Exercising his dancing talents to some of the biggest people in the game such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Rihanna, to starring in multiple movies such as “Stomp the Yard” and “Footloose”, being apart of the Vivica A. Fox show “Black Magic”, a prestigious model, and now breaking out as a solo music artist, Alvester Martin is a force to be reckoned with in the industry . Through sheer faith and determination, his work ethic and passion for his craft molded a foundation that was meticulously laid piece by piece to make his wildest dreams come true.
TUC had the pleasure to talk to Martin about his artistry, new album Love Me or Leave Me, inspirations and continued goals within entertainment.
Breanna: When did you first start getting into dancing and music?
Alvester: When I was around two or three years old. I officially took dance classes at five and singing lessons at the church until I was nine.
Breanna : You’ve worked with some of the top people in the game such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Rihanna. How was that and how did you get involved?
Alvester: From every artist, you learn a lot from them. I knew I wanted to be a recording artist and singer, I knew that I didn’t want to dance. For me, it was like a form of college or on the job training. Everybody would say how dope it was, but it was a whole other level of dope for me because I wasn’t just paying attention to the stage every night, but I was also paying attention to everything behind the scenes, how to run a camp, and the ins and outs of being an artist in the business. I can’t even put into words how valuable that was for me.
Breanna :When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music more so than dance?
Alvester: Dancing was the Segway for me into entertainment and working with artists, but the moment I would say was when I was a child. I never really saw myself being a commercial dancer, I was a ballet dancer prior, but that was because a Black male teacher told me that I wouldn’t be able to do it because I didn’t have the typical aesthetic, and I was behind in my classes. I was a little boy that grew up in the south and in that rough area, you don’t get a lot of black male ballet dancers. So the worst thing you could do to me is tell me that I can’t do something, and it made me go completely hard at it. Once I accomplished it, I was cool. I’ve always wanted to be a recording artist and everything else I feel that God put in my way to make little gems that I could put in my own artistry.
Breanna : You’re about to release your upcoming album Love me or Leave me. How did you come up with the title of this album? What was the inspiration behind Love Me or Leave Me ?
Alvester: I came up with the title and song “Love Me or Leave Me” about four or five years ago. The album itself chronicles the last four to five years of my life and was like my journal. This song was something in that when I moved to LA, my ex-girlfriend wanted to move there first and be a dancer and I didn’t want to move out there but I moved out there anyway. I was concentrating on music but then there was a point when was things were starting to weigh down on me. I was about 18 or 19 years old in a new place, I didn’t know anybody, was living in a one bedroom apartment and I’m in a relationship. I had a friend who is dancing for Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and all those people at the top and was like , “ you should dance again for some money .” So he called his agent , signing me based on his word and my commercial look . So when I started dancing , it just took off . I started doing tours with Beyoncé and Rihanna and from there my relationship began to sour. I had to own up to that part of myself. When I wrote the song Love me or Leave me in 2012, during that time I was homeless again , reflecting and had tried to stop dancing and I realize I did her wrong. When you hear this song it sounds like the status quo break up song but the point behind it is that it was probably what she was thinking. If I’m not what you want, then let me go . It is my apology to her. The song was constant throughout this process in the last four years. Love me or Leave me also takes on different life meanings. From people telling you what you’re not, what you should do, and all that in between. So there’s a point when I had to love or leave myself before I know who I am. I have character flaws like we all do. I can’t please you all the time otherwise I don’t love myself. So throughout this album; I had to revisit that.
Breanna: Who has been your biggest musical inspiration?
Alvester: There’s such a vast amount of people, but of course Michael Jackson, and the Jackson’s period. They are the blueprint and from Michael to Usher to my peers right now like Chris Brown and of course Beyoncé when I was working with her for so long off and on, and just learned so much. Also, people like Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye that I’ve listened to with my grandfather and he’s one of my favorites because of the tone of his voice. All of these people stand out.
Breanna: You’ve described your music as “eclectic RnB “, can you explain to our readers what that is and would you say that you are the first of this genre?
Alvester: I don’t think I’m the first, but at the time when Prince came out, he was very eclectic R&B because it was a sound we weren’t used to hearing. You also had George Clinton that was R&B as well. When you’re going against the grain a little bit, the sound becomes eclectic. So for right now in what I’m doing, there are too many greats of the past for me to say I’m the first. I’m not though in the class I would say with what’s going on right now. I may be one of the first to venture out of my class. Now people are calling it alternative R&B, a mood, and a feel. What I really wanted to do when creating the album is not try and make anything. I didn’t want to think about the radio or other artists. I just wanted to make music.
Breanna: What advice would you give to somebody that wants to branch out into music, dance and all other creative forms?
Alvester: I would say whatever you want to branch out into, especially in music is to study your craft. Being an artist is not just about having an image or having somebody give you songs. So really study your craft no matter how long it takes because it won’t happen overnight. It took me 10 years to get here, so really stick to it. Have faith because talent cannot be ignored.
Breanna: When all is said and done, Alvester Martin will go down as what?
Alvester: Alvester Martin will go down as an entertainer, but I would also like to go down as an inspiration. Right now there’s so much bull**** going on in the world from the political arena to pop culture and the worst thing to see is that we are all pitted against each other. In music, there’s normally one guy and one girl on top and that’s not true. There are 7 billion people in the world, and as Black talent, they always pit us against each other which I’ve learned from doing the reality television show Black Magic. I sat down with Vivica A. Fox and had one of the best conversations in that I allowed myself to be manipulated in going against other solo Black entertainers. I don’t like that I was a part of that. People are going to tell you that you’re not good enough. People have said that my personality falls flat when I walk in the room. I would just tell them I’m not an extrovert. That allows me to be more observant. The loudest person in the room is going through a lot of s***. So I’ve realized this is me learning life lessons along the way, giving back, and being a positive inspiration.