25-year-old Art Martinez has had his share of struggles over the past several years. After losing several family members within a short time span, he has found that music was his release and what helped him through some of the darkest times in his life.
Born in Rio Grande City, Art Martinez was raised within the church. He admired his father who was a worship leader that sang at their local church and knew that he wanted to follow in his footsteps. When he was nearing high school graduation, tragedy struck.
“My dad passed away when I was about to finish high school, he died about two, three months before I graduated,” Martinez said. “I finished college and throughout that time, death just ravaged my family. After my dad passed away, a couple months later, my uncle passed away as well. And then a year later, my grandpa passed away, and then after that one of my close cousins passed away. It was just a lot for me and my family to go through in such a short time.”
Martinez struggled mentally and emotionally during that time, and his mental health suffered more than it ever had in his life.
“After I finished college, things slowed down,” Martinez said. “I couldn’t find a job. You study for four years and then you’re stuck job hunting. I was just at home. Life finally took a pause, and that’s when everything caught up to me. All those emotions and memories, and that’s when I started going through depression and anxiety because I started feeling like, ‘What’s the point of all this?’”
“I can’t find a job, people are passing away all around me, and I just felt consumed by all those emotions,” Martinez said. “During the time that I was going through all that, I couldn’t sleep or eat sometimes. I kind of lost track of what’s important. I just felt out of place.”
Martinez describes a vivid dream that changed his life.
“I remember there was this one particular night that I couldn’t sleep. It was 1 or 2 in the morning, and I just got up from bed, and I started writing out this kind of a vision that I had in my dream. In the vision I saw myself being out in stormy waters and the waves crashing down on me, which represented my fears and problems, but through the storm and all this darkness, I could see a lighthouse shining its’ light towards me, guiding me home. And that light, to me, represented God. And I believe we all go through situations like that, it’s just a matter of remembering that God is shining his light, telling us that everything is under control and he will lead us to safety. We just have to follow him. And that’s kind of what my song entails, that’s what it represents. Going through some rough times but knowing that God is shining his light towards us and we just have to follow him,” Martinez said.
Martinez felt from that moment on, that God put those obstacles in his life for a reason. Since then, he has been using music and singing to connect to people from all over. His song “Lighthouse” has been an inspiration to those who have supported his music.
“I can’t really take much credit for it, God just put it in my heart,” Martinez said. “It was crazy how it happened. It was just kind of like an epiphany. God just made me realize that everything was going to be fine, everything will fall into place, and everything did.”
Writing is what helped Martinez get through the hardest parts of life. Eventually that turned into songwriting. It also helped that he loved to sing, and that his father taught him how to play the guitar.
“I love singing,” Martinez said. “Music has been a part of my life since I was little. My dad loved music, he sang in my church and played guitar, so I was always around it. When I was little, I would ask my dad ‘Can you teach me how to play?’, and he would try to teach me, but my fingers were too small. He started teaching me how to play bass guitar first at around 14, and then around 17 years old that’s when I picked up the guitar, then soon after that is when he unfortunately passed away. I’m just so glad that I was able to have him during that time.”
His battle with depression and anxiety was one that was very hard and took a toll on his entire life. Martinez says that keeping faith and trust in God is what got him through.
“Stay focused on God, don’t let depression or anxiety get you down,” Martinez said. “I know that when I went through it, I always felt like I wanted to stay home and be left alone. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not let it take you down. Keep living life. Go out with friends and family. Make sure you let people know what you’re going through. Even if you don’t have someone close like a family member, go to someone at school like a teacher or maybe in church. You’ll find people that are willing to help.”
For his future plans, Martinez sees himself continuing to inspire people through his music. He has been working with Hillside Recordings and will hopefully be releasing another song in April. He has a backup plan if it doesn’t work out, but it’s something that he feels strongly about and has become a part of himself.
“I would love to be able to do music as a career,” Martinez said. “I believe it’s such a blessing to be able to help people through music, and even if it doesn’t happen, I’m happy where God has me. I love my job either way.”
You can listen to some of Art Martinez’s music on his social media platforms.
@Artmartinezofficial on TikTok
@Artmartinezmusic on Instagram.