Martin Fredriksson Takes His Place Among LA’s Elite Musicians
It’s a timeless and borderless dream among musicians; you go where your heroes live and work, get noticed, and then start working with them. For bassist Martin Fredriksson, the dream has literally become reality. Growing up in Sweden, he was a long way from the artists found in his parent’s record collection, or those of his own as he grew but he fashioned his talent and determination into a career while still very young. Compelled by a desire to understand how far he could take this, Martin relocated to Los Angeles. It didn’t take much time at all for his unique approach and discipline to garner the attention of other musicians around town. 2018 allows Fredriksson to look back on the past two years of playing with some of the most famous and respected musicians in the world. This bassist has proven to himself, his friends and family back home, and the LA music community that there’s no question he deserves to stand alongside the best…because he is already doing so.
LA is one of those special places where the unknown artist you are working with today might call you for a promising project they are working on tomorrow; which is exactly what happened with Martin and musician/producer Amaire Johnson. The two had met at the acclaimed Musicians Institute in Hollywood as students. Amaire went on to work with Big Sean, earning an Emmy Award for the song “One man can change the world.” When he began working with Jhené Aiko on what was to become her Trip album, he reached out to Fredriksson to supply Bass. Also appearing on the album alongside Martin are seven time Grammy award winner John Mayer, Big Sean, Brandy, Chris Brown, David Meyers (drummer of Grammy Winner Frank Ocean and 6LACK), and others. Trip, released on Def Jam, debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, eventually ranking 126th most popular album of the year (Billboard). Often described as an atmospheric and “vibey” release, Trip also gave Martin the opportunity to contribute percussion along with his signature melodic bass style.
Live performances and connections are an essential part of being a professional musician in any city but Los Angeles affords the incredible opportunity to play with artists known the world over. This doesn’t always mean that the experience is opportunistic, as displayed in Martin’s performance during Steve Vai’s Big Mamajama Jamathon. The event was held in October of 2018 and organized to benefit child foster programs. A who’s who of exceptional musical talent graced the stage that day in support of foster families, including: Steve Vai, Kenny Aronoff, Dweezil Zappa, Al Di Meola, Dave Navarro, Moby, Steve Morse, Lee Ritenour, Dean Brown, Stig Mathisen, and numerous others including Martin. Fredriksson relates, “The event was a worldwide streamed event. The main artists, often guitar players brought their songs for the event. It was a great experience just to meet some of these artists. To be honest, I was excited and a bit nervous to play with legendary American jazz fusion guitarist and session musician Dean Brown. It worked out quite well, even giving me the opportunity to solo during the performance. The positive feedback I got coming from players of that renown felt particularly satisfying. Of course, we were all aware of the good cause which the event was created for and this took some of the edge off.”
Everyone has a dream. Maybe it’s becoming a famous footballer or a simple as wealth or physical beauty; for this bassist from Sweden, it has always been playing with the best. What Martin Fredriksson has proven is that great music and a dream is limitless. Music is the language that needs no interpreter and can mean a myriad of things to different listeners. Listening to his contributions either live or on a recording, one only hears the emotion he places in his instrument and the music. Martin’s musical voice is sure to be heard increasingly in the coming years.