released this past year 'Trust, Pray, Love'. She decided to take her music into a different realm with this new release.
ATG-People are probably most familiar with you from the duet you did with Phil Collins in 1985 for 'Separate Lives'. How did this pairing come to be?
MM-I had just finished touring with Joe Walsh and Stevie Nicks as a background singer in 1983 and Stevie invited me to sing on an album she was just beginning to work on called "Rock A Little". One night the head of Atlantic Records, Doug Morris, came to the session. He asked if I had any demos and I told him yes...actually all I had was a rough work/idea tape! He ended up signing me to Atlantic Records about the same time Phil turned in his "No Jacket Required" album. Phil had recorded "Separate Lives" but though he loved the song, he didn't think it was a good fit with the rest of his album. Doug heard it, thought it would be great as a duet and somehow convinced Phil to sing it with me...talk about miracles!
ATG-After your work with Phil, what path did your career take from there?
MM-When it came time to choose songs for my first solo album, I was like a kid in a candy shop. People were sending killer songs for me to record and I was getting to write with some great writers but I wasn't focused on carving a specific musical style. Basically, I was just having fun singing!
Not the wisest way to establish a career! After two solo albums, I began to realize that the lyric content and the image I was portraying weren't authentically me anymore so I veered a bit off the grid in my attempt to find my own voice.
I toured as a backup singer for Don Henley for awhile then was offered an opportunity to make a country album for Atlantic Records Nashville. Eventually, my crazy, circuitous path brought me to a place where I just had to stop. I was tired of exploring different musical directions that never felt true to me...until I wrote my first inspirational song.
ATG-Let's go back a bit, where did you get your start? Were you into music as a child? Is this the path that you've always wanted to take? Do you play any instruments?
MM-I grew up fantasizing about singing on a talent show and being discovered! I sang all the time, in my head, out loud, in church and school until I was asked when I was eighteen to join a band and go on the road. It wasn't a glamorous gig but I got to sing and travel...heaven! My only regret is never learning to play an instrument but one of my 2013 resolutions is to learn to play piano!
ATG-Who were your influences when you first began your career?
MM-I'd have to say my biggest all time musical influence would be the Beatles, their melodies and harmonies played nonstop in my head. But getting to sing with Stevie Nicks before I ever had a glimmer of hope of being a solo artist was huge. I was inspired by her absolute passion and dedication to the music.
ATG-We listened to your latest album (Trust, Love, Pray) and your voice is as warm and passionate as ever. This album is faith-based in style. What guided you to move into this musical direction?
MM-Thank you! When I started writing again I had no intention of actually making a record. I just missed singing. Out of the blue one day, my husband Greg began to teach me how to navigate Garageband on my computer, which put a world of instruments right at my fingertips. This was a miracle to me! Since I had never learned how to play an instrument I couldn't write a song on my own. I had SO much fun creating my first track! Usually as I work on the music, I kind of hum and mumble melodic ideas that eventually lead to lyrics. Well, I was so grateful to be singing and writing again that the words that came to me were expressions of love and thankfulness. I had always known that God had a plan but my inner fear had become...had I been willful for so long that I'd missed it completely?
ATG-Recently, we had caught a video of Joe Walsh performing at tbe 1983 US Festival. We believe that was you that was singing backup for him. You looked like you were really having a blast up there. How did touring with Joe come about? Have you sung on any of his albums?
MM-I went from singing in nightclubs to singing in front of thousands with Joe Walsh by meeting Joe's drummer, Joe Vitale, at a club our band was playing in Miami. We talked on a break and realized that he and his wife lived about twenty minutes from us in Arkon, Ohio. So we exchanged phone numbers with the hopes of playing on some of his demos. He's the one who got us on the Walsh tour and yes, it was a blast!!! I haven't gotten to sing on his albums but recently got to sing with him on some tour dates for a few months in 2012...amazing!
ATG-What other artists have you toured with? Are there any other albums that you've contributed vocals to by any other artists?
MM-Aside from Joe and Stevie in 1983, I've toured wiith Don Henley. What a privilege to hear that voice and sing those incredible songs night after night. I've gotten to sing on several different soundtracks, "Sorcerer" for 'Streets of Fire' and a duet with David Foster for the movie 'Stealing Home' called "And When She Danced". I'm on backing vocals on "Footloose"; "Don't Come Around Here No More" by Tom Petty and "Cherish" by Madonna.
ATG-We know that you have a Kickstarter page. We think that Kickstarter is a great vehicle for folks to get their projects off the ground. How do you feel about all of the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and just the internet in general?
MM-I'm so awed and overwhelmed by it all! What has touched me the most is that I've been so inspired and encouraged by my Facebook friends. It always surprises me when I post something and people respond!! I'm a bit challenged though; I'm not sure who's seeing my posts or if I'm responding to the right friend! Kickstarter is amazing! What a great springboard for artists and entrepreneurs! I've tried tweeting but you don't get the room to say things, so what you say better be good...a tad intimidating!!!
ATG-Now that Trust, Pray,Love is finished, what goals did you have in mind for this project? Were you thinking about going out on a possible solo tour?
MM-I would LOVE to tour, but the problem is I'm seriously flying by the seat of my pants! The upside of not having a label or management is you have no one else calling the shots; the down is that you have no one to do the things you don't know how to do,like put a tour together. At this point, my goal is to nudge Trust, Love, Pray into peoples' awareness every way I can via social media. It would be a huge help to reach my Kickstarter goal. That would enable me to hire a marketing professional.
ATG-Whar sort of advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the music business? Perhaps the sort of things you wished that you knew at the time and had to learn as you moved through your career?
MM-That's a really tough question because the music "business" has changed so much. It's such an exciting time to be a new artist because of all the opportunities and ways to be successful independently. My advice would be first hone your craft. Be passionate, be true to your gift, never stop fine tuning. There's so much talent out there, find what is uniquely you. Second, absorb all the knowledge you can about social media and marketing.
ATG-Do you have any quotes that you live by, maybe something from the Bible or another source?
MM-Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you.
ATG-Where can people buy your new album?
MM-Thanks for asking! My album can be purchased at http://cdbaby.com/cd/marilynmartin. You can also go to my website www.marilyn-martin.com
Links for Marilyn Martin-