Captivating lyrical flow and a satin-toned delivery: Over glossy urban grooves, vocalist, songwriter and rapper Marty Obey delivers free-flowing songs of sensuous adventure. The subjects set the stage; love for the ladies, certainly, but also respect for family and encouragement for everyone in his extended community to strive to be the best possible versions of themselves.
Establishing his reputation through collaborations with a roster of artists that includes Baby Bash, E40 and Iamsu, Marty is now highlighted in his new solo work for BashTown Music, in conjunction with Silent Giant Entertainment. The alchemy of his music reverberates from the tough neighborhoods of his Northern California base to the high profile concerts and festivals where he now commands center stage.
Growing up in a blended family of 10 siblings, Marty discovered that academic achievement could make him stand out. A move from his hometown of Vallejo, California to Vacaville dropped him into a school that he recalls as “white and smart,” but family conflict sent him back to Vallejo to live with his grandparents and into an environment that was far edgier. “Kids in the back of the classroom smoking weed and talking back to the teacher,” he says. As a diligent student during the day and a McDonald’s worker at night, Marty was too busy for trouble.
From second grade on, poetry and the spoken word had intrigued him. By fifth grade he was writing lyrics. The church offered a platform for his emerging musical aspirations as a singer and a rapper. His step dad worked nights, so silence in the house was the rule. Marty stayed in his room and wrote lyrics.
Graduating from high school with 4.0 grades he enrolled in college. A marriage at 19 and a divorce one year later determined a different course. He considered joining the Navy, but a family friend who had achieved an international notoriety as a recording artist interceded – local Vallejo hero Baby Bash. “He flew me to Los Angeles to hang with him and Kid Frost,” Marty recalls. “Then we went to Houston, and traveled between Texas and the Bay area..” He saw how the hard-touring Baby Bash could expand his career with a full calendar of concert dates. “I perform, sing, and write songs with him. It seems like every week something pops up. It’s like touring all year long.”
With Italian, French, Greek and Irish ancestry in the mix, Marty relates most strongly to his Guamanian roots. “I’m a cultured individual,” he notes. “But as a young man, I need to see and find out things for myself, and to question authority. I love music but I live for humanity. I wish everyone could get on that.”