Disc jockeys are the new rock stars. Hence, many a teen dreams of being a superstar DJ. Well, that dream happened to come true for brothers Chris and Steve Martinez from the Bronx, New York.
With a little mentoring from veteran house DJs like Dennis Ferrer and Jerome Sydenham, the boys cut their teeth at NYC's seminal club Shelter before they were even of legal age. This was back in 2006.
Fast-forward to 2012, and the Martinez Brothers are globetrotting DJs, playing the hottest spots from Los Angeles to Ibiza and boasting their first handful of original releases on labels like Real Tone and Dennis Ferrer's Objektivity.
Crossfade: How did you guys first get into electronic dance music?
Martinez Brothers: Our father, funnily enough. He's the one that actually introduced us to a lot of different types of music: salsa, jazz, disco, and obviously house.
When did you first get behind the decks?
We got into DJing when were around 17 and 14, and it wasn't until our first gigs that we realized that we wanted to do it for real. If it hadn't been for DJing, we would definitely be still involved in music in one way another -- maybe not house music, probably more Latin stuff, and hip-hop maybe, but definitely producing and performing in one way or another.
What was it like getting gigs at clubs before you were old enough to even get admitted and party there?
We got a pretty crazy understanding for the scene and music from early on, so I think it kind of gave us a head start in a way. But we're still growing and have a lot more to grow -- the growing process never stops.
What's it like for two brothers being creative and professional partners? Do you guys have a cordial relationship for the most part, or is there any sibling rivalry and head-butting going on?
We both do everything. Sometimes we're laid-back, sometimes we're getting crazy. DJing is all about mood, which is what makes it special in our opinion. There is no rivalry -- we're brothers, so it takes a little weight off. We know each other like the backs of our hands.
What are your thoughts on the commercial explosion of EDM in America this past year? Do you have any message for your generation of kids who think house music is whatever's in the Top 40 dance chart and have no clue about its Chicago roots?
As far as the popularity of mainstream dance music, to each their own, but we think it's great. We hope it gets more and more popular, and that more and more kids get into it -- not just "EDM" as they know it to be today, but everything else that came before it, that paved the way for it to become the "EDM" craze that it is now.
The underground scene can definitely have the same appeal as EDM. The fact that dance music is so popular now in the US, we think it'll be only a matter of time before it trickles down and the kids start becoming more aware of the underground music and movement that's going on.
2012 was a big year for you guys. What have been some of your personal highlights?
It's really hard to put this year in words. The summer season in Ibiza was incredible! Great vibes and a lot of good music, and to be able to rock out at DC10 and just be a part of the Circo Loco family is amazing. The club is definitely one of our fave if not our fave in the world, and we get excited every time we play there. So probably just rocking out a DC10 alone would definitely be one of our highlights.
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So what can fans expect from the Martinez Bros. next?
We're definitely putting a lot of ideas together for our label, so that's something we're excited about. Also some new remixes that'll be out before the end of the year -- one for Subb-An's label One Records, and also one for Saved Records. And yeah, look out for our boy Filsonik out of NYC -- he's been playing Circo Loco the whole summer and has a lot of dope tracks, so definetely look out for him.
Martinez Brothers. With Kenny Larkin and Filsonik. Saturday, November 17. Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $20 to $40 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-375-0001 or visit clubspace.com.