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Melanie Martinez: The Dark Pop Prodigy Who Found Her Voice

Melanie Martinez
Born April 28, 1995 (age 27) in Astoria, NY
Genres Pop, alternative pop, electropop, art pop
Labels Atlantic Records, Cry Baby Records
Albums Cry Baby, K-12, After School
Tours Cry Baby Tour, K-12 Tour, After School Tour

Early Life and Music Beginnings

Melanie Adele Martinez was born on April 28, 1995 in Astoria, Queens. From a young age, she was drawn to the arts, teaching herself to play guitar and write her own angsty pop songs during high school. Some of her early musical inspirations included The Beatles, Neutral Milk Hotel, Feist, and Lana Del Rey.

Martinez was born with a twin brother who sadly passed away during birth. She has spoken openly about how this impacted her childhood, contributing to feelings of loneliness. Music became an emotional outlet for her during these formative years.

Finding Her Voice on The Voice

In 2012, a 17-year-old Martinez auditioned for season 3 of The Voice, stunning the judges with her rendition of Britney Spears‘ "Toxic." She chose to be on Team Adam Levine, who helped nurture her artistry throughout the competition. Some of her memorable performances included versions of "Too Close" by Alex Clare and "Lights" by Ellie Goulding.

Martinez made it to the top 6 contestants, gaining national attention for her creativity and vocal talents. This platform kickstarted her professional music career, leading to a record deal with Atlantic Records.

Debut EP – Establishing Her Dark Pop Style

In 2014, Martinez released her debut EP Dollhouse, showcasing her artistic vision for the first time. Her music combined sugary pop melodies with darker, unsettling lyrics examining issues like abuse and dysfunctional families.

The lead single "Dollhouse" became her breakout hit, earning critical acclaim for its warped take on 1950s nostalgia. Its vivid music video brought the song‘s themes to life. The EP blended pop, folk, electronic, and hip hop influences, establishing Martinez as a fresh new voice.

Full-Length Debut – Cry Baby: A Star Is Born

The following year, Martinez unleashed her ambitious debut album, Cry Baby. Its lead single "Pity Party" depicted a twisted birthday bash that matched the song‘s infectious chorus with twisted lyrics.

Cry Baby presented Martinez‘s alter ego of the same name, weaving together a dark coming-of-age story across 14 genre-bending tracks. Martinez took on more production duties alongside Kinetics & One Love. The album showed both vulnerability and rising confidence.

The record proved to be a smash success, debuting at #6 on the Billboard 200 aided by tracks like "Soap," "Sippy Cup," and "Alphabet Boy." Martinez‘s profile continued to rise as she toured internationally through 2017 on her Cry Baby Tour.

K-12: Bolder Vision Takes Shape

In 2019, Martinez returned with an even more creative statement – the album and accompanying film K-12. The project revolved around a dark, whimsical boarding school nightmarish enough to match Martinez‘s music.

It weaved together 13 tracks, including singles "Wheels on the Bus" and "Class Fight" rich with metaphor. Martinez embraced a fuller cinematic pop sound glazed with her trademark cynicism. The visual album format allowed her artistry to thrive.

That same year, Martinez launched her K-12 Tour, performing the album live in its entirety along with elaborate setpieces and choreography. This adventurous project showed Martinez‘s talents continuing to evolve and expand.

After School: A New Era Begins

Most recently in 2021, Martinez surprise released After School – a 6-track EP ushering in a new musical era. Songs like "Copy Cat" and "Field Trip" tackle toxic friendships and mental health struggles with Martinez‘s signature bite.

She describes the EP as a "nostalgic Mall Music" inspired by late 90s-early 00s teen pop. Sonic inspiration came from acts like *NSYNC, Britney Spears, and No Doubt. This release shows Martinez unafraid to reinvent herself again.

The accompanying After School Tour saw Martinez performing songs across her discography for fans worldwide. At only 27, she continues to hone and experiment with her craft.

Lasting Impact and Future Possibilities

Over the past decade, Melanie Martinez has proven herself as a visionary pop artist, crafting three incredible albums that form her own coming-of-age story. Through the years, she‘s built a devoted fanbase drawn to her authenticity and confessional songwriting.

Critics praise her as a dynamic singer and ingenious storyteller. Her dedication to ambitious visual concepts with every release raises the bar. She represents a new breed of genre-fluid, multidisciplinary pop stars.

As Martinez moves into the next phase of her career, the possibilities seem endless for how she might continue to evolve. Given the creativity she‘s displayed so far, fans can expect even more envelope-pushing music and visuals to come. At just 27, Melanie Martinez has already left an indelible mark on pop music, and she‘s only just getting started.

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