William Lee Martin Tour

The Love for Music

I have always had a deep passion for music, even though I don’t showcase my singing abilities in my performances. Singing and songwriting have been a part of my life since I was a child. I can still remember belting out tunes while holding a hairbrush as a microphone at the age of five. This love for music was passed down to me by my late mother, who was also a great musical enthusiast.

During my early years, I began playing the drums in the sixth grade. I quickly excelled in my craft, becoming the drum captain at Boswell in Saginaw throughout my high school years. Music became even more integral to my life when I received a music scholarship and enrolled at UTA.

The Journey of Songwriting

For a long time, I dabbled in songwriting without fully committing to it. I would jot down ideas and lyrics, fueled by my passion, but I struggled with follow-through.

Then, 25 years ago, my mother passed away, and the very next day, I wrote a song in her memory. I took the opportunity to have the song recorded, collaborating with Vinny Falcone, Frank Sinatra’s orchestra leader, and the legendary Clint Holmes in Las Vegas. However, the demo didn’t turn out as planned, and due to my naivety about the industry, I allowed the song to remain dormant for many years.

However, my dream of pursuing music never wavered. Opening for renowned country artists like George Strait, George Jones, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, and Loretta Lynn served as constant motivation. Watching these legends perform only fueled my desire to improve as a songwriter.

Persisting Against All Odds

Every time I returned from touring, I would attempt to collaborate with fellow Texas country artists, hoping to create music together. Unfortunately, most of them advised me to stick to comedy and let them handle the songwriting. Despite their discouragement, I refused to listen.

I continued writing songs, determined to prove myself. It was during a time when NFL players were taking a knee in protest that I reached out to my friend Chris Rivers. I expressed my desire to write a song about why I choose to stand. Unbeknownst to me, our collaboration resulted in the creation of “I’ll Stand for You,” which has now amassed over 10 million views on Facebook.

Undeterred by the rejection from the Red-Dirt community, I persisted in my writing journey. It was during my time working as a fly-on entertainer on cruise ships that I met Will Southern, an incredible musician from Nashville (now residing in Austin). We began writing together extensively, utilizing every opportunity we had while I was on board.

One of my favorite co-written songs with Will is “400 Horses.” This heartfelt composition encapsulates the desire to escape a small town and chase dreams elsewhere. You can catch this song playing during the closing credits of my first TV comedy special on CMT.

The Pandemic Reflection

The pandemic brought about a significant shift in my commitment to songwriting. Viewing the lockdown as a wake-up call, I recognized the need to take my songwriting seriously. Luckily, I had the privilege of collaborating with immensely talented songwriters like David Banning, Kyle Level, Bradley Banning, JD Monson, Tyler Elliot, and Joelle Kittrell.

During this time, I produced some of my finest work. Songs like “You Make Me Want to Drink” truly showcase my growth as a songwriter. The opening line, “Three days from the weekend, I’m already thinking, this week’s been three days too long,” remains a personal favorite of mine.

Despite the prevailing notion that artists no longer cut songs from other writers, I remain undeterred. I continue to write, refusing to listen to those who doubt the potential impact of my compositions.

Honoring My Mother’s Legacy

As a registered writer with BMI and the owner of Donia Publishing, my mother’s name lives on through my passion for songwriting. She sparked this creativity within me and left me with an incredible gift.

By the way, that song I wrote 25 years ago? I finally found the perfect melody and hook for it. “Being Her Man” has become my favorite song that I have ever written, and it holds a special place at the top of my list.

The Demos and Opportunities

Most of my songs are expertly demoed by Nashville’s Troy Johnson, while Kyle Level also lends his talent to several compositions. Additionally, Mariah Reymundo beautifully demoed the emotional ballad, “On the Day You Died.”

Join the Journey

If you are an artist interested in cutting any of my songs, feel free to reach out to me through [email protected]. And if you are a fellow songwriter, remember the most important thing: Just write.

  • William Lee

Ambassadeur Hotel