Alv3ster talks ties with the Jacksons and dropping debut album “Love Me or Leave Me” Oct. 18

Waking up hearing himself mentioned on E! News the morning of September 25 was special to Alvester Martin III.

Alv3ster was coming off a weekend where he experienced the best gig of his career. And it was at the family estate where his idol Michael Jackson grew up. Alv3ster was a wedding singer for Siggy Jackson’s, son of Jackie Jackson, wedding. “There’s so much magic in that house,” Alv3ster stated and rehearsing their prior to his performance he drew a compliment from Katherine Jackson that had him speechless.

“You have such a beautiful voice,” Katherine told Alv3ster.

For Alv3ster, the Jackson family has been serendipitous in his career. With the singer’s debut album-mixtape “Love Me or Leave Me” set to release Wednesday, October 18, his recent gig is just confirmation his singing career is on the right track. After all, in 2012 he did tour as the lead vocalist in “Man in the Mirror,” a tribute production for Michael.

He also wrapped up his dancing career as a featured dancing partner alongside Beyoncé performing a tribute to Michael during the 2014 Video Music Awards and that same week he was booked as the male lead in Michael’s posthumous music video “A Place with No Name.” But even before then, Michael had inspired Alv3ster since the age of two and he has photographic evidence to prove it.

Childhood Aspirations in Arts

In the kitchen being a “badass kid” he was emulating moves from Michael’s “Billie Jean” music video. Mimicking Michael’s dance moves with a towel he wound up getting his shoe caught in a kitchen tile while making a turn. He ended up breaking his leg and in an early childhood photo he’s spotted with a cast on his leg.

Growing up in the Carol City neighborhood in Miami he was raised by his grandparents who had tunes of late 80’s and early 90’s music playing throughout the house. Growing up in not the prettiest spot in town his household more than made up for it, he said. Named after his grandfather Alvester Martin I, he’s taken on the saying and value he learned from him.

“If you gon’ do it, you got to be the best damn one,” Alv3ster cited his grandfather’s saying.

With the standards that being “good” was only “okay” in the household, that mentality paid dividends in the long run. Taking ballet lessons at age five it wasn’t until he was 14 when he reached his breaking point. Enrolled in New World School of the Arts his high school and modern dance instructor said Alv3ster wouldn’t make it as a ballet dancer.

“The worse you could tell me is that I can’t do something,” he said. “You don’t know what you just did.”

Neysayers don’t discourage Alv3ster, quite the opposite, it fuels him to prove them wrong and since that day Pandora’s box was open Alv3ster went full fledge with ballet.

Becoming a professional ballerina at age 16 he was living up to his households standards as his talents earned him a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet Company. After graduating Alv3ster was booked for roles with several major ballet companies around the world.

Lessons Learned from the Arts

One thing Alv3ster has realized through his life is that being involved in the arts helped build his character. While his peers were partying, he was practicing and perfecting his craft. Even while graduating in the top 10 percentile in his class, he realized that college isn’t the only option for people to grow because from his experiences arts gave him discipline.

“It gave me a tenacity and a yearning,” he said. An “Imma keep going until I make it happen” attitude. 

That was something he picked up as early as age 11. Wanting to perform in the church choir he wanted to leap frog the children’s choir. After asking the pastor, he sung for him to prove he was ready to sing with the big boys and his pastor was impressed.

“You just got to work hard for what you want. The worse they can do is say ‘no’ and that’s only one ‘no,'” Alv3ster said. 

Those principles strongly apply to the entertainment industry as “it’s a daily chair of approval,” Alv3ster said. Having already instilled in himself work ethic it was just a matter of capitalizing on opportunities and continuing to grow.

Making a name dancing commercially

Dancing commercially wasn’t part of Alv3ster’s plan but when an opportunity came he made the most of it which landed him gigs dancing behind Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez.

So how did it happen?

When he followed his then girlfriend who moved to Los Angeles he was looking to make some side cash to afford studio time to further his singing career. Through an acquaintance of his girlfriend he learned that by dancing he could make a few dollars. With the word of his connection, an agent signed him right on the spot because of his friend’s word and his look.

When auditioning for a spot to dance behind Beyoncé he was going against 1,000 other boys, he recalls. There was also another challenge, he was inexperienced when it came to hip-hop dancing. Still, he went through his normal routine of talking to God as he does before every audition and performance. Before the audition he thought one thing to himself.

“I can’t fuck this up,” he said.

During the audition he did what he knew best, be himself.

“I just did me and me was enough,” he said.

For him, Beyoncé and Debbie Allen were two people he looked up to when he was in the entertainment industry.

“Those two women are so profound because they love what they do and get it,” Alv3ster said. They understood that “art makes a big difference” and that it “speaks volumes.”

From that point forward the rest was history and he further diversified his experienced by dancing in films such as Stomp the Yard (2007) and Leave it On the Floor (2011). An earlier this year he starred in Vivica Fox’s Lifetime reality show Black Magic.

“Love Me or Leave Me”

Going back to his longtime passion in making music his debut project “Love Me or Leave Me” is about to release Wednesday, October 18. The project focuses on aspects of his life including relationships that has changed his life.

“It’s like my journal,” Alv3ster said.

After making a name for himself as Alvester Martin he now goes by Alv3ster to honor his late grandfather who passed away two years ago who had also helped him as his assistant manager. The man who taught him that he had to be the best at whatever he pursued lives on through Alvester’s legacy and is why he know goes by Alv3ster, to let everyone know who he was named after.

Covering everything that shaped him into who he is today he just wants people to hear his story and is giving this album-mixtape to his fans for free. After fans take a listen he understands there’s either two outcomes that going to come from it, hence the name of the project.

“I vomit everything I was going through…at the end of the day I finally accepted myself. I don’t need validation because God loves me,” Alv3ster said.

Follow Alv3ster on social media for updates on where to find his music: Instagram: @alvestermartinFacebook: @Alv3ster Twitter: @alvestermartin

By Gino Terrell

Originally published in MCXV.


Gino Terrell is the Director of Content at Hidden Valley Culture Blog/In-Depth section. Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). He was once the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026

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