Hailing from the U.K. boy band IF YOU DARE, Filipino British artist Chase Martinez is now embarking on a self-discovery journey to reclaim and embrace his Filipino roots as a solo artist.
While the 26-year-old singer says he achieved more than he could imagine with his fellow group members, he decided it was time for him to step out of his comfort zone and pursue his solo career.
“Being in a boy band, there were certain things I couldn't express,” Martinez tells NextShark. “I was the only Filipino so there were some ups and downs with that. When I got into songwriting, I realized I had so many things to say.”
Born in the Philippines, Martinez’s musical journey began at the age of 3. He recalls his parents having a funny habit of pushing him to perform for their relatives. “It was like, 'Oh, your auntie's here, Chase! Sing her a song!' I was that karaoke kid, so much pressure,” he says, chuckling.
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Along with his family, Martinez moved to the U.K. at the age of 8, where he was immersed in a house filled with music. As he grew older, he realized he wanted to take his music seriously. At 17, he took a leap of faith, moved to London and got casted into the boyband.
“I've had my success and I've had such an incredible experience with the band,” Martinez shares. “Now, I want to do my own thing and see what I’m capable of. And that's why I came to Los Angeles. I thought it's time for me to spread my wings. It's scary. But I feel like that was the right thing to do to find myself.”
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In Los Angeles, Martinez met actor and fitness model Charlie St. Cyr, who would eventually become his manager. The artist revealed that their connection was more than just a professional one — it was a deep bond built on trust and mentorship. “It's not the title, it's not the superficial side of it,” he says, “it's literally the heart behind it. Charlie has this unwavering passion for helping other people.”
St Cyr., who previously started an artist development program to help hone aspiring musicians, discovered Martinez’s covers on TikTok shortly after leaving the military last year. When Martinez made the move this year from the U.K. to L.A., that’s when the pair connected. “It was the night of SB19’s L.A. concert that he actually chose me to be his manager. I guess that was the spark of bringing CMI Management to life. It just took someone from across the country to help me realize that love and passion again,” St Cyr. says.
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With CMI Management, Martinez realized his versatility, noting that he can be romantic and release ballads and also be charming or flirty with his pop and R&B sides, attributing it to his solo debut single, “Mr. Suave.”
“Mr. Suave,” which was released in August, combines elements of pop, R&B and Spanish music. Drawing inspiration from his Filipino roots, Martinez infused the track with cultural authenticity, weaving lyrics in both English and Tagalog.
“It's actually one of the first songs I've ever written,” Martinez reveals. “I remember coming back from a writing session with the boy band one time and I felt like we did great, but I also felt like I can do more, so I'm like, ‘What do I want to say?’ Writing it was so fun because I thought nothing of it, but as it turns out, I'm Mr. Suave. I'm really proud of it. I hope people can feel the energy and vibe with it and feel like they’re Mr. Suave or Mrs. Suave.”
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Inspired by artists like Beyoncé and Michael Jackson, Martinez envisions hosting concerts where he not only sings but entertains the audience with dance performances. He aims to create music that people can connect with emotionally, whether it's dancing to an upbeat tune or feeling the depth of a ballad.
“My end goal is to be able to create music that people can dance to, relate to and even cry to," Martinez says. "If I can be able to entertain them as well as relate to them as a human being, I would have done the job right.”