We are here with Marty Pawlina. He has agreed to do a short interview with Edm to highlight a new event he has started hosting at 

So, let’s get started. Introduce yourself and a bit about your background.

Hey I’m Marty. I’m sure this would be a great place to say how long I’ve been playing guitar or singing, but I guess the best way to describe my musical background would be “Inspired”. My parents are adventurers, my friends are good people, this world is a beautiful place, and I’ve done my best to live open to all that life and love offers.

What is the main goal you want to achieve with your music career?

Everyone has that one thing they think about around the clock, and for me its always been writing and performing music. My main goal with music was to re-write the tough moments of life into beautiful ones, and to capture great moments in melodies I could share with everyone. I like to think of my set as a picture album full of places we’ve all been to. My dream would be to write the song that changes how people might think about a situation, person, or place. To write a song that introduces new ideas that make us better partners, parents or friends.

Like a song, we can re-write our lives. My dream would be to make the world a better place one lyric at a time.

What inspired you to start you own open mic at The Roast?

My first time visiting Roast was an unforgettable experience. It was obvious the place was the perfect venue for live music and get-togethers with friends. It was filled with good vibes and great staff. It was easy to see the potential for a musician hot spot. I have been playing open mic’s for almost 8 years now, but this is the first open mic I have attempted to host. I was inspired to start an open mic that was more accessible to the writing community and the youth community I am involved with. I met Matt Hall (the owner of Roast) October 2012, and asked him if he would consider opening his doors to the Edmonton singer/songwriter scene. He was thrilled and the Mic has been running ever since. He even donates a percentage of sales on singer/songwriter nights to the Keiran Tate Memorial Fund giving much needed support, mentoring and instruments to youth in Alberta.

How do you feel about the music and arts scene in Edmonton? What kind of musicians have you met here and what is your impression of them?

The scene in Edmonton is a vibrant family known for its incredible talent and support for each other. I have yet to experience a new open mic player or Folk Fest main stager that didn’t passionately talk shop about music here. There are also amazing local mentors that have helped myself and others along the way, most notably Rob Heath, Rhea March, Louis Sedmak and Ruth Blakely. Musicians Rob Heath, Chloe Albert, Chris Wynters, Phil Nugent, Carrie Day, Oj Clarke (Off Whyte Band), Darryl Matthews, Erin Faught (The Collective West), Cadence/Nathan Burns, Brian Mcleod, Jay Willis, Lisa Nicole Grace, Tim Chesterton, Robyne Walters, Erica Viegas, Wool on Wolves, Rob Angus (The Wheat Pool), The Command Sisters, Mars and Venus, Justin Wisser (Short of Able), Beth Portman, Karissa Kochanski, Kira Hladun, Julie Jonas, Mitch Holtby, REND, Scenic Route to Alaska, Tatam Reeves, Jamie Price, Tanner Gordon, Scott Cook, Jeff Morris, Ciara Proznik, Joe Nolan the list goes on and on, have all been local inspirations to me. I’ve seen them progress and grow in their art. The kind of musicians we have here are the kind that make the shut-ins from Alberta winters come alive. I feel truly fortunate to live here.

What would you want to improve about the arts scene in the city?

If I could change one thing to improve arts in this city, It would be local radio stations making an effort not just to play Canadian content on radio, but local Edmontonians as well. How cool would it be to have a live open mic night on radio.

It would be a great idea to have a local radio, and it might not be a far-fetched idea. There are some people who are interested in the same idea, so don’t be surprised if they pop up. Well, Marty, thank you for your time.

You can catch the Open Mic at The Roast during the first Friday of every month, or if you want more info you can contact Marty Pawlina.

by Jacky Tang EDM