Artist Interview: Meet Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez

You saw her do a fantastic version of “Lights” with Caitlin Michele last week on The Voice – but who is Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez?

“Sometimes people are like ‘You look a lot smaller than the voice that comes out of you,’ [but] only when it’s like certain songs,” she said, referring to advisor Mary J. Blige‘s remark that she was surprised by her depth during rehearsal. Though she looks young, New York native Melanie is both a talented singer and photographer, with her own distinct style.

“I honestly didn’t know how it was with singing shows. I auditioned for American Idol once but I didn’t make it,” she added of her experience so far on The Voice. “I totally did not expect everyone to be like so close. We jam together and eat together. I’ve gained some really close friends.”

Melanie is the fifth contestant on The Voice to have also auditioned for Idol, after Season 1’s Frenchie Davis and Vicci Martinez and Season 2’s Jamar Rogers and Chris Mann, all of whom ended up as at least semifinalists when they appeared on The Voice. She has her sights set on continuing that trend. “I’m just hoping to get a deal out of all of this,” she said. “If I make it to the top four, then I’m completely determined to win. It’s the only thing on my mind right now.”

As for preparing for that astonishing battle round, “It was all a blur to me. You kind of get a little starstruck.” And even though we didn’t get to see that “me and Caitlin were kind of like fooling around during rehearsal,” she added that it still wasn’t easy to compete against a member of her own team. “I was really emotional the whole week of rehearsals and everything. It’s really tough. Ask anybody, the battle rounds are probably the most nervewracking. And Caitlin is amazing. I was so nervous. I did not expect to win at all. I think they covered that I get really emotional and I’m a huge crybaby!”

“I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to explore a little bit,” she told me, hoping that she’ll get a chance to sing something a little cooler or jazzier while she’s in the competition. “With the songs, you always have to negotiate,” she added, referring to the fact that producers have to find music that’s cleared for use and also not too obscure for the viewing audience.

Yet she’s got the perfect coach for that goal, given that Adam Levine‘s past choices have included not-exactly-mainstream songs like Radiohead’s “Creep” and Sublime’s “Santeria,” and he’s on record as saying that he doesn’t want to change her style.

Speaking of Adam, “I think that I’ve really grown as an artist, being on his team. He’s given me some great advice and I gained a lot of confidence, even though we haven’t had as much time because the show works fast,” Melanie said. “Everybody talks about how he’s really great. He’s a great coach. I definitely think I picked the right coach.”

You’ll see Melanie again in the knockout rounds in a few weeks. Until then, you can follow Melanie on Twitter (@MelanieLBBH) and check her out on Facebook (Facebook.com/MelanieMartinezMusic).

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Exclusive to Big Red Chairs. No reproduction permitted. All rights reserved.

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14 thoughts on “Artist Interview: Meet Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez

  1. uhm… not to nitpick but I’m pretty sure that Melanie isn’t the fourth contestant that also auditioned for Idol. For example, Chris mentioned in an interview for Yahoo! Music that he had auditioned back when he was in college (so I’d guess during one of the first seasons).

    Annoying nitpick aside, great interview!

    • Ha, I wasn’t going to nitpick, but since the subject’s been opened, Kelsey Rey and Emily Valentine also auditioned for Idol. Kelsey was told by Simon Cowell that her voice was “quite annoying.” It wouldn’t surprise me if there were more, since so few of the tens of thousands of people who audition for Idol get shown on air.

      BTW, there’s also an audio track floating around the internet of Tarralyn Ramsey (remember her? – the very first The Voice contestant) auditioning for X-Factor (the season currently airing), and a lot of comments wondering what happened to her after all four judges praised her a capella Whitney Houston song (Simon: “Where have you been hiding all these years, Tarralyn?” and LA: “The world should have known about you a long time ago.”) and gave her four “yes” votes.

      • Really? Well obviously Simon would never mention the competition on the air. LOL.

        Kelsey definitely got the short end of the stick in season one. The fact that Cee Lo picked the Thompson sisters over her baffled me, especially since one of them botched their opening line to their battle round duet. I never understood that decision.

      • I actually liked that battle. It looked to me like Cee Lo was going to cut the two girls, but just couldn’t bring himself to say it, almost like Blake picking Xenia over Patrick and Jared, or Adam picking Casey over Jeff.

      • The Casey over Jeff thing confused me, too, but I trust Adam. As far as Xenia, I understood Blake’s logic on that one – although it seems like your source was right, because her new single came out on iTunes copyrighted by her and not Universal.

      • Well, while the coaches (or the editors I guess) try to avoid all references to it they do have a strategy to win each season, so it’s possible they let someone like the Thompson Sisters or Casey move on over stronger singers so whoever they wanted as their finalist (Vicci, Nakia, Javier) would look better

      • I don’t think I’m that cynical about the process. They all want to win, but I don’t believe that they preordain people like that. I’ve had the chance to interview the coaches after controversial decisions like that, and they’ve been genuinely surprised/conflicted/even upset over it.

  2. don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they just choose one person and then just screw over the rest of their team to make sure that person gets to the finals, but I wouldn’t be surprised it they do have favorites and they do try to work things in their favor at least a bit.
    A good example would be when Christina eliminated Jessee last season. She may have chosen him because of his growth in the show (and the backstage stuff that Nathan Parret mentioned, I guess) but I’m sure that the fact that he was Chris and Lindsey’s (who seemed to be her favorites) biggest competition helped to make her decision.

  3. Sometimes I wonder if I should get too invested in this show. I’m always disappointed with who wins. The more unique, more talented people do not win. The public ends up picking retreads like Javier Colon (Derek Trucks Band) and Jermaine Paul (a career session singer.) It would have been great to see Lindsey Pavao or Tony Lucca pull it out last season. I adore Melanie, but I have a feeling that she doesn’t stand a chance to win when it’s put in the hands of the public, who seemingly have questionable taste.

    • I disagree with you slightly there, KB – because I think it’s subjective. For me, Javier has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard, and I think the fact that the show gives second or sometimes even third chances to good musicians who deserve it is one of the things that sets it apart from other competitions. Even the coaches needed multiple shots before they became the stars we love today. (And Tony was a working musician for years before The Voice, so by your examples, he could have been considered a ‘retread’ too.)

      I always say that if you don’t like the way the public votes, then YOU need to get out and vote. Vote online, by phone, on iTunes, on Facebook…just vote. You never know how big of a difference your votes make (such as in season one when the difference between Javier and Dia was a mere 2 percent).

    • I invest myself in the overall talent and musical experience that the show offers, not necessarily in any particular individual winning or losing the title. My personal favorite was Chris Mann, because I like classical music. But in general terms, the artists are treated respectably and, for the most part, have come out of the show for the better, to varying degrees. The show is an enjoyable use of TV time for those who like good music, good-natured (i.e. non-cynical) humor, and some worthwhile human interest stories.

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