Deep Dallas' Jessica Martinez Wants to Be Your Guide to the Music Scene
Jessica Martinez has been running a Facebook fan page called Dallas Music for close to two years. She's kept it simple and reliable, posting local music content and gigs, and she's let her fandom for our artists shine through, something reflected in her some 2,600 followers. They've covered hundreds of shows, and her organization has done music booking for several community events, including PARK(ing) Day Dallas, Cedars Food Park, Deep Ellum Outdoor Market and Uptown's Art Uprising, and produced two Deep Dallas Studio Sessions with The Roomsounds and The Will Callers.
Recently, she left her job to start focusing on this project full-time, and start constructing her own website version of that fan page, called Deep Dallas.
Was there something profound that happened in your life that ignited your motivation for this?
The music scene found me at a time when I really needed a friend. I was just out of a serious relationship and found myself alone and lonely. Vowing to never let that happen again, I made it my mission to expand my circle of friends, start going to new places and doing new things. LaGrange, so sad they are closed, used to host a weekly open mic and I started going there every Tuesday night. They had a great sound system and it drew quite some talent. I just stumbled upon it on a bike ride one day and literally fell in love. I met so many amazing people and always left feeling so happy. Man, I was hooked.
Aside from me and a few friends, there weren't many people in attendance. I started asking questions like, "Why am I the only person coming out week after week?" More people needed to know about this. Basically, I got mad.
So, you decided to do something about it.
I know a thing or two about online marketing and social media, having worked for an e-commerce company for several years. So naturally my marketing brain kicked in.
I did some research and realized there really wasn't anyone connecting the dots and bringing music to the people, and vice versa, in an effective way. So I made it my mission to be that person. I started the best way I know how: using social media, networking and going to a ton of shows.
Twenty-six hundred followers later, I'd say you've done a decent job! How long have you been at it?
I started the page in April of 2011. I'm so happy at how well it's been received. Twenty-six hundred subscribers kinda blows my mind... and it's growing everyday. All grass-roots. I needed that vote of confidence. It adds fuel to my fire, keeps me going and let's me know that people are interested in being part of our local music community. It's a labor of love. It's my baby. And, like a baby, it needs constant attention. It's an unbelievable amount of work but I believe in it. Its core mission is to draw more attention to DFW's burgeoning music scene.
You've done a lot of photo coverage of local shows, especially at Dada.
I was lucky to find a brilliant photographer, Jenna Banuelos, very early on and began creating a really strong team and we set out to document the Dallas music scene.
We've since covered hundreds and hundreds of shows. We have the photography to prove it; our collection is quite impressive. I still can't believe how many shows we've covered. We have a good relationship with the folks at Club Dada and we've put on a few showcases featuring some amazing local acts that drew quite an impressive number of people.
Where did your true interest in music begin as a youth? A song, a show, an album, maybe?
Oh, wow. I've always loved music. "Music is what feelings sound like." I love that quote. It's so true. I pretty much love anything that makes me feel, from music to scary movies. I like to be freaked out too.
Favorite local acts?
Can't nail down one favorite. I'm a fan of tons of local acts including Missile, Sealion, Goodnight Ned, Blackstone Rangers, Burning Hotels, The Roomsounds. Way too many to list.
How about some other locally-supportive organizations/people that you'd like to rave about?
I love Dallas. I want to support anyone working towards making Dallas a more vibrant city. PARK(ing) Day Dallas is very near and dear to my heart. It's a yearly community-focused event that challenges the definition of public space. DEEP, Deep Ellum Enrichment Project, is another organization I support because Deep Ellum plays such an important part in Dallas' music scene. A healthy Deep Ellum means a healthy music scene.
I've recently left my job to focus on Deep Dallas full time. This is a pretty scary jump for me, considering there's not much of a safety net. I'm currently developing an online magazine, DeepDallas.com, which will allow us to dig even deeper and provide top-notch articles, photography, videos, interviews and more. People need places to go to discover music. It's not easy and I want to help.