Carly and Martina Will Make You Happy

      Once again, I find myself not that surprised but very pleased at the talent that Brian Newman introduces to a wider audience. And once again, I experienced these two talents for the first time at the Django, the cellar level venue of the Roxy Hotel, which is a venue that I swear by and consider my new home base for live music. On June 17th, Brian invited two acts to share the stage with him; the legendary Jose Feliciano, and the up and coming Carly and Martina.

      Carly and Martina are 14-year-old twin sisters from Chicago, definitely not the expected patrons of an underground jazz club at 11pm. They have such enthusiastic smiles and excited energy that they are impossible to miss, with smooth yet piercing voices that complement each other perfectly. They write their own music, and they describe it as “Pop, but it’s cool pop. It’s not mindless, it’s not brainless. We try to have different influences coming in, and we want it to be genuine to what we’re feeling.” They are influenced by the usuals like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Sarah Barreilles, but also draw inspiration from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Carpenters, etc. They also mentioned their love for Carole King, who, coincidentally, Jose Feliciano sang about when he covered Neil Sedaka’s Oh! Carol that night at the Django.

      When I asked what Carly and Martina do besides music, they replied “Well, music is kind of what we do now, it’s pretty much taken up everything… we do hang out with friends, we have lives! But not really.” They laughed and then told me about their love for Krav Maga, Martina’s talent in drawing, and Carly’s “taste-testing job” (which is her fancy way of saying she just really loves “eating lots and lots of food”). They write most of their music themselves, and it impressively only takes them 15 minutes to an hour to write each song. Their song-writing is usually a collaborative process, and their celerity is probably due to their extensive understanding of music that comes from knowing how to play any instrument, let alone four. Both girls are trained in classical and jazz piano, and also play guitar, bass, and drums.

      Although they live in Chicago, Carly and Martina have definitely made their way into some very prominent New York venues. They have performed several times at Birdland, for Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, several times at The Bitter End, and at 54 Below for the Broadway Against Bullying event. In fact, Carly and Martina are very big on spreading the message of anti-bullying. When it comes to what they try to convey through their music, they said, “Sometimes we want to make people feel good, and sometimes we want to send a message like with our No Bullying song, Make Me Happy. Our songs mostly send the message of being yourself and doing what makes you happy, and just being nice.” The twins were even featured in an Anti-Bullying campaign at a middle school in Wisconsin, presenting a video in which they offer advice and support to anyone dealing with a bully in their lives.

      If you want to check them out online (which I highly encourage you to do!), they are on every social media site there is! The online response to Carly and Martina has been overwhelmingly positive, which gives me hope that if you spread good messages and project a good attitude, your talent will be supported by many adoring fans. Their website is, and they can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Periscope by searching “Carly and Martina.” They are super friendly and encourage people to reach out to them; they reply to every tweet and often livestream themselves on Periscope to make their fans feel included and appreciated. Follow them to keep up with their adventures and definitely check out their music for an uplifting addition to your playlists!

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