Meet Amanda Martinez, The Sensual Voice That Conquers The International Jazz Scene

Amanda Martinez BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Ksenija Hotic.

For those of us who thought there was no hope in the 21st-century music industry, Amanda Martinez is a breath of fresh air.

A Canadian singer-songwriter, daughter of a South African mother and Mexican father, she took up music after realizing it was her true passion, abandoning a career in the banking industry in a suit.

From her couch in Toronto, Martínez told BELatina about her career and the happy and radical change that has given her life.

“Music has always been a huge part of my heart, but I never thought that I would pursue it as a career,” she told us.

In what she describes as an “early mid-life crisis,” Martinez decided that living a life with regrets was not for her and decided to embark on a music career almost twenty years ago.

The most interesting aspect of her musical production is her deep connection with the Spanish language.

“It’s the language [through which] I feel I can access a different part of me. It just goes straight to my heart,” she said.

Being the music she grew up with thanks to her father’s influence, traditional Latin American genres left an essential mark on the singer, who confesses to always writing her songs directly in Spanish.

With four albums under her belt, Martínez comfortably navigates between bolero, flamenco, and more traditional genres, without stopping to think precisely about a discursive line.

“For me, music is just an intuitive experience; it’s all about the feeling,” she says with a smile. “It’s not an intellectual thing at all.”

And it’s precisely that naturalness that has allowed her to work hand in hand with her longtime band in an eclectic production that has earned her recognition from Canada’s National Jazz Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, and the Toronto Independent Music Awards.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, her latest album Libre (2019) has come out and celebrates her identity, her roots and materializes them in African, Latin, and pop influences, in an attempt to keep her music as free as her voice.