Marti is releasing music through OnlyFans to lift up sex workers
Watch the video for her new single “Lust” here.
Photography Dani B
The idea of actually prospering in the past few months is an alien concept to most. But the pandemic’s limitations have allowed certain groups to thrive. Even if their successes are often overshadowed by the uber rich co-opting their platform (yep, Bella Thorne, we see you), sex workers have found a safe space to earn money on their own terms. But the outside world is still a treacherous landscape for them, and the rise of digital censorship on platforms like Instagram is making the opportunities to promote their work far more scarce. Marti, a miraculous new voice in R&B, is using her talents to lift them up.
Her new single “Lust” is a seductive, enrapturing slow burn of a song about fantasy fulfilment and secret-sharing; sonically designed to make you want to strip naked. It’s a purposeful intent: the song’s video is being released through OnlyFans, starring a number of sex workers. The proceeds from subscriptions will be equally divided between HIPS, an organisation based in Marti’s home state of Washington DC that assists those dealing with drug addiction and sex work, and DECRIMNOW, an organisation working to decriminalise sex work in America.
To watch the video for “Lust”, you can sign up to her OnlyFans here, or view the censored version of the video below. We spoke to Marti about her decision to release “Lust” via the content subscription service, the idea of being a “sceneless” creator, and how the industry should shift to support new artists.
You’ve made your own OnlyFans to coincide with the release of this new track, and the money raised from sign ups is going to sex workers. Can you explain why you decided to release music in this way?
I was raised to stand up and speak up for things you believe in and feel passionately about, and supporting sex workers of all forms and decriminalising it is one of the things I 1000% believe in. I want to continually find ways to merge my art and my activism efforts; this felt like the right way to do this.
Your handle on IG is @misfit.marti. When you look around you, in the music industry or in your own space, how regularly do you encounter others like you?
I think in my personal life, I surround myself with like-minded individuals who have similar beliefs and such. I think Black women are some of the most eclectic people in the world, especially in the music industry. I am the only me, so finding someone else exactly like me will never happen, but I find the universe really only holds space for other passionate, authentic and multi-faceted people... we’re here, you just gotta look for us.
Do you feel like you’re part of a “scene” in any way?
I’m not sure anymore. I used to be when I was working in the bounce beat GoGo era and then again when I first moved to NYC back in the earlier part of the last decade; things were still very fresh and new then. These days, I’m home in DC and I’m a part of our art/music scene for sure, but that space has many pockets I buzz around in... I guess what I'm trying to say is, I’m just kind of a floater and always will be.
How do you define your practice?
My art is based upon my experiences, so I use this medium honestly as a therapeutic space for my spirit. I really love the rawness of blues and jazz, and so I work with that energy in mind to keep things as authentic as possible. I want to create sounds that appeal to all the senses and leave people really feeling their emotions. We don't do that enough.
**If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?**The way modern day streaming is set up. Artists are struggling and have to release more and more content to be able to even survive as artists; It’s burning them out. The music doesn’t have the same energy when it’s rushed, and artists deserve to be paid fairly for their art.