Keith Martin (musician)

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Keith Martin
Birth name Keith Eric Martin
Born (1966-09-22) September 22, 1966 (age 51)
Washington, D.C., United States
Genres R&B
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, bass guitar, drums, percussion
Years active 1995–present
Labels Sony, Ruffhouse, Orchard, EMI, Galaxy, Rhyme Scene

Keith Eric Martin (born September 22, 1966, Washington, D.C.) is an American R&B singer-songwriter and record producer, currently living in Indonesia. Martin is best known for writing and singing romantic love songs.[1]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Martin is the second son of three children.[2] Growing up, he listened to the Jackson 5, Prince and the production of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Stevie Wonder. He was also influenced by jazz and gospel music.[3] Martin started playing piano, bass guitar, drums and singing when he was 10. He started writing music when he was nineteen.[citation needed]

Martin was a force among local artists in the late 1980s, growing up with close friends Johnny Gill and Stacy Lattisaw and bassist Oteil Burbridge and Kenny Lattimore. He was a member of the group, Masquerade, which included twins, Art and Scott Powell, Sharif Walters and D'Extra Wiley, who later became a member of the 1990s new jack R&B group II D Extreme.[citation needed]

Con Funk Shun founder and drummer Louis A. McCall, Sr. signed Martin to his Gaithersburg, MD artist management company he owned with his wife Linda Lou McCall, a music business consultant and songwriter. Linda Lou McCall was hired by MC Hammer in 1990 to help set up his corporate operations and administration in Oakland, California. When she became Vice President of Hammer's artist management company, Linda and her husband arranged for Martin to come to California and got him on as part of MC Hammer's Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em and Too Legit to Quit world tours.[4]

When the McCalls relocated to Los Angeles in 1990, Martin followed, enabling him to work with Boyz II Men producers (Shovani and Buster), Grammy Award winning songwriter and producers Marty Sharon and Danny Sembello, Oji Pierce, Ian Prince and The Time's Jesse Johnson.[4] now working and owner of his production company, New Direction Music.[clarification needed]

First album[edit]

Michael McCary of Boyz II Men, brought Martin to Ruffhouse/Columbia Sony. Martin was signed to Columbia Ruffhouse records by his then manager, Adrian Taylor, who had previously managed Martin when he was the lead singer of Masquerade. The group included members Scott and Art Powell and Shariff Walters. Washington, D.C. promoter James T. (Time 2 Jamm) brought the group to Night Flight studios, owned by singer/recording artist Stacy Lattisaw and her husband Kevin Jackson. The group was popular in Washington D.C. Martin's friend, R&B recording star Johnny Gill, also supported the fledgling band. Later, Charlie Singleton, member of the hit pop/R&B band Cameo, produced demos for the band, which allowed Martin to record songs in Atlanta, Georgia. David Franklin, Richard Pryor's manager at the time, worked with Adrian Taylor on arranging recording sessions. The demos were presented to Epic Records, however, Kenny Lattimore's group, Mannequin was signed instead of the band Masquerade.

Ruffhouse president Chris Schwartz, Inerge Barrett and attorney Kevon Glickmon were all present at the 1994 signing of Martin in Philadelphia, PA. The budget for the first album was $350,000. The budget was approved by Columbia Records President, Donny Inner. Grammy award winning songwriter Marti Sharron and Danny Sembello, brother of Michael Sambello, wrote the title track, “Never Found Someone Like You.” That song was also placed on “The Bad Boys I” movie soundtrack and went on to sell over 1 million copies.

Martin released his first album, It's Long Overdue in 1995,[5] which peaked at #82 on the US Billboard R&B Albums chart.[6] His first single, "Never Find Someone Like You" (which was also independently recorded by Backstreet Boys before) it peaked at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #43 on R&B Singles chart,[7] and was included in the platinum-selling Bad Boys soundtrack.[8]

For the next decade, Martin stayed busy in the music industry producing, writing and releasing several solo albums, gaining him a large fan base throughout the world. His ballad, "Because Of You", is still a major favorite in the US and Asia.[9]

Move to Philippines[edit]

In 2004, Martin came to the attention of EMI, who hired him as in-house producer in Manila, Philippines, producing and writing for artists in the Philippines and Indonesia. He collaborated with Filipino singer Kyla on her albums Not Your Ordinary Girl and Beautiful Days, with Gloc 9 on his album Ako Si…, with Agnes Monica on her album Whaddup A.. '?!, and with Gary V., among others.[10]

2009–present[edit]

In 2009, Martin returned to the Philippines [4] and worked with POSH, an all-girl group signed to Viva Records. Martin produced "Missing You", one of the singles off their album My Heart.[11]

In 2010, Martin released a new album This Road[12] including a song "You Are My Life," which was released as a single in 2012 and became a popular wedding theme.[4][13]

In 2011, Martin wrote and produced two songs for Australian recording artist Ron Kingston. The first song was a duet called "My Friend," which features Kingston and Indonesian singer Mia. The Disney inspired and animated music video was completed by Empire Films in Australia and released to the public on September 2011.[14] Martin recorded duets with Indonesian artists Marybeth and Dira Sugandi Zulham and Singaporean artist Shun Ng.[4]

In 2013, Martin released another album, The Vision, available as digital download only.[4][13]

In 2018, Keith Martin released a new single, "Return to Me", available in all the digital platforms and as an official videoclip on YouTube.[4][13]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • 1995: "Never Find Someone Like You"
  • 1995: "Moment in Time"
  • 2004: "Because of You"
  • 2004: "Love of My Life"
  • 2004: "Coming Home"
  • 2004: "Whateva U Need"
  • 2005: "I Don't Wanna Think About It"
  • 2007: "Lady"
  • 2009: "California 1"
  • 2012: "You Are My Life"
  • 2018: "Return to Me"

References[edit]