Student Spotlight: Adalia Martin

The fifth-semester professional music major and vocalist talks about how studying harmony and production has boosted her confidence as a songwriter and artist.

August 21, 2023

What’s it like to study at Berklee? Our Student Spotlight series asks current students all about their Berklee experience—what they’re learning in class, what kinds of projects they’re involved in onstage or behind the scenes, how they recharge, and of course, what they’re listening to. This week, meet Adalia Martin, a fifth-semester voice principal and professional music major from Boston.

Tell us about your path to Berklee. What made you decide to come here?

I went to an arts high school, and as my senior year unfolded amidst a pandemic, the prospect of college was quickly approaching, and I was encouraged to consider my options. Through my own exploration, and with the help of teachers and guidance counselors, I discovered the remarkable resources and facilities that Berklee had to offer, as well as the faculty that I’d be studying under. The thought of learning in such an environment was exciting. Fast forward to today, I’m approaching my junior year and I can say that Berklee has been an agent of transformation in my life. The opportunities that have come my way have propelled my growth as an artist and advanced my professional development. A particular highlight would be my role as an ambassador at the Career Center—I love my job. Yet, my individual achievements pale in comparison to the friendships that I’ve made and cherish. The privilege of collaborating and learning alongside very talented individuals is the best part.

What's been your favorite class so far, and what has it taught you?

Harmony 2 with Ayeisha Mathis. Professor Mathis is a great teacher. As hard as it can be, Harmony is definitely my favorite class here at Berklee. Harmony 2 is usually when you start to delve deeper into harmonic analysis. Analyzing different chord progressions and applying them, in projects and assignments, really helped me in terms of starting to compose my own music.

What's a project you've worked on since coming to Berklee that you've been especially excited about?

My EP. I’ve been getting into the habit of practicing writing songs and writing down my thoughts for some time, but it wasn’t until I arrived at Berklee that I started using writing and producing music as an avenue to process my thoughts. I’ve been developing and loving my sound as of late, and I’m excited to share.

How do you typically recharge or find new ideas outside of class?

I go to jam sessions/sheds. Being in an imperfect and yet beautiful environment where creatives are sharing their ideas and just vibing kind of feeds the soul. It’s a great space for inspiration.

What careers are you interested in pursuing in the future?

I aspire to be a pop/R&B star. I want to be a touring artist. I love writing and producing music, and it’s definitely something that I will continue to do throughout my whole career. I'm also a performer, so for me, being on stage and singing, there’s no other feeling like it; I’m in my element—I’m in love. I want to create and be the face of my art; I want to do it all.

When you think towards your own future, who inspires you most?

When I think toward my future Beyoncé inspires me. Her work ethic is unparalleled. She inspires me to share my gift and my light with others in an authentic way, and move with intention. Don’t talk; just do it.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to your high school self?

Just be yourself—you’re weird, but that’s okay.

Adalia's Current Favorite Songs

We asked Adalia what her top songs of the moment are. Here's what she said:

1. "It’s Not Right but It’s Okay," Whitney Houston

This song just gives sassy and powerful and the production elements are very native to the time (1998).

2. "ATM," J. Cole

This a great song for the gym. Helps me focus.

3. "Know that You Are Loved," Cleo Sol

This song is nothing short of a beautiful masterpiece. It’s very simple, and when I’m feeling sad or overwhelmed, this song is helpful.

4. "Bette Davis Eyes," Kim Carnes

This is a put-on-headphones, dance-in-your-room, and daydream type of song, and I’m a heavy daydreamer.

5. "On My Mama," Victoria Monet

If I’m about to go out with my friends, to a gig, or to a jam session, this song is definitely in the rotation while I’m getting ready and doing my makeup. It helps me feel beautiful.