We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dan, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
I have to admit, “happiness” has never come easily for me! So I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that. I’ve landed on three big contributors to my happiness: collaboration, accomplishment, and appreciating the present moment.

Collaboration feeds my soul— whether it’s carving out the unique sound of a scoring project with filmmakers, recording with brilliantly talented musicians, or building a relationship with my wonderful significant other. There’s a certain magic that happens when you open your heart up with another person in pursuit of a common goal. Nothing is more challenging, edifying, or fulfilling.

Living with purpose is crucial for me. I find every new personal and professional challenge to have its moments of terror and exhilaration. There’s no substitute for that high after creating something new. I strive to improve my craft and artistry with every experience; so that each opportunity is a chance to be a better version of myself.

Focusing on the present while staying grounded in your authentic self is easy to say, but a life-long challenge to achieve. It’s so easy to feel the one-upmanship that’s ingrained in a competitive field like the entertainment industry. But I’ve found that I do my best work and feel my best self when I focus my energy on the joyful execution and excellence of the work at hand. A practice that keeps me grounded is finding time every day appreciating how lucky I am— to have achieved a level of success doing what I love, having a group of family and friends supporting me, and regularly enjoying incredible experiences.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One of the first moments I took notice of music in media was watching cartoons as a kid. I thought to myself— “Wow, someone’s job is to write music for this show! I want to do that!” So it felt really special when I landed an animated series. The content we watch as kids is so ingrained in who we are as people, every day I contribute to that project brings me so much joy.

I try to stay versatile in my craft while remaining true to my musical voice. I just finished up a feature film scored as an “indie garage band,” I’m collaborating on a batch of sports themes to be recorded at Abbey Road, and I just finished up a hybrid orchestral horror score for a short film. Each of those projects require me to stretch out with different musical techniques and influences. But the common thread through every piece of work I’m involved in is that the emotional core of the project drives every step of the process. If you can keep the music in service to that, you’re well on your way.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The LA food scene is phenomenal! It’s a veritable choose-your-own-adventure in cuisine, neighborhood, and atmosphere. Some of my favorite spots: Salazar in Frogtown— one of the best patios in LA, Kismet in Silverlake— off the charts delicious Mediterranean food and natural wines, and Scopa on the Westside for fancy, modern Italian.

There are hidden gem experiences all over the city. You could live here your entire life with no shortage of new places to explore. A few of my most recent discoveries are the beautiful Franklin Canyon Park, the Norton Simon Museum, and LA’s secret dog beach at the tip of Marina Peninsula.

I love a great bar. Some highlight spots for me are La Descarga in Hollywood- a Havana themed cocktail and cigar spot with burlesque and an especially theatrical entrance, Everson Royce Bar in Arts District- interesting beers, wines and cocktails with a back patio and great burger, and 1886 Bar at The Raymond in Pasadena – hands down some of the best cocktails I’ve had in LA.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m surrounded by a group of fellow film composers that are not only talented artists but are also genuinely good people. Jordan Seigel, Cody Westheimer, Julia Newmann, Lucas & Allison Cantor, John Carey, Lorenzo Carrano, James Roberson, Mark Leggett, Keith Power— it’s so wonderful to have people I trust when I need perspective or advice, and it’s also incredibly validating to have fellow composers who cheer on each other’s successes. In fact, a good portion of my projects have come from the community of composers.

I also would love to give a shoutout to ASCAP. My involvement in the 2016 ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop opened up an entirely new professional world. They are a wonderful resource for up and coming composers.

Website: danmartinezmusic.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danmartinezmusic/

Other: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3699638/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Image Credits
Maximilian Haupt Lester Cohen Reid Nicewonder

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