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Being a male vocalist on the cabaret scene can be fairly gruelling at the best of times. Standing out amongst the razzle-dazzle of other more showy performers can present itself as a challenging prospect to even the most seasoned vocalist. This is something that seemingly comes naturally to Green Carnation resident Aidan Martinez, who Jason Reid chatted with this week…

 

Jason: Tell us a bit about the early days of your singing life, Aidan.

Aidan: I started singing at the age of eleven. My family and I quickly realised that I could sing well so I started to enter a few local competitions, which I kept winning. We were all quite shocked at first. From there I moved on to more hotly contested national and international vocal contests. All of which, to date, I won. As I became more and more experienced I branched out into Musical Theatre and TV.

TV must have been an interesting world at that age. Didn’t you appear on Top of the Pops?  

Yes, I did. And you’re right, it was a very interesting world. I entered a competition – the S Club 8 Karaoke Competition – and won it. The prize was to appear on Top of the Pops with them; they were huge at the time so it was a big thing. I also took part in the X Factor, the year Leon Jackson won…

Oooh, dish the dirt. How was that?

It was interesting! I got through to the end of Boot Camp, but due to my record deal I had at the time I couldn’t continue in the competition. It was disappointing but in a way I’m so glad I didn’t go down that route.

Why? What’s your opinion of X Factor/The Voice type shows in general, then?

As much as it dominates the music industry and has pretty much ruined the UK charts in recent years, you can’t deny these shows have discovered some incredible talent. Saying that, exploitation is kind of forefront and it’s simply TV and TV needs to be entertaining. I much prefer The Voice. There’s nothing better than hearing a line up of awesome vocalists.

So how did you get involved with the Green Carnation?

Well, when I moved to London from Newcastle, at the age of eighteen, I stopped singing for four years. Even though I began to teach myself to play the piano, in my flat, I got very lost in the London lights, getting involved with the wrong crowd; and I did some things I regret. It was at this time I met a guy called Kenny (manager of the Green Carnation). He spotted my ability and pulled me out of a dark place. He had me up there in a flash. Kenny is now my best friend and he is the one that helped re-ignite the flame and my love for singing.

“I got very lost in the London lights, getting involved with the wrong crowd”

It’s a lovely venue, isn’t it? Tell us a bit about your repertoire and what we could expect from your show. 

Yes, it’s an amazing setting with an amazing crowd. My Wednesday nights are very funky with a mixture of well-known and loved songs. I use my classical training and mix it with the music that I love and music that inspires me. I’d consider my style to be veering more towards pop/commercial/soul. Myself and my guitarist Nick Hunter do a mash up old skool RnB with some classics, as well as modern chart toppers.

Let’s finish on a very slushy X Factor type question. What does singing mean to you? 

[Laughs] singing is my life. I eat, breathe and sleep it. It’s hard to find that drive normally but when you are a singer, its something that is instilled within you. When I get onstage at the Green Carnation, and sing a song I wrote and people are singing the lyrics back to me, the feeling is beyond any other.

 

AIDAN’S QUICKIES 

The first song you ever bought was…

Dilemma by Nelly and Kelly Rowland.

Your musical hero is… 

Rachelle Ferrell [US Jazz singer].

The proudest moment of your life so far is…

Getting off my butt and doing what I love as a career

Your dream gig would be…

A sold out solo show at the O2.

Your autobiography will be called…

‘Hike to Fame’.

Your life’s ambition is…

To have a number one hit in the US.

Your favourite song of all time is…

Superstar by Jamelia.

 

• Catch Aidan Martinez every Wednesday at Green Carnation (4-5 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4DD) from 8:30pm. 

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