Gentlemen’s Corner: Alvester Martin Talks Dancing With Beyonce and Upcoming Album
VV: Was the transition from well-known dancer to singer tough?
AM: It wasn’t tough to give up because I knew my end goal and what I truly wanted. My manager preaches about end goals, and I still have a lot to learn but hey I’m an artist and I’m sensitive [laughs]. It’s been a ten year process, it wasn’t like I said okay this is how I’m going to do this, no it’s really been a ten year process with many hurdles and obstacles and many mistakes, trials, let downs– however you want to put it. I remember after about 2010 I said I wasn’t going to dance anymore. I was on tour with Mariah and I said this would be my last dancing gig and was seriously done. I moved to the east coast and traveled between New York and Philly and just recorded and auditioned for things that had to deal solely with singing. I ended up booking the male lead in Michael Jackson’s “A Place With No Name” video and told myself that was the end of dancing for me, but what I learned from that opportunity is you can’t block your blessings.
How did you feel you were blocking your blessings? Was focusing on music more than dance ultimately a struggle for you?
Everything is about timing and if God is not finished and it’s not your time to stop then you can’t say what you won’t do. You can but you’ll block something great. I think I had to chew those words and go back and humble myself, not because I wanted to but because there were apparently some things I wasn’t finished doing in the grand scheme of things. And of course, I’ve got to make money so basically I ultimately had to do what I had to do, to do what I wanted to do. Fast-forward, of course I dance again and then fast-forward again where I said Michael Jackson would be my last job and within the same week by the grace of God I got signed to Universal Music Group. I was really happy because Mike was my last video, and it was really dope to end with my idol. Then here comes Beyonce for the VMA’s. They called me and said Beyonce wants you to do the VMA’s and asked if I was, and we were thinking about saying no and I had to remember that lesson and realize that I couldn’t let down the woman that got me here. She [Beyonce] brought me in and taught me so much stuff. She doesn’t even realize how influential she’s been to me. That’s what I mean by you can’t block your blessings. I don’t think I’ll ever say I can’t or wont’ do something just because you never know.
How was it shooting the posthumous “A Place With No Name” video being that MJ was your idol? Would you rank it one of the highlights of your career?
That’s my biggest highlight of my dancing career. Other people may have their own opinions, but for me that was something I cant even put in words. And again, it’s a lesson because I wasn’t even going to go to the audition because I was trying to move away from dance. I had to tell myself to stop it and not miss out on something great. I went to the audition and they paired me with a female counterpart and they said go. They turned on the music and told me to do what I felt. They gave a little synopsis and I went in there and I didn’t expect anything. I did what I do best and walked out and whatever was supposed to happen was supposed to happen. Two days later I got the call that I had booked the gig. Being on set was incredible. I got to work with Travis Payne who has been Michael’s choreographer for decades. The dopest part about the video was we actually shot where he [Mike] shot “In The Closet” with Naomi Campbell, for all my MJ heads. Another thing about that video I love is the freedom I had because my beautiful counterpart, Danielle Acoff, and myself had just met on the set and we didn’t have a choreographer. They gave us direction every now and then, but they did playback and we just went with the flow. Everything you see in the video is us straight off the rip, vibing and discovering each other.