Interview with Photographer and Instagrammer Arthur Martins

If you’ve never visited Rio de Janeiro, you’ll definitely want to after seeing Arthur Martin’s photography. Hear more from our Fluence curator about what inspires him, his success with Instagram, and his beautiful hometown of Rio.


How did you get started in photography?Arthur Martins on Fluence

It was with Instagram; I noticed my friends started using it with their iPhones but I didn’t have any Apple products. Then I received an Ipad from my aunt, and I got an IPhone but the pictures were terrible. I received a digital camera from a friend and a year ago I bought my first professional camera.  I saw a huge improvement in the quality and aesthetics afterwards.

When I started a design course in college, I had an interest in special effects and animation. I was thinking about doing something connected with this or computer games and graphics. Then I started looking at movies, TV shows, and professional videos on Vimeo and when I was looking at those videos, I started researching the graphics from the videos and I got more focused on my photography. It really inspired me.


What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Landscapes and the beach; I live Rio de Janeiro which is a great city for both.

My photographs tend to show this landscape in a clean, vintage aesthetic, so I try to get less saturated pictures.

Arthur Martins' Photography - Fluence Interview

Arthur Martins – ‘Photoville NYC’


You’re from one of the world’s most fascinating cities, Rio de Janeiro.  Tell me what is your favorite thing about it?

I think it is one of the best places to live; to live nearby so much nature. I live so close to everything; restaurants, bars. It is a city the where the “day” life and the “night” life are so different, but people always want to get together in the streets. Be out and meet each other. And most of the people are happy besides the problems that we have. They seem to not care about all of the superficial things.


Arthur Martins Photography

Arthur Martins – ‘P H O T O S A N D M E M O R I E S’

Speaking of people meeting, tell me about how you got started with the Instameets.

When I started photography, I used to get together with friends and take photographs around Rio. Then when Instragram became functional in Brasil, with the headquarters in Sao Paulo, the community grew to Rio because of our landscapes. Some of the Instameets happened here in Rio with Instagram Brasil. Throughout the year, Instagram Brasil asked us to lead Instameets here in Rio. Now there are about 10 of us that are directly involved with Instagram Brasil.  In one of the Worldwide Instameets, we invited our followers and the plan was to go walking through Leblon and Ipanema. The first one was between 20 and 50 people. During the World Cup, many people came to Rio to watch and promote the games and some of them contacted me through direct messages on Instagram so we did some Instameets with people from all over the world.


Fluence Interview with Photographer Arthur Martins

Arthur Martins – ‘Surfers’


What artists inspire you?

There are some photographers who really inspire my photography work such as Griffin Lamb, Benjamin Heath, and Finn Beales. They take fantastic pictures, like adventure and lifestyle pictures.  They are so clean and the colors are shown in a light way. There is a tranquil mood. Chris Ozer and Vutheara Kham, who are photographers from New York and Paris, respectively, photograph cityscapes that have a different style than I am used to, because here in Rio my pictures are nature and landscapes but I like to see photographers from cities and places that I’ve never been to. I really like Ron Mueck; his work is almost reality, but it is a physical representation. You can see all of the textures and the feelings that are so explicit by the figures that he creates. The movie “Her”, really inspired me, too. It’s based in a city, and I really like the way the director captured the feelings of Joaquin Phoenix; the essence of the love he is feeling.


Griffin Lamb

Griffin Lamb Photography



Dig into Waves

Dig into Waves

Why did you join Fluence?

I think it is really important for artists to get feedback on their work from different people. And from people who are used to seeing professional work. On Fluence, you can find an idol, inspiration, a person who has amazing work, who you had no idea about that is on the other side of the world. It’s important now that we’re all connected. Fluence is doing this. It also means that your work is getting recognition. Fluence is important for me because my work is beginning to be recognized at a level that I wasn’t expecting and maybe I can change the opinion of the projects and see some others that will inspire me.


What is your favorite technology or social media platform for photography?

At the moment, Instagram is my favorite. But I do use VSCO a lot. I use their software, VSCO Film to edit my pictures and videos through the computer, and the VSCO cam app on the phone as well. Exactly a year ago, my friends and I went to California. We visited the Instagram, Facebook and VSCO headquarters. Instagram and Facebook were more formal; we had a programmed visit and schedule, but the VSCO visit in Oakland was totally different. We were outside taking photographs, and some guy asked us who we were so we just said, “We’re some Brazilians who love VSCO”. So he invited us inside to talk to the CEO, Joel Flory. He is really humble and invited us into his office and told us about some new stuff that they were planning. I love the VSCO grid because you get to share your work and other projects. I’ve seen people in VSCO journal that are fashion designers, or travelers or just different professions being featured and it is inspiring.


All I ever Need

All I ever Need

What advice would you give to artists just starting out?

As a designer and photographer, I suggest people to look at other photographers, designers, artists and research the work on their sites, and get inspired and amazed from seeing their work. Then, create and design your own concept with an unique aesthetic to your photos so your work will become exclusive to you. I create stories about my photographs or I add what people might be feeling in a picture. I really think people should get inspired by others, but focus on your style. I want people to look at my photography and say “this is Arthur”.


