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Daniel Lee Martin
ChinMusic Records, Inc.
Current album: All That I Am

When we first met Daniel Lee Martin he was his own manager, photographer, publicist, producer, webmaster and booking agent. You could e-mail him personally or call him at home any time you wanted. To get an interview with him this year, we had to apply to his label (ChinMusic Records), submit a fax request to his management and provide verification of our media credentials to his radio and "PR people" at AristoMedia. Getting to him may have taken a little more effort this year but once we did, we were delighted to find that he is still the same, engaging, Daniel Lee.

He was eager to talk about his label, his album and his beautiful wife, Kristina. But before he talked about anything else, he wanted to reiterate the story about how he met one member of our staff, Helen Peterson. He says that his chance meeting with her at Fan Fair really impacted him in a positive way. It was the very first year he participated and he says that despite the fact that he had really nothing going on in his career at that time, she treated him like he was already a major celebrity. As a new artist, her interest and admiration really motivated him and he says he will never forget her. I believe him because it has already been six years since that momentous, initial  encounter.

He gives a lot of credit to the women in his life for any successes he has had. He said that his mother has always been very supportive and, "She has a knack for just knowing when to call. No matter how hard I try to deny it, when something is bothering me, she instinctively knows." "She has this innate ability, a God-given gift, to sense when I need a boost" he continued, "she has always been there for me with motherly and moral support."

The other important woman in his life is his beautiful wife. Mrs. DL Martin works in the Promotions and Marketing department of his label. How she came to work there is an interesting story and one that clearly speaks to the strength of their relationship. Seems that Daniel had been trying, for several years, to get her to leave Florida and move to Nashville. When his label deal was being negotiated, he said that his worse fear was that he would have to leave his new bride to go out on the road without her. After a lot of contemplation he came up with, what he thought, was a clever strategy to be able to spend more time with her. He negotiated with his label and agreed to waive any salary advance if they would give her a job working with him.

He went home that day with a bottle of wine and a dozen roses to celebrate his genius. As he came through the door, excited to tell her the news, one of her first questions was, "How much are they going to advance you?" He said that the money was a serious concern to her since he had convinced her to quit her job and, in fact, she had just given her two week notice that same day. She was counting on the advance to subsidize the loss of her income until his career was on solid ground.

"Well, I told them about all your marketing experience," he replied. "Yeah, okay, that's nice, but how much is the advance?" she asked again. Daniel continued, "I told them how you are going to quit your job to be able to help me and how we just got married a month ago and ..." "Okay, but tell me how much," Kristina urged again, now getting impatient. Daniel, suddenly not so confident about his decision, reluctantly replied, "Well, I waived the advance," as the panic showed on her face he says he could feel the roses he was holding, wilt ... so he quickly blurted, "but that is really good news because they are going to give you a job!"

Daniel says that he learned his first valuable lesson about marriage that day and now consults with Kristina before making major decisions that are going to impact their lives. However, in retrospect, Kristina is happy about the deal that Daniel negotiated and he is certain that having her with him all the time is worth far more than any amount of money the label may have advanced him.

Martin has so many projects in the works that he is truly excited about that we ran well over our thirty minute allocated interview time. His acoustical tour, in conjunction with WalMart, is going well, the sales of his album have gone far beyond their expectations, he is working on a project with some other artists to honor our military, and he is passionate about his involvement with several charities. You can keep up with all of his activities via his website.

Martin describes himself as a perpetual optimist and prides himself in always seeing the glass as half full. Right now he says the glass is over-flowing and he is so grateful to be where he is. This former marketing director, graphic artist, baseball player, professional golfer, seems totally unaware of how remarkable he really is. When I asked about his goals, he quickly replied that he aspires to be "a compassionate entertainer and a spiritual and kind soul" like his hero, the legendary Charlie Daniels. He is totally unaware that he already is.

All that extraordinary talent in such a humble package is simply splendid. If you haven't heard Martin on your radio, do yourself a favor and call and request him or go by your local WalMart and purchase his album ... you won't be disappointed because with Daniel Lee Martin, All That I Am, is a great deal.


Feature article by Cheryl Harvey Hill

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