by Sydney Goldberg
Visual Effects/Digital Design Artist Brett Novak collaborated with Kilian Martin to create what many call a skate masterpiece.
If you are unaware of Novak’s previous work, does Lil Wayne‘s “Lollipop” music video ring a bell? Lakai‘s “Fully Flared”?
Martin is Spain’s answer to Freestyle skateboarding.
Treated as some sort of spectacle like Death Skateboards Professional Skateboarder Richie Jackson, Martin is underrated as a legitimate skateboarder.
My introduction to Martin was not through any skateboarding venue but rather CollegeHumor.com. College Humor featured Novak’s “A Skate Escalation” Short Skate Film, that everyone has seen at least once…
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month.
Complete with soaring pigeons, silhouettes galore, eclectic murals, and a hypnotic soundtrack, this video seems more like installation art than skate footage.
Innovative to say the least, Martin is bringing back some old school style with some new school flair.
Lucky me, I caught up with Martin when he was in Spain putting on a few demos and visiting his family. We were going to hold a Skype interview but I think Skype is REALLY CREEPY.
So, I settled for an email interview because I do not have international calling.
But the more I think about it, paying 49¢ per minute would have been well worth it.
Without further ado, I present the first English Kilian Martin interview I have ever seen!
1. What is your full name, date of birth, hometown, current city, and skateboard sponsors?
Kilian Martin Navarro, 7/28/1987, My Hometown is Madrid (Spain), and my current city is Alcorcon, situated in the south of Madrid. My sponsors are: Sk8kings, Vision Street Wear, Oust Bearings, and Tracker Trucks.
2. How does your Spanish heritage influence your skateboarding?
Spain has a great skateboarding culture right now, and it has one of the best skateboarding cities in the world, Barcelona. Skateboarding in Spain needs more economic support but other than that it’s a great place to skate and visit.
3. Why did you choose cinematographer Brett Novak to shoot your videos?
I met Brett Novak in a skate contest, and I found out how great a guy he was. I took a look at his awesome work in videos, and I was attracted to the idea of making a video with him. It worked out perfectly, and now we have plans to keep working together. Hopefully, we’ll get started in September.
4. What are your feelings on being compared to Rodney Mullen?
I really respect all that he has done. In some ways, he changed skateboarding by inventing so many awesome tricks. He is a pioneer and skateboarding legend all the way. I am over being compared with Rodney Mullen. I know many people do it, and I don’t think I will ever be able to change that. It is because Rodney has been the only person mixing Freestyle and Street in an artistic new way. So, sometimes when people see me mixing these two skateboarding styles I get compared…Anyways, I try to do my own tricks and give it my own style.
Michael Jackson was influenced by James Brown, and finally he created his own unique style. Other skaters influenced even Rodney, in the early days of his skating. So, if Rodney Mullen influences me in the fact of mixing Freestyle and Street, it shouldn’t be something bad.
5. Why did you choose to learn Freestyle skateboarding?
I always found Freestyle very interesting because not many people do it. Also, It is a more artistic way of skateboarding and allows you to be creative all of the time. I used to attend gymnastics school in Madrid. Freestyle is a kind of skateboarding influenced by gymnastics, dance, and a bit of ice-skating…But I’ve always been trying to mix it with street skating. I think that Freestyle skateboarding is a really unique thing, even though it has some influences from other sports.
6. What is your response to people who say that Freestyle is outdated?
I don’t really care. I skate what I like to skate. I skate because skating makes me happy, so if Freestyle Skateboarding keeps making me happy, I will keep doing it. Also, other people always appreciate watching something different. As Tony Hawk said just a bit ago, “Freestyle could be the future (Street).”
7. What aspects of gymnastics do you put into your skating and why?
The time I spent in gymnastics helped me to be a perfectionist. The idea of improvement is always on my mind, and I keep pushing hard to get better. I don’t push hard, skating a huge amount of hours. I think about skateboarding more than I skate, and I guess that it is where my improvement potential comes from. That is probably more a gymnast thing but it helps me a lot.
8. What skateboard team would you most want to be a member of?
I don’t have any preferences. I am on Sk8kings, and even knowing that it is not a huge company, I feel really comfortable with them. They have become great friends. I try not to get crazy about big sponsorships. Only time will tell.
9. What is your next move in the skateboarding world?
I just want to keep creating. I want to keep improving and keep having fun skating. I can’t wait to start a new video part. I have many events planned. I just did a huge demo in “Movistar Barcelona Extreme 2010,” the best skate contest in Europe. It was amazing!
10. Do you want to make a living skating or do you skateboard solely for your own enjoyment?
Of course, I would like to make a living doing what I like but as I just said I don’t want to get crazy about it. I am focused on my improvement and enjoyment. I really like to do demos and not just because of the economic prize. Showing that Freestyle is back is fun.
11. Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my sponsors Sk8kings, Vision Street and Tracker.
Anyone that appreciates skateboarding as an art expression.