Jill Martin weaves real life experiences into her newest release, “The Locals”
Back in 2009, singer/songwriter Jill Martin was on her way to making it big in the music industry.
Following the advice of musician John Rich, who she met while auditioning for the hit television show Nashville Star, Jill uprooted from her hometown of Andale, Kansas, and moved to Nashville.
After that move, things would change drastically for Jill and it would take nearly a decade before she would release her current EP, “The Locals”.
But the life experiences she gained during this time have become the tapestry for her newest release and might just be exactly the what her earlier career was missing.
“I moved to Nashville and didn’t know anybody,” she said. “A friend of mine had given me the phone number of someone she knew named Logan Mize. We talked on the phone for a while before we ever hung out. When we met, I was like ‘there is no way I’d date this guy.’ Then we started writing and hanging out more and I was like ‘Oh no, I have a crush on this guy.’”
Thankfully, her first impression was all wrong and the two engaged nine months later. Next came an audition for American Idol, where she made it to Hollywood week. Shortly after her wedding, during her audition, she began to feel terrible. Like she was going to pass out.
Producers cautioned that it was nerves. She got sent home and discovered it wasn’t nerves at all, but rather a pregnancy that would put her on bed rest for six months.
Now, seven years later, Jill has decided it is time to find her voice again.
“You just don’t have time to even think about yourself when your kids are that little,” she said. It just made sense for Logan to continue on with his music career and for me to be with the kids. I missed performing, but it felt like that’s what I was meant to be doing.”
Now that her children are older (son Lincoln is 7 and daughter Violet is 4) Jill says she’s feeling musically and vocally inspired again. With the full support of her husband, the two began writing, with no immediate intention to record.
Until the songs started coming.
“Logan encouraged me to put these songs out, because he said, ‘you are a mom.’ There isn’t anyone singing about that kind of stuff right now.”
The first song the two finished was “Loretta,” which beautifully illustrates the last decade of her life as a wife and mother who put her husband and children before her career. But the song almost didn’t make it onto the EP.
“I remember telling Logan that we couldn’t put the song out because I didn’t think anyone else would want to hear it,” Jill remembers. “But the week before we went to Nashville to record the songs, we listened to the demo again. Logan said, ‘We have to put that one on there,’ so we did, and we have gotten the best response from it. You just never know what people are going to connect with.”
The EP was recorded in three days at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville on a grassroots budget, but with the quality of the songwriting and Jill’s simplistic and soulful vocals, you’d never know it.
Jill says her career will always be a family affair. Lincoln and Violet make a cameo appearance in the “Loretta” video and Jill and Logan often share the stage singing duets and performing together.
“Our goal has always been to make this a family thing,” she said. “People tell us we need to sing more duets together. Maybe we can do shows where I play, we play together and then he plays. I will always want to play shows and write. The songwriting thing never shuts off.