Professional Sound - June 2017 - Page 20

PROFILE KERRY MARTIN By Megan Beam Y ou may not know him by name, but chances are you’ve encountered Kerry Martin’s work, whether it be through CBC Music’s Searchlight competition, his music columns with CBC Radio, or perhaps even back in his days at Radio 96.5 (now Mix 96.5) or 88.1 FM CKDU in Halifax. Martin is a producer and editor with CBC Music, working out of the broadcaster’s headquarters in downtown Toronto. But what was life like for Kerry Martin before moving to the big city? Born and raised in Corner Brook along the west coast of Newfoundland, Martin says he had a fairly normal life growing up alongside his three brothers and one sister. Being raised in the ‘90s in Atlantic Canada, he jokes that his surroundings seemed like an echo of the ‘80s. “I had hand-me-down brothers in terms of what I played with and wore and all that kind of stuff, so I feel like the ‘80s were around a little longer at my house than they should have been,” says Martin. It was after moving to Halifax that life began to pick up speed. At age 19, he at- tended the University of King’s College and later became a graduate of its broadcast journalism program. It was during his last three years there that Martin devoted his extra time to working in radio broadcasting between several different stations across New- foundland and Nova Scotia. Come the summer mo- nths, Martin found himself working longer, more full time hours at the stations. He quickly discovered that work- ing in radio meant doing a substantial amount of sound mixing and that’s where he believes his love of the audio industry came to be. “Over time, I became a radio host in Halifax on a New- cap station out there called Radio 96.5. It’s now called Mix 96.5. I was the weekends and evenings host there. I liked having musicians in on my shows, so I would have acts like July Talk, Sam Roberts Band, Phil Phillips, and pretty much the classic Halifax breed as well, such as Joel Plaskett, Matt Mays – that kind of stuff,” Martin recalls fondly, though he was still working in other departments. “As soon as you tell somebody you know how to work an audio board, you find yourself doing it a lot more often,” he says with a laugh. It was after moving to Toronto that Mar- tin managed to land a job working with CBC, where he’s been for the past several years. “I focus on special projects that we do, and then I’m also a music columnist for CBC Radio 1 as well. Projects like Searchlight I’ve worked on for the past three years, the Canadian Music Class Challenge, which is a partnership with MusiCounts, the charitable arm of the JUNO Awards, and then I got the chance to work on The Tragically Hip broad- cast – not only the concert in Kingston, but kind of documenting their journey across Canada for CBC Radio 2 and CBC Music,” he shares. The 2017 edition of Searchlight kept him very busy for the first few months of the year, so the broadcast finale in early April was a proud moment. The enjoyment he derives from taking part in projects like Searchlight comes from his passion of not only getting to work closely with and discovering Canadian musicians, but being able to help other people discover them, too. “There are times when I find myself working alone and kind of buried in my own projects, but then you get those moments where you feel like you’re in it together in some way with the musicians you’re covering and that you love so much, and that’s by far my favourite part about the job. And you can’t beat sharing new music every day of the year.” He also counts the night of The Tragically Hip live broadcast as one of his personal and professional highlights thus far, though it certainly kept him on his toes. With relay of the broadcast spanning over CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3, Facebook Live and YouTube, and reaching places across the globe, even as far as Japan, Martin had his work cut out for him. “There was one guy who sent us a picture of his set-up in his backyard in Ga- borone, Botswana. I mean, we heard from countries I knew very little about,” Martin shares. “The magnitude of that event was just beyond belief and even just thinking about it now it’s hard to believe... Any jour- nalist or producer would dream to have that many stories flowing at them constantly.” Outside of work, Martin is a diehard baseball and hockey fan, but when the weekend hits, he and his partner take to the outdoors, off searching for every little stream and lake they are able to uncover. Sometimes, that means heading as far west as Victoria, and others, it means returning to Newfoundland, where there’s respite in the overall pace of life being a little more relaxed. Megan Beam is a freelance writer and former editorial assistant with Professional Sound. 20 PROFESSIONAL SOUND