Martín Canales: “They closed doors in my face, they laughed at me and I went hungry, but I will continue fighting for my dreams”

Martín Canales is only 16 years old, but he already moves in two environments. On the one hand, the young man enjoys basketball at Boston College as a conductor, and on the other hand, he takes his first steps in music. In this context, the Curacaví native – who has also played for Universidad Católica, Sportivo Italiano, the Maipú National Team and Puente Alto – chats with AS and reveals his story. One who knows about multiple obstacles, but also about dreams.

– What are your goals in basketball?

– Today, a little more mature, I think that the first objective is to give my best, to try my best, and to improve my basketball and my physique. That’s why I still go to the gym and climb hills.

– And the mental work?

– Also. That training is essential. I would even dare to say that it is the most important thing to give my work a plus, since I have the mentality of doing things with quality. If you don’t commit, you better not do it. If you do things right, with love, dedication, effort and discipline, the good will come by itself. I don’t stress about what’s to come, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a man with vision. I focus on being happy and leaving my heart in the team that is. My manager, who is my father, takes care of the rest.

– In Chile, unfortunately, you can’t make a living from basketball…

– The salaries that are offered are unfair compared to other sports, but hopefully they can improve so that basketball players can professionalize themselves in a better way and so that they have a more dignified and comfortable life.

Martín Canales on his way through Puente Alto.


Martín Canales on his way through Puente Alto.

‘Martín La Esencia’, its other face

In his musical facet, Canales calls himself ‘Martín La Esencia’ and only two months ago he premiered with ‘Esta noche’, a mambo that on YouTube, for example, has more than 3,300 visits. In any case, the road does not end there, since the release of his second song has been agreed for September 16: ‘Vamos pa’ la fiesta’.

– Why did you decide to start making music?

– Since I was little I had a particular attraction towards music. I used to sing enthusiastically in the shower (laughs) and my parents have always told me not to keep wanting something, since the worst mistake is not trying. Very recently I dared to make music, which is not easy at all. First, because I write my own songs and make the melody for them, and second, because we are a humble family that works every day to have a plate of food on the table. It costs us more to raise funds for the quality production of our works.

– Where do your parents work?

– My dad works as a supervisor. He handles everything that is security in construction sites, and my mom takes care of the house, she takes care of my three-year-old niece and on weekends she sells second-hand clothes at the fair.

“They close doors in your face, they laugh at you, you go hungry, cold and precarious, but none of that matters when you love something…”.

Martin Channels

– How do you finance your musical projects?

– My first song and video clip were paid for with my savings of about a year and a half. And the second theme and the video I paid for by selling a raffle. It is certainly difficult. They close doors in your face, they laugh at you, you go hungry, cold and precarious, but none of that matters when you love something and you have the right people who support you and are by your side. I love music and I will always dare for my dreams.

– I saw that he leaned towards an urban rhythm. That scene has had a great growth in Chile, but there are many people who look at it with suspicion. What do you think?

– Of course. The urban genre is gaining a lot of strength in Chile and abroad, but my facet is not just this genre. Later, and as time goes by, they will realize that… And although there are people who look suspiciously at some aspects of the genre, I cannot criticize or comment on that, since we are all free to express our thoughts. I only feel entitled to say that I do not agree with violence and what it entails. I only focus on my work and I don’t like to criticize others. I know what is right and what is wrong, and everyone should know. I can only encourage and congratulate the people who are fighting for their dreams.

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