Many top artists create alter-egos to be able to comfortably perform on stage. Some also perform in elaborate wardrobes worthy of their own museum exhibit. Think Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry. Up-and-coming musician Melanie Martinez is no different, except that her two-toned hairstyle is not a wig. She fully commits.
While many other artists are pressured to release an album straight out of their competition show success, this girl held off for a year before releasing a full album. She allowed herself time to soak up what she learned on that show, released an EP to stay in tune with fans, and then put her whole self into the full-length album, finding out who she was an artist, who she calls “Cry Baby,” also the title of her debut album.
Like her music, Melanie Martinez is funky, mysterious, vulnerable, and effortlessly sweet. She’s raw and honest in conversation and in song. She’s a bit shy but still finds the courage to let it all out in her lyrics, making us feel like she’s reading words straight from her diary. Her style also has a purpose and a direction. You can’t deny that she’s definitely one to watch.
Her debut album “Cry Baby” drops on August 14. The pre-order has already claimed the #1 spot on the iTunes Alternative Chart and is in the Top 10 overall. Before the album officially drops, we talked with Martinez about her experience on “The Voice,” how she’s grown as an artist, and why she created her alter-ego, Cry Baby.
Q&A with Melanie Martinez
You were on Team Adam on “The Voice” almost three years ago. Are there specific things that Adam taught you that have stuck with you to this day?
We hardly really got to talk to them like that on a different level. It was more like whenever we had rehearsals. He was very nice and he always told me to go with my gut feeling and always make sure that I’m comfortable with whatever I’m singing. He was very supportive in that way, [but] nothing that stuck out to this day that helps me now.
What’s your favorite memory of being on “The Voice?”
My favorite thing that came out of that show was the people that I met, the contestants. I have life-long friends because of it.
You’re now 20-years-old. How have you evolved as a musician since your season ended and now that you’ve pursued your debut album?
I think that my songwriting has changed for sure. I used to be inspired by writing with a guitar. I can’t play acoustic guitar anymore, only electric. Now I’m more concept-focused. I’m very much into scenes and everything feeling cohesive. That’s something I’ve grown into as an artist. That’s a huge part of [“Cry Baby”] as it’s a concept album. It tells a story throughout the entire album. I [plan] to continue the story and concept with each [subsequent] album. It’s this bigger picture that I’m trying to put together.