Return of Jafar
Natural Born Leaders' first single from their EP "About Time." This video was nominated for Best Director for Music Video Asheville's annual awards ceremony. Return of Jafar was written as a reminder that YOU are not powerless. The video was directed by singer Michael Martinez and saxophonist Ben Survant. It was synced and edited in a collaboration with Professor T Audio.
February 23rd 2018 NBL headlined the Orange Peel in Asheville NC . This video was recorded live that evening.
"Abominable Creatures" is an NBL original recorded live for the purposes of the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk contest and was chosen to be featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.
Celebrated by the likes of NPR Music and Live Music Daily for their electrifying arrangements that “float seamlessly between rock, reggae, jazz, hip-hop [and] funk” (LMD), the music of Natural Born Leaders aims to tear down every preconception one may have about genre barriers and begs to be placed in a category all its own.
With NBL's sophomore release Abominable Creatures, Natural Born Leaders live up to their name; each track laced with empowering messages about standing up, standing out, and dreaming big. With lyric-driven anthems, lead singer and songwriter Michael Martinez injects a generous helping of social commentary into each verse, proving that music - and all forms of art - can be both consumed for enjoyment and digested with purpose. With influences ranging from the head-banging nature of Black Sabbath and Metallica, to the old-school hip hop energy of Outkast and Lauryn Hill, Natural Born Leaders weave rich bass lines, sexy brass and electrifying guitar solos into a sound all their own. Paired with the charisma of frontman Martinez, the long-playing debut of Abominable Creatures is ripe with some of the most revolution-stirring antics one can sneak into a six song collection.
Produced by platinum record holder Patrick Doyle (Jennifer Lopez, Earth, Wind & Fire, Cory Rooney), mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica) and recorded between Doyle’s private studio and the acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, NC, Abominable Creatures comes complete with an all-star cast of collaborators. Listen for yourself!
Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
"There were nearly 5,000 entries to this year's Tiny Desk Contest. While NPR Music selected Los Angeles guitarist Naia Izumi as its 2018 winner this year, there were scores of contestants that impressed the judges with their music, their desks and for Asheville, N.C. band Natural Born Leaders, their convenience store."