Follow Arthur here on Fluence.

Arthur Martins on Fluence

Photographers | Film & Video Experts | Designers

Music Journalist Raziq Rauf: Founder of Thrash Hits

Raziq Rauf on FluenceRaziq Rauf has more than blood in his veins; music permeates his every molecule atom down to the bone marrow. For over the past 15 years, he’s written as a music journalist for BBC, The Guardian, Kerrang!, Drowned in Sound, Classic Rock, Prog, and Metal Hammer to name a few. He also runs the successful music blog Thrash Hits; a necessity if you’re a fan of metal, hard rock, punk, and more.

Needless to say, we jumped on the opportunity to learn how Raziq started his career and hear his favorite artists so far in 2015.


What was the inspiration behind the genesis of Thrash Hits?

It was part of an umbrella group of specialist sites started with Drowned In Sound in 2008. I’d been writing for them since 2000 so it was a natural partnership. I figured that if I wasn’t being serviced with enough new music of my heavy, London-oriented tastes from an online portal, there would be others that would enjoy that service as well. I also didn’t really enjoy the humourless style of the music press in general, so decided there would be more puns. The problem is that I’m not very funny.


Favorite future hits you’ve covered so far in 2015?

I really love Mord, a black metal band from Iceland that I discovered when I was over there last summer for the very, very awesome Eistnaflug festival. There’s such a wealth of talent in that country.



One closer to home is Prosperina, who sound like “Mastodon having a wig-off with Tool,” if you like that kind of thing. The title Future Hits is a funny one because we shine a light on the most ridiculously uncommercial music around, it’s very, very unlikely any of the bands ever get more than a very committed cult following, but we like that.


Advice for artists looking to reach bloggers with DIY PR?

It’s very difficult, so don’t give up. I have hundreds of new bands in my inbox every month and it’s literally impossible to listen to them all because then I’d have no time to actually write about anything. Generally, if you’re good enough, you’ll find a way through to somebody, somewhere. It sounds simplistic but it’s as meritocratic as it can be.


Latest cool discoveries on Fluence? Any exciting connections with people on the platform?

I found an awesome, brand new prog metal band from London called Orca. There are Incubus and Tool vibes in there and I very much look forward to hearing their forthcoming album.


Your undying love for burgers using a metaphor.

Tip: watch your cholesterol. That’s not a metaphor, just advice.


Best burger place you’ve been to in the past year?

Grill ‘Em All in Los Angeles. You can not beat a full menu of heavy metal burgers full of flavour combinations concocted by gourmet chefs.

Follow and send Raziq music here on Fluence

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Getting to Know Will Abramson of Yours Truly

Will Abramson of Yours Truly on FluenceAs Yours Truly’s website will tell you: For four years, brands and bands eager to make passionate connections with fans have turned to Yours Truly for our singular brand of French kiss-intimate storytelling held to the “ink standard” of hand-crafted quality worthy of our signature.

Their client & partners roster list includes Ray-Ban, Red Bull, and adidas Originals to name a few. So, it was only natural for us to want to pick the brain of Yours Truly founder and Fluence curator Will Abramson.


beat:repeat NYC: Mtume – Juicy Fruit from Red Bull Music Academy and Yours Truly


So, Will, how did Yours Truly come about?
While I working as the music marketing manager for a company called Imeem in San Francisco I built some great relationships with music publicists and labels. At the time there wasn’t much for bands to do press or promo wise while in San Francisco so we were able to steal bands for a few hours to shoot a short interview or performance. We started out producing “take away shows” for LA Blogoteque but quickly decided we needed to do our own thing. When I got laid off at Imeem I poured myself into Yours Truly because I never wanted to get laid off again. I spent the next year working full-time on Yours Truly and living on my unemployment. Then we just went from there.


Nao – ‘In the Morning’ from Yours Truly


Yours Truly and Fluence are strong proponents of the Attention Web and how it leads to better quality art and media being produced and promoted. What’s the best way for new brands, artists, and producers to get your attention?

In a media landscape of relentless updates, when slight variations of the same news, reviews, lists and “bands to watch” parade through our feeds on a 24-hr cycle, and the shelf-life of content is measured in seconds, the value of curation and quality is at a premium.

Today, brands, creators, and publishers alike understand that engaged users are more valuable than passive eyeballs & that real value comes from creators ability to engage and retain a passionate niche with content and experiences that are worthy of people’s most precious (and valuable) commodity: time.

My time is valuable; everyone’s is. The best way to get my attention is to create a really compelling product. And it’s not just a song, its the artwork, the video, what you say about it, who else is championing it. All gatekeepers are looking at other gatekeepers to tip their hats and I’m no different. I love to be ‘first’ to things but I’m not as thrilled by it as I once was. The cream has a way of rising to the top, so make cream.

