By Jeb Wright
Martina Edoff has been singing all of her life. She has toured the world, released albums, sang for projects too numerous to mention and will continue do so as long as she can create a note with her voice. She is passionate, dedicated and hard working.
She has had to sing many types of music in the past to make ends meet, but now she sings from not only her heart, but also her soul!
She is releasing an album under her own name, which means that she is singing and writing the music she craves and loves… which is melodic hard rock!
While she may not be a household name, Martina Edoff is on a mission to get her music heard around the world!
In the interview below, we trace her career from her humble beginnings to the current day.
Be sure to check out her videos, links provided below, as she has some music worth checking out!
Jeb: I appreciate you taking the time to catch up with me. It is nice to hear some ‘new and fresh’ rock and roll. Did you craft this music on purpose to have that hard rocking ’80s sound?
Martina: It was just the style that came out. I am influenced by that time. I kept it inside me. When I write the music it comes out that way. I have the melodies in my head when I write the music. I wanted to have a modern sound, but I wanted that ‘80s sound in there, too.
The guys that are in the band that I used on the album are much younger. They were born in the ‘80s. I asked them to get this modern sound on it, but still put a touch of the ‘80s.
Jeb: Being younger, they will have their take on the classic sound and they probably used more modern equipment which will give you a more modern sound than using a Les Paul through a Marshall.
Martina: That’s true. They know exactly what the sound is going to be, so I told them to go for it and to do what they liked.
Jeb: You may be the modern Nordic Rock Queen, Martina, but I know that you got your big break singing with a Hip Hop artist. How did that happen?
Martina: I’ve been a freelance singer for 20 plus years. If you do a freelance job, then you have to do everything they want. My main job is to be a singer. When they asked me to go on a world tour when I was in my 20s, I said yes, as I wanted to see the world. This rap artist was quite big then, too. I had the opportunity to see the world and play to big audiences. I learned a lot along the way.
At the same time I knew that one day I was going to do something with my own name on it. I knew that one day I would do my own thing and that it was going to be rock and roll, because that is where my heart it. It was a good experience. I have done a lot of different things over the years. I have sung a lot of different kinds of music, but I knew when I did my own thing, it would be rock.
Jeb: You were with a very popular band that was also a very fun band in Sweden, called The Poodles.
Martina: I came up with the idea with the name and everything. In 1999, in that era, at the end of the ‘90s, the ‘80s kind of rock was off here in Sweden. Nobody wanted to hear it anymore in Sweden. I came up with the idea to do this thing about ‘80s rock music. Inside I knew everybody really loved it, but nobody would admit it.
We went all the way. We put on wigs and wore the clothes and put on makeup and everybody loved it. We toured all around Sweden and we were a very popular cover band. For about two years I was the lead singer and then I dropped off. They continued to do the same thing for a couple of years.
In 2006, they had their breakthrough on a TV show in Sweden. I was the one who came up with the name and I was the member from the start.
Jeb: Singers sing. A lot of people don’t realize that to get a paycheck you need to sing what people will pay you to sing. How do you take all of those professional experiences and wrap them into this new album?
Martina: When I started off as a singer, in the beginning, I knew I wanted to do this as my living. I was open to singing any kinds of music styles. I think that was a good thing to sing other kinds of music as the voice learns to adapt to different kinds of music. You learn about different kinds of audiences and how to perform.
The journey through this gives you a lot of experience. If you have something deep in your heart that says, “If I am going to put my name on it then I am going to do what I want to do.” I rejected record deals for other kinds of music.
I kept it in my heart that if I do what I want one day, then I want to do what I stand for. That is the music that I am doing today.
Jeb: The single, “Worlds Gone Mad”… I could hear the Scorpions doing that tune... Your tune is not a copy or anything, and others might not hear what I do… but I really could hear the Scorps doing that track… They rock, but they have melody and a hook. Tell me about writing “Worlds Gone Mad.”
Martina: I am the kind of person who does not watch or read the news any longer as it makes me feel bad. I read something somewhere and even thought I was not reading the news, I heard about something and I read this article about it and I said to myself, “Oh my God, the world’s gone mad.”
I started writing some lyrics and I kept them. When I started working with the guy who is in the band that I used on the album he asked me if I had anything we could start with. I found that song and we started working on it. From the start it didn’t feel that this song was going to be the first single. We started to work on it and it came out in a way that it was pretty good. We felt that we should do a single for it.
From today’s perspective everyone seems to say that…”My god the worlds gone mad” so it fits in for right now.
Jeb: The video was powerful.
Martina: I came up with the idea that I should have a straightjacket on and be in a padded room. It was quite fun. I was acting out and I was going nuts in there.
They didn’t take everything that I did and put it in the video. It is a good thing as I was really going mad in the video shoot!
Jeb: You were literally going mad?
Martina: I was!
Jeb: You run your own record company. You co-write these songs. You’ve been a life coach. Where do you get all of this drive?
