There are so many singing competitions out there and four times as many hopefuls that pass through their auditions, stage shows, hoops, etc. – that you tend to lose track. You may remember one or two each season but they kind of all blur together UNLESS they’re unique enough to really stick out. Whether it’s approaching the competition in a manner never heard before or standing out among the usual cookie cutter molds, that’s the only way you’ll be remembered once you’re said and done on primetime. Well that’s exactly what Melanie Martinez did on The Voice when she landed on Team Adam after turning Britney Spears’ “Toxic” into a dark and mesmerizing delight.
While she didn’t go on to win, no one can forget the young two-toned hair girl with an affection for bows who would never cease to put a spell on viewers on a weekly basis. I for one had to immediately buy her rendition of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” Now she’s past all that and trudging forward with a torch held high and shining bright towards a future as a leading lady in the dark pop realm.
Having just played a show at New York’s infamous Gramercy Theater, Melanie was nervous but is excited to hit the road some more in 2014. So definitely stay on top of that. In the mean time keep on reading on to find out about songs she won’t touch, her new single “Dollhouse” and more.
Kendra: You’ve still got a lot of life left to live having gotten a great start so young. Do you worry about pacing yourself when it comes to your career?
Melanie Martinez: I think that I understand that I have a lot of time to get to the place I want to in my career. On the other hand, I do always feel like I’m 50 at the end of my career and I feel like I need to hurry and become the things I’d like to become already. I think it’s just my ambition to become a better artist and to release music for everyone. This industry keeps artists on their toes.
Kendra: Having proven time and time again you’re a skilled songwriter, most recently with “Dollhouse,” who are some of your songwriting influences?
Melanie: I think I’m more influenced by sounds than I am by people in particular. Childish creepy toy sounds seem to always get my brain going, as well as heavy strange beats. But I do think my music is influenced by the music I listen to. I also think it’s influenced by the music I grew up on. My dad would always play The Beatles, and then would play a lot of hip hop. I think I love writing songs with a heavy beat because of Biggie Smalls, and I love writing as a storyteller lyrically because of The Beatles.
Kendra: You’re no stranger to doing and killing it when it comes to covering songs, but are there any songs or artists you just won’t touch?
Melanie: I definitely don’t touch the songs that most people on singing shows love to cover, such as songs by Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, etc. I call those the big girl songs.
Kendra: Going back to “Dollhouse,” made me wonder – we’re you what some would call a “girly girl” growing up?
Melanie: Not at all haha! I think my love for pink and pastels has evolved over the past couple of years. Growing up I loved changing up my style constantly. Sometimes I’d throw anything together that other people wouldn’t think looked nice, but I just thought it was fun throwing things together that were unexpected. I think my style now is very child like, which is funny and strange because I sing about mature subjects. I love vintage, I love pastels, I love experimenting. I love vinyl and iridescent clothing. I also love wearing black occasionally. I think I just like change and having fun.
Kendra: Will that single be joined by a whole record this year?
Melanie: Hopefully! I have a lot of songs that I’d love to put out soon!
Kendra: Touching back on the being young thing again. Your music is often labeled “provocative.” Does that ever sound weird to you?
Melanie: The definition of provocative is: causing annoyance, anger, or another strong reaction, esp. deliberately. That’s a compliment in my eyes. If I can cause any type of reaction through my music, that is an achievement. I think people are so freaked out by the fact that I look like a child and write about honest subjects that people find uncomfortable bringing up.
Kendra: I noticed this Facebook page called “Drawing Melanie,” which had a ton of cute fan art on it. Has anyone gone above and beyond that and gotten your face tattooed on them?
Melanie: Not that I know of! That would be crazy though!
Kendra: Your video for “Dollhouse” made me think of having a tea party so if you had to make a mixtape for one, what five songs would have to be on it?
Melanie: Haha! Not exactly classic tea party music, but definitely my kinda tea party.
“Genesis” – Grimes
“Original Don” – Major Lazer ft. The Partysquad
“Smokey Taboo” – CocoRosie
“Waste of Time” – MØ
“Everybody Does“- Brooke Candy