Who is Freddy Apple?

Freddy Apple is an '80s-inspired children's rock music artist and alter ego of multi-instrumentalist, Chris Martland. Given Martland’s love of '80s music and culture, as well as his being born in 1982, it was logical for his alter ego to possess an '80s persona. 

Martland has dabbled in music and songwriting for the vast majority of his life. He started playing piano at four years of age and picked up the guitar at age twelve. In the following years, he learned to play drums, synthesizers, and bass. He has written hundreds of songs over the past 25 years, spanning numerous genres including modern classical, rock, and electronic. 

How, when, and why did Freddy Apple emerge? 

In the summer of 2020, as a result of being inspired by his firstborn child, Martland began writing children’s music. These songs were directly influenced by his son’s interest in subjects such as dinosaurs, rockets and outer space, worms, lobsters, elephants, and sharks. While the songs are geared towards children lyrically, melodically, and structurally, Martland sprinkles in content for adults. For example, significant focus is put into the musical elements of the songs, including the '80s-based synthesizers and surf rock-inspired guitar solos, to help ensure the music is enjoyed by children and adults alike. These songs are performed by the Freddy Apple character, and all music videos include unusual and unorthodox dancing. While entertaining and humorous, this dancing is also symbolic of the importance of having fun and bringing energy and enthusiasm into everyday life. 

Freddy Apple's 10-song debut album, Dance with Freddy!, was released in June 2021. Songs have been played on numerous podcasts and FM radio programs, including The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl, Radio Active Kids, and Hilltown Family Variety Show. Additionally, clips using songs from Dance with Freddy! have received hundreds of thousands of views on Instagram and TikTok. 

In addition to being a musical artist, Martland holds a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Tennessee and has spent nine years as a consultant with a focus on population health and well-being in the employer analytics organization of a health care company.

During his high school, collegiate, and graduate school years, Martland competed in track & field’s decathlon. He broke numerous indoor and outdoor school records at his undergraduate alma mater, Belmont University. While competing for the University of Tennessee, he was one of the top decathletes in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). 

 Martland is the great-grandson of famed pioneering pathologist, Dr. Harrison Stanford Martland, who was a medical examiner and champion for the legendary ill-fated watch dial painters, “The Radium Girls,” and in 1928 first described what is known today as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (better known by its abbreviation, CTE). As a result of studying continued CTE research, Martland has taken an active stance in preventing the brain damage caused by repetitive blows to the head incurred within collision sports.

Originally from Yonkers, New York, Martland currently resides in Johnson City, Tennessee, an East Tennessee city nestled in the Appalachian Highlands. In his spare time, Martland enjoys photography, strength training, hiking, and spending time outdoors with his beautiful wife and children. He plans to continue to write and perform as Freddy Apple until either his wife or his children requests that he stop doing so.