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Marteen's 'Sriracha' and the Story Behind the Spicy Song

Marteen's 'Sriracha' and the Story Behind the Spicy Song

Marteen Estevez dropped his free-spirited “Sriracha” video yesterday, which is full of his spicy, slick, and soulful style.

The catchy chorus goes, “Girl you got a body like Sriracha, every time I bring you ’round the homies wanna watch ya, got it from your mama but that ain’t what she taught ya, that’s why I call you lil’ ‘racha.”

The Berkeley-born singer is emerging as a hyper creative, singing, dancing wunderkind. “My music is a modern take on nineties R&B with a little Bay Area edge,” shares 16-year-old Marteen, who just signed to Warner Bros. Records. “Coming from Northern California, you have a certain mentality. It’s an indescribable attitude.”

Click inside to read‘s exclusive interview with Marteen


JJ: Congratulations on Sriracha, the video is amazing! Riding on the hood of the car is such an awesome shot. Did you conceptualize the video?
Thanks. Not completely, but I wanted to make sure it represented the Bay Area since that’s where I’m from, and the standing on cars comes from the hyphy movement of the early 2000′s. We shot the whole thing in West Oakland and had a lot of fun.

JJ: How did the song come about? Did you write it and who did you work with on the song?
The song started kinda as a joke one day when I was eating some fried rice with Sriracha on it in the studio and told my producer JR [Rotem] that we should make a song called Sriracha. I told him I wanted it to have a fun feel and he started playing the piano part that’s in the song. The beginning of the hook came to me right away and I started playing around with it. We knew as soon as I laid down the first couple melodies that it was gonna be dope. We showed it to my homies Marty James and YMTK a couple days later and they helped us finish it.

JJ: Do you really love Sriracha as a hot sauce and spicy food in general? What are your favorite spicy foods?
I do love Sriracha actually. I don’t put hella of it on stuff, but I like to spice things up a little. I also really like Frank’s hot sauce. I don’t eat a lot of overly spicy foods but I mess with curry and love Thai and Indian food.

JJ: Name the top five celebs who have bodies like Sriracha.
Well even though I say “body like Sriracha” in the song I’m not actually talking about a perfect body cause that could be different for everyone depending on what you like, but I more mean an attitude and confidence. I would say my top five based on that is Rihanna, Gal Gadot, Zendaya, Ella Mai, and Cardi B. Betty White a lil’ racha too tho. (laughs)

JJ: You have a unique sense of style. Who do you look to for fashion inspiration? Are there certain movies, eras or people who have informed your look?
Yeah I figured out that I really like clothes from the 80′s and 90′s. My dad jokes that I like grandpa clothes cause I see old people all the time and say how fire their clothes are. (laughs) Fashion is one of our biggest ways to show self-expression and I like to wear things that make me feel happy.

JJ: Your new haircut is very polarizing. People either LOVE or HATE your version of the bowl cut. What made you get it done and how long will you be keeping it?
Yeah it’s funny cause you’re right, people are like WTF is up with your hair or they really like it and respect me having my own style. I cut it cause I had the same haircut for awhile and wanted to change it up. I wanted to get something that nobody my age really had and started looking at haircuts online to find something different. I ran across this barber from London who made up this cut called the London Fringe which is what inspired my haircut. I like being different so it’s okay if people don’t always get it cause most people are used to everyone being the same. I’ll probably rock it till I’m tired of it and want to try something new.

JJ: You grew up in San Francisco’s Bay Area. What’s your ethnic background? What was your childhood like? How does that reflect in your personal style, your music, and your life in general?
I’m mixed with Colombian and white, but my family is a rainbow of different races. I went through some things growing up with family members close to me who were struggling with drug addiction and other stuff, but it’s taught me a lot about what I want and don’t want for my life, and helps me make better decisions as I get older. I moved around a lot as a kid too and grew up in seven different cities in the Bay. I’ve lived in the hood, middle class neighborhoods, and a nice neighborhood. I think being able to see different things and perspectives has made me who I am. It gave me an appreciation for different cultures, and gave me understanding for people from all backgrounds. All of this has played a part in my music, my message, and who I am. I definitely want to be a voice for positivity and hope. A lot of kids don’t come from the best backgrounds and they need to know that they can still do anything they dream – like I am.

JJ: You recently went to the Teen Choice Awards. Who are some new teen artists you’ve been obsessed with recently?
I can’t really think of any teen artist that I’ve been listening to lately, I listen to a lot of just slightly older artists – PnB Rock, Ty Dolla $ign, Calvin Harris, and Amine.

JJ: What are some of your favorite restaurants in LA? Where are your favorite hang-out spots in LA?
I love BeaBea’s in Burbank…they got the best breakfast. Mama Hong’s in Burbank got the best Pho. SweetGreen got the best salads. Pink Pepper in Hollywood got some bomb Thai, and Portos always smacks on the pastries and Cuban food. I also love Tender Greens, Chick-fil-A, and hella other places. I love food in general. (laughs) As far as hang-out spots, I mostly kick it at friends’ houses, but I love going to Venice Beach. It reminds me of the Bay for some reason.

JJ: When can fans expect new music? Any collaborations? Is there an EP or album on the way?​ How soon?
I’m dropping a project very soon, but I don’t have an exact date yet. I’m not focused on getting any collabs right now, but we’ll see. They can definitely count on me dropping more music and visuals over the next couple months!

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Photos: Arturo Torres
Posted to: Exclusive, Marteen Estevez

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