Monday, 9 April 2012

♥ Martika ♥


 It's April and I have been listening to all kinds of music since I last updated this blog - in fact a lot has happened in my life since I last updated this blog. For one thing, I am 18 now!

 I have also been to France and back twice, once to Paris and once to Montpellier. These cities are both amazing, but are so different. Paris is so busy and vibrant and full of life, and you really feel as though you're in the middle of it all when you're in Paris; the middle of the universe. You're where everything is happening!

 Montpellier has a much more relaxed feel, and is absolutely beautiful with some magnificent architecture and palm trees lining the streets, and as it has three universities it is full of students and the nightlife is... pretty good, to say the least.

 I love both cities for different reasons, and I really couldn't decide which is my favourite. They're both wonderful.

 I'm also very happy because I've had an article of mine published in a national magazine: Your Cat magazine. The article is, surprisingly enough, about my cat. He is called Murphy, and it is lovely that this beautiful, gentle and inspirational creature can now be recognised as the hero he is. He is a survivor, and the best pet I could ever wish for. I love him and I hope the readers of the magazine will too ♥

 Anyway, as I said I have been listening to lots of different music recently, especially Nanci Griffith, Joan Armatrading and Martika. Nanci Griffith and Joan Armatrading are both fantastic artists of whom I have been a fan for a long time, and both will probably have a blog post dedicated to them in the near future. However, Martika, aka Marta Marrero, is someone I have discovered more recently, and whose music I adore, and this blog post will be about her.

 I am listening to her music right now, and singing and dancing along - I literally cannot help it. The beat is so infectious, and the passion in her voice - she clearly loves what she does, and I find that when an artist clearly loves their music, it is easy for me to love it as well.

 When I say I discovered her recently; I was familiar with Toy Soldiers, which was without doubt her biggest hit and is still her best known song, especially since Eminem sampled the chorus in his 2005 song, Like Toy Soldiers (which I remember seeing on Top of the Pops when it came out and thinking that the chorus was the only good bit - obviously I was going to grow up to be a Martika fan!)

 I then heard the original Toy Soldiers at the gym (where I first heard a lot of my favourite songs - they had good musical taste at that gym) and later I found it on YouTube and fell in love. When I found out that the song is supposedly about drug addiction, I liked it even more, because I like it when a singer and/or songwriter chooses to tackle a difficult subject - and in this case, she got a massive number one hit out of it; thus spreading the awareness of a global problem.

 I know I probably say this a lot, but I really think Toy Soldiers is a song like no other: deep, haunting and powerful, it can really send chills down your spine. And it is so beautiful. Her voice is amazing, and you can tell that every word has an emotional significance for her, from the way she sings it. She is amazing ♥ and this song is without doubt a classic.

 The next Martika song I want to tell you about is "Water," which I discovered only the other day - like I said, I had always known Toy Soldiers, but it is more recently that I have started to uncover the rest of Martika's sensational back catalogue. And there is some pretty amazing - and unbelievably underrated stuff in there! Water is just fantastic - and I love how she sings in Spanish as well as in English. The passion in her voice in both languages is just so powerful, and her voice itself is sublime. If Martika had never become a singer, it would have been a huge loss for the music industry.

 I can't believe that, according to Wikipedia anyway, Water was not released as a single in the US, and it only reached number 59 in the UK. It is simply beautiful and should be top 10 at least, in both countries!

 She sings with such genuine love and passion, and the song is brilliant - technically an excellent song, and so full of raw emotion. From many singers, all the water imagery might get a bit tiresome, but from Martika... You could never get sick of it because you can tell that she means every word, and it makes perfect sense. I love her!

 Finally, More Than You Know. An 80s classic! Upbeat, bouncy; a happy tune despite the slightly bittersweet lyrics... You just want to get up and dance. Correction: you just have to get up and dance, and sing along too! As with Toy Soldiers, there is a Spanish version too, and as I love the Spanish language, this is something I am pleased about!

 I love how the official video version of this song is a rather self-indulgent 6 minutes 13 seconds! Luckily there is a shorter version if you don't have 6 minutes to spare. Yet every second of the full version is fantastic, and I recommend listening to it at least once and watching her amazing dancing - I think she moves like a cross between Prince and George Micheal - but better than either of them!

 More Than You Know is up there with the big anthems of the 80s, but sadly I had never heard it until a few months ago. Martika needs more love! She is amazing and so genuinely underrated. She is one of the true stars of the late 80s/early 90s, along with my other musical heroes, Roxette.

 Spread the Martika love! She has so many great songs that you never hear on the radio; find her on YouTube and enjoy the Martika beyond Toy Soldiers (although Toy Soldiers is amazing. But she has so much more wonderful music!)

 Martika is amazing; I am so glad I discovered her fantastic, evergreen music, and I look forward to enjoying her music and her beautiful voice for many years to come ♥

 Liz x

 Songs: Toy Soldiers - Martika - 1989
            Water - Martika - 1990
            More Than You Know - Martika - 1988
            Como Un Juguete (Spanish version of Toy Soldiers) - Martika - 1989
            Quiero Entregarte Mi Amor (Spanish version of More Than You Know) - Martika - 1989

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