Martina: I’ve always been like that. I have a vision of something and I really want to do it. I just have to do it. It is a force inside of me that I just have to do it.
In my head, from the minute I wake up in the morning until I fall asleep at night I have this drive that just pushes me through. That is why we started this record company. I knew we’d better do something because I want to work.
If somebody told me, “Martina, you’ve got to take a break. You need a vacation.” I tell them I will do it after this is done. Right now I have things I need to do.
Jeb: Do you just not have fears of failure, or do you overcome them?
Martina: Since I have been in the business so long, I have felt many failures along the way, as I have tried many projects. When something is coming to an end I feel that if I am going to do something on my own then I want to do it as a solo artist and I want to do it my way. At least I have to try. I am not that afraid of a failure—I’m working.
Jeb: You don’t let things hold you back.
Martina: I follow what I believe in. You’ve got to do that. Determination is very important.
Jeb: You are trying to take your career to an international level. It’s a tough place—America.
Martina: It is really hard to do something there. There are good artists and musicians all over. You just have to believe in what you’re doing and just do it.
Jeb: Tell me about the tour.
Martina: The guys that played on the album are already in a band so they just played with me on the album. I picked some great musicians to do the tour with me. These guys are handpicked and they are really good musicians. We are very excited to get going. We are rehearsing today.
We are starting with a North American tour and then we are going to Argentina in November. Hopefully we will go to Europe next year. Bit by bit we are going to get out there. I don’t know if there will be a special place that will take to us.
I can tell you from our Facebook page I see a lot of people from South America that are very interested to see me coming to visit them. I can guess that maybe there is an audience there. In Europe, we seem to think Germany will be a very good place for us.
Jeb: The Scorpions….
Martina: Yeah! [Much laughter]
Jeb: Why did you name the album Unity?
Martina: I like the word ‘unity.’ I like that kind of feeling. I want to gather everybody and to give everyone an energy boost and for everyone to feel happy. I want to give people hope and let everyone know what is important in life. I want people to come together. Music is an international language and everyone understands it.
Jeb: You’re not just a studio rocker. You love playing live.
Martina: Unity there is very important. I hope the audience can feel the energy I bring. I want this kind of communication between me, and the band, and the audience. I want that back and forth communication.
There is that kind of energy when I play live. If I just sang and didn’t see the audience then it would not be communication. There has to be that back and forth communication—that’s the beauty of it.
Jeb: When did you know you would do this for your life’s work?
Martina: When I was a little girl I was constantly singing. I was one of those who was always singing. I realized I had a voice. I was fascinated about everything that had to do with music.
The first time I held a microphone—I remember it clearly—I was like six years old and I held it in my hands and it was a revelation. There is a feeling that goes through your body when you hold something that means so much to you. I knew then that one day I would be a singer. That force has been inside of me my whole life. I just knew what I wanted to do.
Jeb: What music first inspired you?
Martina: When I was a little girl in Sweden, Abba was really big.
Later on, in my teens, my goddess was and is still Ann Wilson from Heart. I really adored her voice. I followed the group and I learned every song. She sings likes a goddess and I wanted to be like her. I said that to myself when I was a teenager.
I am always fascinated by both female and male singers who can use all of their voice.
Jeb: You are a singer with a big voice--there is no doubt about that. You can sing soft, too.
Martina: Absolutely. It is the feeling of people’s voices and the range singers like Ann have thrilled me and give me the feeling to want to reach out to everyone. It is the feeling when the hair stands up on your arm---I want to get that feeling.
When I hear someone singing like that and I get that feeling I know it is really good. It is the way they use their voices, but I really listen to how people are singing as well as what they are singing.
I love the energy of hard rock music. I love to feel everyone in your body when you’re standing live and it is really heavy—I really like that, too.
Jeb: There are a lot of unknowns in your future.
Martina: At this point, I just want to go out and perform my new album. I hope that people will like it and I would like people to follow me and to see what is coming up next.
If you find someone, or a band, that you really like and you follow them… I want to have a fan base because they like what they hear. I want to continue what I’ve started and I want to reach out to as many people as I possibly can. That is my vision.
Jeb: You seem to be the true Nordic Queen of Rock. You seem to be everything all rolled into one!
Martina: It seems like that! You have to keep everything together. I am the brain of it all. I have people who work for me and I am so glad to have these people.
Everything else is in my head with my good friend who I have this record company with. I am constantly thinking about everything.
Jeb: I love your passion. My last question for you is about your voice. You have a unique way delivering your vocal style. Do you recognize that and how it can set you apart from other people? You don’t sound like everyone else.
Martina: It’s a good thing that you say that. Everybody asks me, “Who do you want to sound like? Who are you trying to copy?” NO—I am not copying anybody! I am just trying to do what I do. If you say that people can hear that, it is then I am very happy to hear that. That is just what’s coming out.
Jeb: The world may have gone mad, Martina but I hope you take it by storm.
Martina: Yeah! Let’s do it together! That’s wonderful.
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