The decade-long journey of Southern California recording artist Presence (a.k.a. Jonathon Martinez) began as a therapeutic exercise to help an anxious, insular 12-year-old discover their true sense of self. Martinez’s aspirations for both confession and catharsis evoke his roots as a rap fan in Camarillo, California. Starting at the age of 14, Martinez snuck his first “Presence Raps” video onto the internet, freestyling over “Ten Toes” by BubbaGotBeatz, which got him grounded when his parents found out. Not long after, Presence went truly viral for the first time with a remix of XXXTentacion’s “Jocelyn Flores,” the success of which placed him at a crossroads, where he had to decide whether his music was a lark or a true artistic pursuit. Now, after building his fanbase as a true DIY auteur with two dozen singles, over 100 million streams, and delivering a TEDTalk titled “The Power of Authenticity and the Internet,” the difference between Jonathon Martinez and Presence lies in a newfound confidence to open his artistic process to collaboration. The story told on his new body of work resonates on a truly personal level, claiming a bold future for Presence.