Guitar Student Martina Blazeska Earns Endorsements and 1.2 Million YouTube Hits
Only two years after she first picked up the guitar, 16-year-old Martina Blazeska posted a two-minute YouTube video of herself sitting in front of a Technicolor-blue lake and plucking out the Dream Theater song “Another Day.” She was a total unknown, and this was her first video—a combination that would typically relegate it to the recesses of YouTube’s vast library.
But Blazeska’s video was so fresh, so simple, that it did the opposite: it hit online paydirt and within a year racked up 300,000 views. Soon, she was appearing on national television shows in her native Macedonia. And when she got accepted to Berklee a couple of years later, it was reported on the national news.
“My mom told me the other day that every time someone mentions my name they add Berklee to it,” Blazeska, a singer-songwriter who is now a fifth-semester guitar performance major at Berklee, says. It’s not unusual for her to get recognized when she’s out and about anywhere in Macedonia.
Her YouTube channel featuring “Another Day” now has more than 1.2 million views. She has since released more successful videos, the last of which, “Eternity,” earned a Top 10 slot on MTV’s Balkan outlet, MTV Srbija.
Watch the official video for "Eternity":
Berklee alumnus and fellow Macedonian Duke Bojadziev ‘01 wrote the piece with input from Blazeska. It’s about how they connect the two sides of themselves—the one rooted in Macedonia and the other living in the U.S.—through music.
Blazeska performed "Eternity" for an audience of 2,000 in her hometown at the Ohrid Ancient Theater in August 2015, when she opened for Bojadziev, who now works as a musician in New York City.
Back in the U.S., Blazeska keeps busy not only as a student but also as an endorsed artist for Elixir Strings and for Ibanez Guitars. She came to the guitar company’s attention by way of another endorsed artist who happened to catch one of her videos on Facebook.
Blazeska is the official artist for one of Ibanez’s new acoustic guitars and regularly records promotional videos for the company. One of the videos, in which she’s testing a guitar, was recorded in her Berklee dorm room and has garnered 100,000 views on Facebook.
Blazeska is planning to release her first EP in early 2017 and has a December 7, 2016 show at Berklee’s David Friend Recital Hall that will feature tunes from it.