Melanie Martinez

Melanie Martinez

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About Melanie Martinez

Pop innovator Melanie Martinez doesn’t just craft meticulous concept albums—she creates rich musical universes. The Long Island-raised artist wrote, directed, and starred in a surreal film musical, 2019’s K-12, that mirrors the introspective themes of a companion full-length record of the same name. Martinez had displayed this ambition early in her career, when she competed on The Voice in 2012. Although she didn’t win her season, the musician used her time on the reality show to display her eclectic pop smarts—she covered tunes by Britney Spears, Ellie Goulding, and The White Stripes—and her unique aesthetic: two-toned hair and a retro-girlish fashion sense. Unsurprisingly, her 2015 debut album, Cry Baby, is visually oriented (she filmed videos for every song) and musically colorful: She uses a backdrop of beat-driven, electro-coated indie pop to tell the story of a character named Cry Baby who has led a tumultuous life. K-12 continues Cry Baby’s story, placing her in horror-tinged scenarios that draw on adolescent angst and trauma. The album incorporates a broader range of influences, including inventive modern hip-hop and simmering R&B. Such an expansion not only served Martinez’s music well; it solidified her status as a pop Renaissance woman always striving to conceive of and execute the next big idea.

Astoria, Queens
April 28, 1995
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