Known in Asheville as the front man of indie-hip-hop-soul collective Natural Born Leaders, Mike Martinez — aka “Mad” Mike — has also been quietly making solo songs, as well. The deeply felt “My Wonder” seems to bubble up from the core of musician’s being. “It’s hard to see all that glitters ain’t gold,” he sings. “It’s hard to see with gold-splattered eyes.”
This independent project doesn’t spell the demise of the group. “Each of us in the band adds our own flavor to our music so it is never entirely any one of ours and that’s the beauty of the band to me,” Martinez says. I get to make great music with my best friends and I don’t see an end in sight any time soon.” In fact, the video for “My Wonder” is culled from footage of Natural Born Leaders on tour.
“With the band, the me becomes we and there isn’t an overwhelming sense of individuality. That individuality is something that is also very important to me. When it’s not the five of us writing a song I’m still at home writing my own music everyday, creating a vision that is just mine,” Martinez continues. ”Writing and recording solo allows me to fully embrace what it is that [I do], and it keeps me writing and pushing beyond my own boundaries and comfort zones.”
The song was recorded at Artcore studios in Asheville and was produced by Patrick Doyle.