LeChe MArtin
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LeChe MArtin


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"Milwaukee singer goes wherever her voice takes her"


On a recent Monday at LaGuardia Airport in New York, LeChe Martin was on her cell phone trying to compete with the muffled overhead announcements and the chatting passengers in line for a rental car.

"I started singing in the church," Martin said in a phone interview, chatting between questions from a clerk at the counter. "Music has always been a part of my life."

A hairdresser by day at Perfection by Jimmie, the 24-year-old has dreams of making it big, and she's hustling to make it happen. Her single "Let's Not Talk About It" is getting airplay, she plans to drop her debut album in January, and she's jet-setting from state to state to perform.

There is a softness about Martin. She's quick to smile and walks like she is on air, even in her stilettos. And the slender, bright-eyed Milwaukeean with flowing locks has nothing but love for her home city.

Born in Indiana and raised in Milwaukee, Martin surrounded herself with music. She played the violin until seventh grade, briefly studied the piano and worked with a vocal coach while she attended the Milwaukee High School of the Arts.

After graduating from high school in 1999, Martin was off to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She returned to Mil Town in 2001 and later switched to cosmetology school.

Her mother said she knew early on that her daughter would be involved in music. "When she'd be home, from the time she was up until the time she went to bed, she was always singing," recalled Margaret Martin. "I hope that she reaches her goals, and I hope she stays grounded and remembers where she came from."

Over the years, LChe Martin continued to keep one foot in the music world, performing at community events, award dinners and even trying out for Fox's "American Idol" the same year Ruben Studdard won.

"Since I was a teen I was performing. Whoever had a banquet, I was there," Martin said, now in her rental car and weaving through New York City traffic. "Sometimes you think that, 'I've done all of this before,' but you never know when your time is going to come."

So when Martin heard there was one day left of auditions for MTV's "Making the Band 3," a reality series that follows hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs in his search for his next all-girl pop group, she headed to New York in September 2004. Even though she waited in line all night she was cut during the auditions. But that wasn't the end for Martin and MTV.

Back in Milwaukee for about a week, she got word Diddy needed more talent and there would be one last-minute audition in Chicago. Having to once again rearrange her work schedule, she went to the Windy City. This time she made it.

One of 19 finalists, she was sent to New York to live with other contestants in an apartment in SoHo. She was there for a month, making it through round after round, before getting cut after failing a dance routine.

"Initially I wasn't expecting to get on the show. I was pretty much shocked," she said letting out a laugh. "You audition for P. Diddy and you don't expect to get picked by him. I was thinking I was going to go after every cut."

Despite not making it to the end of the show, Martin looks positively on her experience and walked away with lessons learned.

"I was raised around strong, independent women, and I was always taught to work hard and that things don't come easy in life," she explained. "You just have to be focused on your goals. There is always something that you can learn."

- Le'Che Featured in MKE October 6, 2005

"Milwaukee's Martin making the grade on MTV reality show"

Hoping to be the next child of destiny (or Destiny's Child), Milwaukee diva Le'Che Martin is belting out the notes like never before on MTV's Making the Band: Season 3.

With Sean "Puffy" Combs hosting the show, the search is on for the next ultimate girl group, and Martin is right in the thick of the competition.

Singing is nothing new to the 24-year-old.

"I've been singing since I was a kid," Martin says. "I was in a local gospel group and have performed all over for city events." Martin has been fortunate enough to share the stage with recognized musical talents such as Syleena Johnson and Shania Twain.

Musically talented and motivated, Martin -- who also studied violin and piano as a youth -- saw opportunity when she heard about the Making the Band auditions in New York. She passed all the stages except the last, but that didn't deflate her dreams of becoming a star.

She went on to the Chicago auditions, tried out and made it. She was then taken back to New York and was chosen as one of 19 finalists for the show. All 19 women moved into the same loft.

Once settled in, Martin and the other contestants go through a series of experiences ranging from choreography lessons with Laurie Ann (Beyonce, Usher, Britney Spears) and vocal training with Doc Holiday (Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans) to management styling with Johnny Wright (N'Sync).

"If we lacked in a certain area, they'd single us out," Martin says. "We were split into groups and had to write our own songs."

Many popular singers don't write their own music, but Martin is well versed in the task.

"I'm working on my own CD right now," Martin adds. "I've written some songs that are soulful and current."

As for the show, Martin has been making the grade and making not only the band, but making believers out of Milwaukeeans as well.

Making the Band: Season 3 airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on MTV. Season 3 is still in progress.


- ON Milwaukee

"Le'Che Martin 'Takes Five'"

Growing up in Milwaukee, Le'Che Martin first began singing in her church's choir. Her current vocal venture is a little different. A beautician by trade, Martin, 24, was recently chosen to be part of Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' MTV reality show "Making the Band 3." While her first attempt to be selected in P. Diddy's search for the next female supergroup didn't land her a spot on the show, Martin didn't give up. Instead, she answered a last-minute talent call in Chicago, and later was flown to New York for taping. Barred by contract from discussing the show's end or who gets eliminated and when, Martin spoke with the Journal Sentinel's Steven Potter about the opportunity.

http://www2.jsonline.com/enter/tvradio/apr05/320057.asp - Milwaukee Journal


Still working on that hot first release.



Since making her MTV debut on Making the Band, Season 3, Le’Che Martin has focused all of her energy on perfecting her God given talent. It was no coincidence that Le’Che was selected from hundreds of thousands that auditioned in this nationwide talent search. Le’Che possesses a voice that is undeniable, and her natural talent outshines the competition, said Sean "Puffy" Combs. MTV’s Making the Band, Season 3 gave Le’Che the push that she needed to fulfill her dreams of becoming a star. This opportunity allowed Le’Che to tailor her sound while working alongside world respected music artist developers such as Sean “Puffy” Combs (112, Faith Evans) and Johnny Wright (N’Sync).

Like many of her legendary musical influences, Le’Che was destined to sing. This protostar was born in Michigan City, Indiana and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Le’Che began her vocal journey at the tender age of 4 years old, where she began displaying her musical talents at her church. She solo’s in the youth choir while mastering the violin. Le’Che continued down her musical path paving each step with gold.

At only 24 years old, Le’Che is already an experienced performer and songwriter. In her earlier years, Le’Che joined a local gospel group, and began performing for the Milwaukee’s most noted and documented events. But being in the spotlight is nothing new for this musical prodigy. Le’Che has been fortunate enough to share the stage with recognized musical talents such as, Syleena Johnson, and Shania Twain.

Le’Che refers to several musical influences when she speaks of her own vocal styling. “I have always admired Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Whitney Houston and Marvin Gaye. They gave me inspiration to sing.”

Le’Che also remembers a teacher at her performing arts high school who helped her take shape as a vocalist and perfect her craft. Le’Che’s sound is one that projects generous amounts of sophistication, a melding of the very best that hip-hop, jazz, gospel, R&B, and classical have to offer. Each soulful note she sings is a reflection of all of the valuable instruction she received through out her life. Not only is Le’Che a talented vocalist, her natural beauty radiates through her music and performance.

While anxiously awaiting her chance to break into the music industry, Le’Che continues to perform at award shows and several Midwest musical showcases. Le’Che has created a regional buzz that is reaching a crescendo, and there is no question that she is ready to expand her audience.