The Martinez Brothers are a couple of the fresh young faces of electronic dance music these days. Growing up in the Bronx in New York, Chris and Steve Martinez were exposed to music very young, playing an array of instruments in and around the neighborhood and eventually finding their love for house music.
Since they started playing major gigs nearly six years ago while still in their mid-teens, the brothers have become a hot commodity globally, and have been able to experience so much life at such young ages. "It really allowed us to mature really fast," explains Steve Martinez in a recent phone conversation. "We've seen countries that many people wont see in their lifetime. We got to experience different cultures and different ways of life. I think that helped in our maturity."
For those not aware of this duo, you might have seen the Martinez Brothers featured in a recent Blackberry Bold commercial that aired all throughout the nation. "I see that commercial as nothing but a positive thing for ourselves and for dance music as well," says Steve Martinez. "A lot of young kids are getting into dance music now because it's so popular, but they are getting fed the commercial stuff. It's important for them to know that there is other aspects of this music that go way beyond just the mainstream. For Blackberry to expose us and expose that side of music, I think it's amazing."
Still really young, Steve is 23 and Chris is 21, the brothers are in a pivotal role in exposing different facets of dance music to the budding youths of America. With wisdom far beyond their years, The Martinez Brothers feel it's important to know your history in whatever culture you are interested in. "A lot of the young kids that take an interest in it should go back in the day to where this music came from and really understand it," describes Steve Martinez. "You know all the songs of today, but do you know where all this music comes from. Why it is the way it is and how it got here. You have to know where you came from to go forward."
Knowing the history raises the question about how the dance music culture can continue to connect to the inner city youths of America, a place where this music originally got it's roots from. The emergence and huge popularity of hip-hop did diminish the interest in dance music throughout the past couple decades, but there could be a change right around the corner. "Now, with all this sudden uprising of dance music, I think it could come back to that point," says Steve Martinez. "There are a lot of hip hop DJs playing house tracks now. That's not so far fetched anymore. It's becoming more integrated again which is good. We just need to diversify a little bit."
This Memorial Day weekend, The Martinez Brothers return to Detroit to make their second appearance at the Movement Electronic Music Festival. Their first appearance in 2010 was a time of fun and inspiration for the duo. "That was like one of the best weekends we ever had," says Steve Martinez. "It was so much fun playing the festival. It was great. The crowd was really into it. I was happy to see a lot of young people at the festival. The energy was amazing."
The Martinez Brothers play the Beatport stage at the Movement Electronic Music Festival at Hart Plaza in Detroit on Monday, May 26 from 6:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m. For more information on the Movement Festival, the full lineup and schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit movement.us.