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Christina Martin

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

I write all the songs and am a solo-artist. I co-produced my most recent album, and in the past have worked with other producers (Darwin Smith- Austin TX, Dale Murray- Halifax NS). I am self-managed at the moment, but I work with a mentor that is funded through the goverment of Candada. As well, I hire people to help project manage, write grants, and do some administrative work. 70% of my time is spent doing administrative work for my music career at the moment. I have a booking agent (Paquinentertainment.com) however I still book 95% of my shows.

Describe your gear.

"Acoustic Guitar- Martin 000S15 12-Fret Electric Guitar- Gretsch Fender Blues Junior Amp Vox Pathfinder 15R Amp"

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Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"I believe that there are advantages and sometimes disadvantages. I think there is still an obsession with youth that can be a disadvantage to women, more so than men in the business. Depending on the record label or industry professional, there seems to be more interest in female artists that are in their early 20's and writing great songs. If you say you are 22 and people like your songs, they are even more impressed! If you say you are 30, and writing great songs, well its expected that you've at least had some life experience to contribute to the tunes. The idea being that if you catch them early, then there is a better chance you can make more money from them for longer. I don't want to bitch about it, because I have found a lot of support in the industry in Eastern Canada form both men and women, however, the question usually comes up at conferences or in label meeting rooms 'how old are you?'. That question makes me a bit irritated.

Even in my early 20's I did not pursue music full-time as a career because I thought I was too old! So I kept it as a hobby. Eventually, I was too depressed and miserable to care anymore, I just had to get out and take it all on!

I was inspired by great women in the business like Patti Griffin, EmmyLou Harris, Shaun Colvin, Lucinda Williams... these women are older and quite successful.... not only that they are incredible singer-songwriters who have built long-term careers for themselves. The older I get, the more I understand the importance of doing what you love, despite financial or cultural circumstances. Its challenging, but I feel lucky to be in a place in the world where I can do this. "

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

" I know many great singer-songwriter musicians that are of my generation, that remind me of some of the older generations of women musicians. Perhaps there is a yearning for and therefore a return to 'the way it was'. Many of my favorite singer songwriters listen to a lot of music from the 50-70's.

I can't speak for women of older generations, but I know women musicians today are working very hard to learn the business side of music, as well as the artistic side, and are succeeding in both areas. They work very hard!

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Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

I've received lots of valuable advice. Probably the best advice that I would pass along is: Figure out WHAT YOU WANT and then MAKE A PLAN to start taking the steps to achieve it. Ajust the plan every day, work every day, and find a balance between Business and Art that works for you!

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Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

I had to learn something so I could independently play my own songs. Piano seemed a bit expensive and heavy to lug around to gigs. Guitar was the obvious solution 10 years ago.

Related Themes: The First Time