Who doesn’t know Melanie Martinez? She’s the NY-born picturesque, and quirky singer who stole our hearts with her Britney Spears “Toxic” acoustic cover during her blind audition on “The Voice” back in 2012’s season 3; where she managed to stay in until the Top 6. And just a year and a half later Melanie kept the slayage coming with her debut EP, “Dollhouse”, which contained my favorite song of hers thus far, “Carousel”. Ms. Martinez’ genre of choice is indie pop (with a small dash of spookiness) and she’s so good at it. I just don’t see her doing anything different in the future.
Melanie Martinez is signed to Atlantic Records, she will be putting out her full-length debut album “Cry Baby” in August (just a month to go! Ahhhh! Can’t wait!), and her new single is “Pity Party”, whose party of one-themed music video you simply cannot miss.
Directlyrics recently had the opportunity to interview Melanie and we asked her all about her career; from her time on “The Voice”, signing to a major label or her forthcoming debut album “Cry Baby”. The 20-year-old singer also unveiled what her favorite song of the moment is and with what artist she would die to record a duet with. Any guesses? Check out our exclusive Q&A below.
1. Melanie Martinez has a new single out, “Pity Party.” Its lyrics tell every kid’s worst fear; nobody goes to his/ her birthday party. Although, you can always find something positive out of a situation like this, huh? “Just means there’s more cake for me.” Where did the inspiration come from to write “Pity Party?”
The inspiration definitely came from “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore and music from that time. I wanted to put a twist on an old song and it also told a different story for me, that no one showed up to my birthday party. That was a big part of the story for the album.
2. The colorful “Pity Party” music video was released on YouTube in early June, and it shows you having a birthday party of one just like the song says. How involved were you in the creation of the video? AND, any cool anecdote from the video shoot…like the coolest scene to do?
I was extremely involved! I used all my own vintage toys, I directed it, and I was in the editing section talking out shot by shot, exactly what I wanted and didn’t want.
I definitely loved putting my hands in cake, whenever I can do that it makes me happy, also cutting up the teddy bears and acting like a crazy person was fun for me too (laughs).
3. Your debut full-length studio album “Cry Baby” will be released on August 14. What producers have helped you, how many songs can fans expect in the tracklisting and will there be any collaborations?
It is a 13 track album and I worked with producers like Kinetics & One Love, CJ Baran, Kara DioGuardi, Felix Snow, SmarterChild, and Frequency.
4. How would you describe the overall sound of “Cry Baby?” And why did you go for that album title?
I was always inspired by toy sounds. I also really love heavy percussions, anything that hits hard but still has a soft sound to it. In this case, the soft sounds were the toys and the drums were a harder sound. It was a mix between pop, alternative, and hip-hop influence for most of the songs on the album and the concept is childhood themes paired with adult situations. The title is called Cry Baby because it is the story of Cry Baby’s life, it is the fairytale version of myself but the more imperfect and insecure side to me.
5. Early last year you dropped your “Dollhouse” EP that contained two of my favorite songs of yours; “Dollhouse” and “Carousel.” I was particularly obsessed with the latter, and loved its fair-themed music video. How honored were you when American Horror Story used your song “Carousel” for its “Freak Show” season trailer?
That was awesome! It is definitely one of my favorite shows so it was cool to see that happen.
6. You are currently apart of the Atlantic Records family. How exactly was the process that led to your signing? Did you ever imagine being on a major label?
People tend to stop me on the street because they recognize me from The Voice and ask me what I am currently doing. I tell them I signed with Atlantic and they assumed I got signed to a major label because I got help from the show. It is actually the complete opposite. It was very hard for me to get noticed because no one wants to sign someone from a reality TV show. A year later after the show, I started writing more with producers and other writers trying to collaborate since I was use to writing on my own at the time. I eventually found out who I was as an artist and what I wanted my music to sound like which led me to meet with Atlantic and show them my “Dollhouse” music video that was a single I put out on my own. Atlantic was very supportive of my vision and let me control what I want to do with my music which is really special. I am super grateful it led me to sign with them and I have the freedom to do my own thing.
7. Melanie Martinez became a household name thanks to The Voice. For your audition song you covered Brittany Spears’ “Toxic.” If you had been obliged to do something different; what other song would you have performed?
I don’t really think about that, I just did it because I was doing it in the very beginning of auditions so that was one of the three songs from call back that I did. It was first a joke between me and my friends and they told me to sing a Britney Spears song so I learned it and I had been playing it for about a year and a half so I was used to singing it.
8. What are Melanie Martinez’ top 5 songs of the moment?
I don’t really have a top five, I currently just have a top one called, “Like I Do” by Maureen Evans.
9. If you could record an original song with any artist of your liking right now; who would it be, why, and how do you imagine your collaboration to sound like/be about?
It would definitely be The Weekend because I think it would be really interesting to work with him since he is super explicit and he writes/sings about more adult themes where I have more of the little kid theme going, it would make a really interesting song.
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