Melanie Martinez, who has collaborated with artists such as Robopop and Kinetics & One Love, has been hailed as a provocative singer and songwriter with a striking stage presence. "My music has a strong connection to childhood," Martinez says. "I'm drawn to using toy sounds and words that feel nostalgic. I like to tell dark, honest stories about things that people usually feel uncomfortable bringing up in songwriting, and give them a sugarcoated, childlike quality."
In addition to story-telling, Martinez was interested in word-play. "I really liked rhyming," she says. "I used to write poems about anything I could think of." She began writing songs at age eight, and then taught herself to play guitar at 13 as a way to accompany her voice. In high school, Martinez began taking photographs as another creative outlet. She began showing her friends the videos she had posted of herself singing and playing guitar on YouTube. One day she decided she should audition for a singing show, which is how she ended up at an open call for The Voice. The blind audition, where her haunting acoustic version of Britney Spears' "Toxic" earned her praise from Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and her eventual mentor Adam Levine, was her first public performance.
Through her music, Martinez hopes to shine a light on the things people her age go through. "Everyone has problems and I want to sing about that," she says. "Happiness is great, but I want to show how teenagers often feel because I still am one myself. When little things happen to teenagers, it's a big deal. We feel like our world is falling apart even though it's totally fine. I want to explore that more in my music."