The Local Love Corner: WAKE SELF

 Shining Some Light on the Nation's Up and Coming Emcees WAKE SELF of Albuquerque, New Mexico Andy "Wake Self" Martinez has been instrumental in expanding Albuquerque's local hip-hop scene for years now. From his project with Zoology to his recent solo efforts, his concentration on the hip-hop community has been intense. His time to shine has arrived and it's no coincidence his first video off of his new upcoming album, Healing Process, is for the track, "Sunshine." The positivity he radiates is infectious and he's got the skills to prove it. Martinez took a second to talk to RAPstation about Gang Starr, the first time he heard A Tribe Called Quest and his healing process. –Kyle Eustice There are so many "rappers" these days. What sets you apart from the pack? First of all, I don't consider myself a rapper. I am an MC, I learned from the greats like Rakim, KRS ONE, Q-tip, Chuck D, Slick Rick, Myka 9, and Melle Mel etc.  I have respect for the Art, and for what I speak about when I create songs.  I believe that's missing from a lot of music now days. Even beyond emceeing I really look up to story tellers and poets like Saul Williams, the Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron and people like that. When I was younger I used to read a lot of Huey P Newton & Eldridge Cleaver books, I was really fascinated by the way they used words and explained things. To me Writing songs is an opportunity to educate, and connect with people on a deeper level. Of course there are always times when you want the music to just make people dance & not think, but that isn't the main focus when I write. I've felt things through music that have really changed my life and way of thinking for the better, and I aspire to inspire that in others. Basically we're all human beings and are the same in that since, but to understand how I'm different musically all you have to do is listen to my songs you will feel it.  I'm inspired by my love & respect for Hip Hop, For the Earth, For the Universe, for the children, for the under privileged and this what goes into my creative process.  Tell me how the video for "Sunshine" came together.  Well, I would credit this song to my DJ, Young Native. The beat I was really vibin' from, a lot of people don't know this but this song was done without writing any of the words down. I just went into my home studio very inspired by the beat and started recording. I mention it in the song "No pen & Pad in the Lab I’m just feelin it", was the line.  So I layed down all the vocals in what some would call an organized freestyle manner. Then I brought Native in to lay the cuts on it. I read a lot and have always been a deep thinker you might say, so it's very easy for me to tap into my creative process on the spot.  The music and the feeling, just came together it's all light from there.  What was the video making process like? I've made videos before with the various groups I'm apart of so it isn't foreign to me. The only thing different about this one was it was all my ideas going into it, where as before the groups would come up with ideas together.  I had a lot of fun working with my friend Gabriel Baca who filmed and edited this. I just wanted it to be a feel good video, while showcasing the city I live in and some of my favorite people who live here. We got the Zia Queenz, which is an extremely talented, all female break dance crew to be in the video, which was a blessing. We went to a lot of local spots, and had a BBQ w some friends. It was just a good day in my life put into a video.  Tell me about the new material you're working on.  Well, first I have to mention the groups I'm in (Wdup Guys!). Our band Zoology is slowly working to compile new songs for our sophomore project, and my original group Definition Rare, We are working on our sophomore project as well. Very excited for everybody to hear these new songs we got from both groups respectively. As for myself, I've been working on my album "The Healing Process" for about 2 years or so now. I have about 30 or so songs done, and I'm not in a rush to finish it. The Music is coming along so great, I feel like I'm at the point musically were I always though I could be. As far as making music that I love, and that I feel is quality. I have about 7-8 songs that I know are going to make the album and the rest will be filtered into the final track list once I feel comfortable doing so. I'm just enjoying making music right now, and not rushing the process to finish it by a certain date. It will be out soon, and it will be something I feel 100% percent happy about.   Who are some of your musical inspirations?  I don't want to make this list to long. HA. There's so much I could say here. I Listen to a lot of instrumental stuff now a days like Bonobo, Dj Krush, RJD2, Fat Jon, Visioneers and so on. I listen old soul music, The Spinners, Isleys, Al Green and I listen to Jazz like Coltrane, Miles and Sun Ra. I used to listen to Nirvana a lot, some punk and older rock once in a while.  Hip Hop I've always listened to KRS, Slick Rick, PE, Outkast, Digable, Rakim, Big Pun, BlackStar, Kane, Native Tongues, Slum Village, Nas, Roots, WU, Pete Rock & CL, Gang Starr…big Gang Starr fan just the classics, you know. There was a point when I'd listen to some Dre & Snoop, Warren G, and west cost stuff, but never really got to into it. I always liked Freestyle Fellowship when since I heard them. I listen to a lot of stuff Eyedea, Megabusive, Living Legends, 2mex & the Visionaries, Little Brother, Sage Francis, EV, Brother Ali, Homeboy Sandman, Fashawn. A lot of stuff. I would say I'm inspired by all music that makes me feel something. I've never been compared to anybody really, and I feel my style changes a lot and I don't pattern it after anyone. I just love music, and enjoy listening to different stuff. Once in a while I'll turn on the radio just hear what's out there, but usually I find myself regretting it.  What was the first hip-hop album you heard that made you want to start rapping? My dad was watching the video for Bonita Applebum. That was the first time I saw and heard hip-hop. I always wrote poetry, and wrote journals and stuff like that in school. I've been rhyming for about 12 years, so early 2000’s when "underground hip-hop" really started coming out a lot is when I really got into it. After hearing all the different styles, that made me think, 'hey I can do this.' There's not a particular album, just when I noticed people you would never expect to be rhyming doing it, that's when it clicked for me. You don't have to fit into any mold; you just have to write what you feel.  What's the best part about performing live? Recording in the studio? The best part of performing live to me is just sending out as much love and energy to the crowd as I possibly can and seeing them react to it.  The best part about recording is figuring out the perfect take. When you get that take, it's like,’yea that’s how it supposed to sound.’ That feeling of completing something is great. What does the music you make mean to you on a personal level? It's my healing process. It's my way of helping to change the world, it's my way of showing people they can change the world too. It's how I cope with life on a daily basis; it really is the most important thing I've been given besides family and life. Please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9htOrNa7PDw to watch the video for Sunshine. Visit https://soundcloud.com/wakeself to download free songs by Wake Self. Become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/WakeSelf.FanPage and make sure you follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/wakeself to stay up to date on the latest and greatest from Wake Self.