 Nosaj Thing x Chance the Rapper “Songs From Scratch” from Yours Truly


Yours Truly deals with many art forms. What is your favorite art form? And why?
My favorite art form is food. I love food. Eating is my favorite activity. I think the process of constructing a meal, how the flavors meld together is really high art. To me, discovering a new band and discovering a new restaurant are equally exciting and special moments.


Who would you consider to be your dream client (you’ve yet to work with)?

I always say that if we were able to work with Prince or D’Angelo, I’d retire right then.


Who’s your new favorite artist? And why?
Tobias Jesso Jr. He’s made a classic album and I can’t wait to see him blow up. People are comparing him to Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman, and while those are apt comparisons I think Tobias just made an album that sounds timeless. He’s an incredible songwriter and a really nice guy!


Reach Will Abramson on Fluence here.

Will Abamson of Yours Truly on Fluence

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Meet Andrea Young of Aspenbeat Record Label!

Andrea Young of AspenbeatAndrea Young was born to work in music; it runs in your blood. After graduating college with a degree in music and psychology, she began work at MCA – a distributor who then handled Tom Petty, Chaka Khan and more. But like most of our Fluence curators she didn’t stop there, over time Andrea co-owned a chain of record stores, co-founded a company that computerized the music business (hello SoundScan) and eventually made her way to radio. We got a few minutes to catch up with Andrea and here’s what she had to say:.


Tell us about your present day career. What do you do? And what does it entail? 
It’s always been about the music for me, whether as a hobby or a profession. I currently run my record label and produce my radio shows, so I am doing what I have always wanted to do! I spend my time listening to music to find tunes to play over the airwaves and share [digitally]. What that entails takes many forms, from coaching artists through Fluence and other online review sites to promoting individual artists I believe in through my record label, Aspenbeat. And from playing tunes on my weekly eclectic public radio show on Aspen Public Radio (“Aspenbeat”) or my jazz radio show (“Jazz From Aspen”), to creating playlists on Spotify for my private clients, or sharing in my newsletter and blogs and playlist sites to my listeners and fans – in other words, I share them anywhere and everywhere I can.



Is Fluence helping make your role a little easier? How?
Definitely. I think Fluence is part of the future of music promotion and distribution. The good and the bad news is that the field of getting attention for your music has opened up to anyone and everyone with a tune and some persistence. But how do you spend your resources wisely, what makes the most sense? That type of strategy is what I love to do and Fluence brings artists to me to do that in both a shorthand version (online review) and then in more focused ways as I work with some of the artists who have come to me through the site. Fluence matches up curators and creators in an affordable and viable way unlike anything that’s come before it. In the past you’d have to struggle to find an industry expert to listen to your music – now with a little bit of research and work you can reach curators like myself and gain some traction for your music. I’m always listening for something that resonates with me and therefore my audience. Fluence helps bring those tunes to me.

On the other side, I get too many submissions to listen to every day: Fluence helps moderate that process for me, bringing in artists who might be a bit more serious (i.e. willing to pay an industry expert for a listen and feedback). I’ve got an ear for hits and what makes a great tune. I’m building my label and always looking for artists to work with. While I’ve been in the music business a long time, I’m working through the transition happening in the industry right now just like everyone else. It’s a new paradigm and a new road for me and everyone. Fluence helps with that too. I’m a big fan.


Have you made any epic discoveries while using Fluence?
On the music side, I have discovered artists, that I love, that I have played repeatedly on my radio shows and that have become part of my ‘Aspenbeat Top 300’, ‘Aspenbeat Top Songs of 2014”, and ‘Aspenbeat Constant Repeats’ playlists, including CMBSTN, Birds Over Arkansas, Ted Pearce, David Rosen and memoryfield (now on the Aspenbeat label).



Fan girl moment, what artists can you not get enough of right now?
I tend to play certain songs over and over again when I find something that catches my ear. Usually just one song off an album, it’s rare for me to find two or three that I really love. You can find my Constant Repeat playlist on Spotify, SoundCloud, Youtube and my website. I tend toward pop and singer-songwriter with some good high energy rock and roll thrown in.

Right now my list includes songs from Dr. John (‘Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child’), Sam Smith (‘Money On My Mind’), The New Basement Tapes (‘When I Get My Hands On You’), Stevie Nicks (‘Lady’), Willie Nelson (‘The Wall’) and Kids On Bridges (‘When The Needle Drops’). On the Aspenbeat label there’s memoryfield (with their cover of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’), Natasha Marin (yes Cheech’s wife and a prolific classical pianist, try her ‘Chopin Collection’), MYA Project (electronic pop with ‘Believe Me’) and The Rifters (Americana with ‘One Hundred Miles’) just to start.



Oh! I just saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden and that reignited an incessant playing of Billy Joel music on my playlists, he’s one of the most prolific entertainers of all time, I consider him our world’s Beethoven or Mozart. I’m also a huge fan of what I call ‘big pop’ from the top of the charts, the Taylor Swifts and One Directions of the world, I love their complex production and energy.

Sweet! Thanks for your time, Andrea.

Want to send your music to Andrea Young? Visit her Fluence profile here.


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