Marco Martinez, Belmont ’13, joined the band Roots of a Rebellion (ROAR) in 2011. Each member came to the band with their own musical tastes and influences. They define their style as “heavy reggae-rock-dub music for the soul.”
Marco received his first guitar at the age of five, a children’s guitar, but he really only started to play around the age of eleven. He began taking lessons in his hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee, in sixth grade. His teachers taught him music theory, how to read music, and different styles of music such as jazz, classical, and bluegrass.
Marco auditioned to the school of music (and was accepted) but ended up graduating with a major in music business and a minor in music because he developed tendonitis and could not keep up with the rigorous routine of daily practice for school, as well as playing in ROAR. In 2012, he had orthopedic surgery on his wrist and while he recuperated, took the summer off from the band. He went to New York and interned with Tommy Merrill, owner and the founder of Merrill Artist Group.
The band consists of guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player Martinez; fellow Phi Delt Austin Smith, Belmont ’08, as lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter; bassist Adam Quellhorst; drummer Troy Wiggins; and Austin Smith’s biological brothers Jeremyck on keyboards and Justin on trumpet. The band has gained the majority of their fans from touring. They routinely play over 120 shows a year. Martinez credits his knowledge of touring as a reggae band based in Tennessee from his internship with Merrill as well as with the band Slighty Stoopid’s management company, Silverback Management.
The six-piece band is known for their dynamic live performances showing their progressive sound and energy. They have shared the stage with bands such as The Wailers, Rebelution, 311, Slightly Stoopid, moe., North Mississippi Allstars, SOJA, Nahko and Medicine for the People. They were voted as Best Local Band by Nashville Scene readers in 2015 and debuted at Bonnaroo in 2016 by winning the BMI Road to Bonnaroo competition.
Their third studio album, A Brother’s Instinct, debuted at #4 in Billboard. They released their fourth album, Shapes of a Soul, on May 31, 2019, which debuted at debut at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
For tour dates and news, visit their website http://www.rootsofarebellion.com