We had the good fortune of connecting with Mijaíl Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mijaíl, why did you pursue a creative career?
Th idea formed early. I’m from a college town where a lot of people are upwards-thinking, career-minded, but there’s also lots of old hippies and beatnik types. I would sing on the street when I was 16, mostly old ranchera songs, country music, and flamenco. There’s such a vibrant music scene where I grew up, and it was so fun to go to those shows and have that part of me come alive. Being a musician seemed like a viable option. My grandfather was also a pro musician so you could say it’s in the family.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I write songs and sing in English, Spanish, and sometimes French, often blended. I draw from traditional styles from the American South, Mexico, and Southern Europe. and I play Spanish guitar. I would say my music is a bridge between Alt-Country and Latin-Alternative. I’m excited about my next album “In Terms of Print and Color” coming out very soon, so keep an eye out!
How I got where I am is from traveling, All around the US, in Mexico, in Italy, in Spain. It’s from talking to people in bars, in cafes, on the street. Lots of street-performing and getting the word out. I’m still at it, it’s never easy, but it doesn’t feel like “work”, it comes naturally. I’m actually recovering from a vehicle accident that happened on the way to a show out in the desert so the lesson could be to never give up and keep making it happen no matter what obstacles come. I overcome challenges like this by relying on my community, other musicians, people on the street or in the grocery store. I also use songwriting to get me through. It’s good to share what I have to offer and learn from others. I want people to know that I’m born in Texas, raised in New York, and live in San Antonio. My art reflects these things. I do a lot of traveling and would love to share my music with you
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well I’d walk around the Japanese Tea Garden and definitely check out the Pearl . I’d visit two bars, Sanchos and the Lonesome Rose. I’d say check out one of the taco trucks and walk around the Riverwalk.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Three things come to mind, Manu Chao for showing me how cool it is to blend languages, “Savage Detectives” a book by Roberto Bolaño that inspired me to start traveling and pursue my art more seriously. And Kassandra Ayala, a songwriter from San Antonio who’s really talented and helps me out a lot.
If that’s too much I guess pick Kass… but that’s my real answer^
Professional photos taken by Taylor Brauer of San Antonio , instagram handle @taylorcbrauer