Signing Story: Presence

Date Signed: Feb. 2, 2022

Label: Nettwerk Music Group

Band Members: Jonathon Martinez

Type of Music: Hip-Hop/Rap

Management: Self-managed

Booking: N/A

Legal: Paul Sommerstein

Publicity: Penny Palmer - Nettwerk Music Group

Web: instagram.com/presence.ig

A&R: Shaan Chhadva

Falling out of love with basketball right before high school led Presence (born Jonathon Martinez) to pursue music, starting a YouTube channel and uploading his first video at just 14 years if age. His response to a viral rap challenge (#TenToesChallenge) got 10,000 views in month one. His follow-up remix of “Greenlights” by NF received      10,000 views in a week. Presence’s verse and chorus additions on XXXTentacion’s “Jocelyn Flores” from the 17 album a few weeks later garnered over a million views in two weeks. “I really started to feel like an artist—I stepped into those shoes,” he shares. “Once there was that expectation, I just stepped into the role.” The labels started knocking.

Moving from remixes to originals, Presence shifted titles to reflect more personal themes, all done in the family car on an iPhone [Presence advises to be consistent and only start as much as you can consistently maintain, while producing value to sustain your audience]. When things began feeling stagnant, he started to consider a label and, having worked with Shaan Chhadva previously on a studio project, Presence learned that Chhadva was now an A&R with Nettwerk. “Jonathon has drive that sets him apart from all the other artists I’ve worked with,” says Chhadva. “He’s the only artist who will send you a completed written and recorded song about an idea you texted an hour ago.”

Covering limited recording and licensing, Presence gets his full masters back on expiry. The advance came with a clear roadmap for recoup, and the signing only covers parts of his catalog. “I had an understanding of my worth, so I did a lot of the negotiating myself,” he says. Presence says Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride made the decision easy, taking time to explain what the label would do to grow his career. Says McBride,         “At such a young age, Jonathon is a rare kind of artist, communicating 

socially difficult issues, offering understanding and support to his community. His conviction is a core human value—one that the Nettwerk team and I will support day in and day out.”

Following “Sad Days” and “Threads,” an EP is coming soon.