Andrea Martin, R&B songwriter, dies at 49
Andrea Martin, songwriter behind a series of R&B hits including “Before You Walk Out of My Life” by Monica and “I Love Me Some Him” by Toni Braxton, died on September 27 in a New York hospital. She was 49 years old.
His writing partner, Ivan Matias, confirmed his death but said the cause was undetermined.
Ms. Martin’s first major songwriting credits, which she shared with Mr. Matias and other co-writers, came in 1995. Along with Carsten Schack and Kenneth Karlin, she wrote “Before You Walk Out of My Life ”, which peaked at number one. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and established Ms. Martin as an in-demand writer.
Ms. Martin, Mr. Matias and Marqueze Etheridge together wrote En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and was nominated for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or a group with vocals at the 1996 Grammy Awards.
Ms. Martin was also a talented singer, having first found work as a backing vocalist, and Drew Dixon, vice president of Arista Records in the 1990s, noticed. She signed Ms. Martin to her label as a solo artist, and Arista released her album “The Best of Me” in 1998. The record was not a commercial success, although one of her tracks, “Let Me Return the Favor”, has been classified. on the Billboard Hot 100 as a single.
“Hearing people sing my songs was the greatest feeling of my life, but it wasn’t a chance for me to express how I felt,” Ms. Martin said in a 1999 interview with The Daily News of New York on the release of his album. “The songs were about my life, but someone else was singing it. I just wanted people to know it’s me and come up with an album that represents me.
Ms. Dixon cited racism and colorism in the recording industry as possible reasons Ms. Martin’s solo career has not taken off. If she had had lighter skin, Ms. Dixon said, her career might have gained in popularity.
“Andrea was, without a doubt, one of the best singers I have ever met in my career, and I include Whitney, Aretha, Lauryn and Deborah Cox when I say this,” Ms. Dixon said.
Andrea Martin was born on April 14, 1972 in Brooklyn to Reginald Martin Sr. and Mavis Martin. Her family lived in the Eastern New York neighborhood.
She told the Daily News that her biggest inspiration as a child was Michael Jackson. “I would try to imitate him all day,” she said.
She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan, where she graduated in 1990, and immediately began songwriting and performing locally, ranging even to sing in the halls of buildings housing music publishing houses to attract attention. frames. His big break came when Rondor Music, a major publisher, signed him to a contract in the early 1990s.
She is survived by two children, Eresha and Amaya; his parents; his sisters, Audrey and Wendy Martin; and his brothers, Reginald Jr., Michael and Shane.
Ms. Martin continued to work steadily throughout the 2000s, writing for Leona Lewis, Melanie Fiona and Sean Kingston and appearing as a featured artist and backing vocalist for other acts. Mr Matias said he expected to see new projects featuring Ms Martin emerge in the years to come.
“She had a very specific sound to her handwriting,” Mr. Matias said. “And it didn’t matter who she worked with. She was infused into the melody.