A multi-instrumentalist, rapper, singer, and producer from Los Angeles, California, Terrace Martin spent nearly a decade behind the scenes before dropping his debut album in 2013. The first record the young Martin bought was EPMD's single "You Gots to Chill," and while his love of hip-hop grew afterward, he also began to appreciate Michael Jackson and discovered jazz thanks to Jackson's regular producer, Quincy Jones. He picked up the saxophone, landed a gig playing sax with P. Diddy at just 17, landed a gig playing with Snoop Dogg at 18, and gained a scholarship to go to college after the Tonight Show Band's leader, Kevin Eubanks, heard his playing.
He kicked off his production career in 2004 with work for 213, Shawnna, and others, and in 2005 he worked with a pair of West Coast legends, landing a track with Warren G along with three cuts on the collection Bigg Snoop Dogg Presents: Welcome to tha Chuuch - Da Album. Snoop also gave Martin his first production credit on a single when "Neva Have 2 Worry" dropped in 2008. That same year he released the mixtape Locke High with DJ Drama as host, while 2010 saw him partnering with DJ Devi Dev on the mixtape Here, My Dear. In 2011 he joined forces with rapper Murs for the collaborative effort Melrose, plus Devi Dev on the Sex EP. The next year he would contribute to Kendrick Lamar's album good kid, m.A.A.d city, while 2013 saw him release his first solo album, 3ChordFold. The debut album featured guest appearances from Lamar, Snoop, Ab-Soul, Robert Glasper, and others.
During the next couple years, he racked up an assortment of credits on albums by Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Travi$ Scott, and Ty Dolla $ign, among others. Signed to the Ropeadope label, he released Velvet Portraits in 2016. Much of the album consisted of relaxed R&B grooves. Glasper, Thundercat, and Lalah Hathaway were featured as guest artists.