Melanie Martinez is an American singer and songwriter. She first rose to fame in 2012, after she appeared on the reality TV show The Voice. She never won the show and was eliminated in the fifth week. However, her performance on the reality competition series and subsequent songs led to a record deal with Atlantic Records in 2013.
Since then, Melanie Martinez’s popularity has steadily grown with the release of two albums, Cry Baby and K-12. She has also released four EPs, ten singles, and two promotional singles. Her body of work has given fans and critics a chance to learn her musical style, with a focus on the elements that make her unique.
Melanie Martinez Music has Drawn Comparison to Lorde and Lana Del Rey
Comparison to two different artists is the antithesis of unique. But while Melanie Martinez’s style has led to comparisons with the two goddesses of emo-pop, the Queens-born singer has added a distinct spin to her music. An alignment with her Cry Baby persona, her music has been described as twisted lullabies about love, danger, and madness.
She shares the music style and ‘dimly lit pop stylings’ of Lorde and Lana Del Rey, down to her lyric delivery. However, her style is decidedly more emo hyperreal, so much that they are too mature to be played on the radio. Interestingly, while her music has similarities to the established artists, she does not consider them influences.
When asked, Melanie has cited Neutral Milk Hotel, the Beatles, Regina Spektor, Feist, Zooey Deschanel, and CocoRosie as influences.
She Expresses Herself Through a Character
It is not uncommon for musicians to get personal and intimate in their music. In fact, it is the norm. However, Melanie Martinez opts to express the truth in her music through a character, Cry Baby. She describes the character has her alter ego and a fairy tale version of herself.
Cry Baby was the protagonist of her eponymous debut album. Despite the unusual style, it found a lot of receptive ears, propelling her as an influential voice among alternative pop and emo-pop fans. It debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200, #1 on US Top Alternative Albums, and has sold more than 1.3 million copies worldwide.
Some of the leading singles of the album include Pity Party. Although the song’s story came from a personal experience, of a time no one showed up to her birthday party, she wrote the lyrics as her Cry Baby character. The RIAA has certified the song gold, having sold more than 500,000 copies.
Aside from her debut album, this style informed her sophomore album, K-12. It contained layered and gritty lyrical themes and track titles representative of the school phase’s experiences. Like her debut album, it was well-received, critically and commercially. It peaked at #3 on the US Billboard 200 and #1 on US Top Alternative Albums and US Top Soundtracks.
Melanie Martinez’s Style involves a Lot of Visual Imagery
Not only are her lyrics riddled with plenty of highly emotive expressions, but Melanie deploys plenty of visual artistry with her music. Graphic images and her songs are so intertwined that she performs live events fully garbed in her Cry Baby costume.
Her K-12 album also came with a musical film, which told the story of each song in the album. Melanie wrote, directed, edited, and starred in the movie, which she released on YouTube. She described the album and the film as the story of Cry Baby and the characters living in her neighborhood.
Although the film was her most ambitious of the style yet, she used a similar style for music videos of songs from Cry Baby like Pity Party, Soap, and Tag, You’re It.
The Play Date Singer Comes from a Dominican and Puerto Rican Family
Melanie draws from personal experiences for her songs. Thus, the dark and gritty nature of her lyrics has prompted questions about her family. However, she has shared little insights into her familial dynamics, other than the fact she grew up in a traditional Latin household.
Her parents are Mery and Jose Martinez, who are of Dominican and Puerto Rican origins. She was born in Astoria, Queens and the family moved to Baldwin, New York on Long Island when she was four. Melanie has one only sibling, a brother named Joseph.
Her father appeared in public for the first time in 2012 while supporting her on The Voice. Despite Melanie’s rise to fame since competing on the show, there has been little information about him. We do know, however, that he is a big supporter of his daughter, and they have at the very least, a cordial relationship. He attends her shows and has gone on tour with her. His professional remains unknown, but he enjoys baseball and football according to photos he posted on social media before he deleted his accounts.
Compared to her father, we even know less about Melanie Martinez’s mother. While she undoubtedly supports her daughter, having appeared on The Voice alongside her husband, she has retreated from the spotlight. So far, all we know is she considers herself a proud mother.
We are not sure how old Joseph is, but he graduated from high school in 2013. He is at least a couple of years younger than Melanie, who was born in 1995. Joseph was also noticeably present backstage during her time on The Voice. Presumably, he has completed college and is pursuing a career of his own. Whatever the case might be, he has a close relationship with Melanie. He has been pictured with her in loving embrace several times, and the singer affectionately calls him, ‘my Jofish.’
Melanie Martinez Might Be Single
Her dating life is another aspect of Melanie’s that drives a lot of curiosity. Unfortunately, there not much that is happening there for now. There is no evidence that the singer is in a relationship. Her most recent one, however, involved another singer, Oliver Tree.
The unlikely couple announced they were dating dramatically in October 2019. The two were friends for a while before they officially became a couple. However, whatever they shared did not last.
Although there was no official announcement of their breakup as was their relationship, the couple unfollowed each other in July 2020. Melanie Martinez also deleted all their photos from her Instagram Oliver shaded her album, K-12.
Other than Oliver, Melanie has notably dated or been linked with other personalities like Kenyon Parks, Vinnie DiCarlo, Jared Dylan, Miles Nasta, and Edwin Zabala. She also once dated her frequent collaborator, Michael Keenan. She dated the producer circa 2015, and while it did not last, they had an amicable breakup, and they continue to work together.
A Former Friend Once Accused Her of Rape
It has not all been young love and breakups in Melanie Martinez’s romantic history. She has also been accused of rape. Melanie, who is bisexual and came out in 2018, was alleged of the crime by a former friend, Timothy Heller. She made the allegation on December 4, 2017, via Twitter and Melanie denied the accusation the following day, claiming it was consensual.
In addition to the statement, she released the song, Piggyback. Although it was never official, many interpreted it as a follow-up response to the allegations. No official investigation ever took place following Heller’s claim.