Last night, we caught up with chart-topping singer and reality TV star Christopher Martin who is currently enjoying his first trip to London.
Martin has two of the year’s biggest-selling singles under his belt, but remains humble, focused and unfazed by the fact he shares his name with Coldpaly’s frontman and one half of 90s rap duo Kid ‘n Play.
You burst onto the scene aged 18 after winning Digicel Rising Stars (Jamaica’s version of Pop Idol) in 2005. Did you feel any pressure becoming a celebrity at such a young age?
Nuuhhh man, there was no pressure. A lot of kids watch Rising Stars on TV and the internet so it gave me nationwide exposure. But the show was just the catalyst to get me into the business. Now the onus is on me to push forward with quality material and ensure I stay in the business and in peoples’ minds. I owe Digicel a lot, but I don’t look at it like I’m a big star. People know me and now it’s my job to prove I’m worthy of their support.
Cheater’s Prayers is one of the biggest songs of 2012. Were you thinking about cheating on your girlfriend when you came up with that song?
No, it’s not a personal experience; that song isn’t about me. But it’s very catchy and a lot of people seem to like it.
Are you surprised it’s been such as a hit?
Not surprised, more appreciative of the love I’ve been receiving. I have confidence in my songs and expect the best from all of them. But you could say the impact it’s had and the places and markets it’s reached is unexpected.
Chill Spot is another of this year’s biggest hits. Where’s your chill spot?
The studio – that’s where I came up with the concept for the song. It’s a work area, but it’s the place where I hang out with my friends and catch jokes.
You’re currently signed to the label run by Shaggy and Super Cat’s former manager, Robert Livingstone. How are things in the Scikron camp?
Wonderful. Robert knows a lot about music and I feel very comfortable at Scikron, which makes work easier. Richie Loop and Adrenaline are both in the camp and Cecile is another affiliated artist.
Which dancehall acts are you’re feeling right now?
Beenie Man and Romain Virgo – anywhere I go in the world people seem to like those artists. Adrenaline is good too; he’s definitely someone to look out for.
Who are your favourite singers?
Stevie Wonder and Sam Cooke, but I love Beres Hammond, Garnett Silk, Dennis Brown and Freddie McGregor; I’ve learned a lot from those guys.
You graduated recently. What did you study?
I majored in finance, which is about making money work for you, investments and diversifying your portfolio.
What does the future hold for Christopher Martin?
I’d like to become an internationally-known household name over the next three to five years. Like how Usain Bolt and Bob Marley are synonymous with running and reggae; when people hear the name Christopher Martin, I want them to think of good, fresh and fun-loving commercial reggae that anyone can listen to.
What message do you have for young people who look up to you as a role model?
Education is the key; a solid education never decays. Work hard, surround yourself with the right people and respect their opinion. Not everyone is going to like you, but stay focused and you’ll be fine.