During the first season of NBC’s The Voice, soulful singer-songwriter Vicci Martinez found herself as one of the overall standout contestants on the show and went all the way to finals, representing Team Cee Lo.
She went on to release her major label debut record, Vicci, last summer, leading off with the single, “Come Along,” featuring her Voice coach Cee Lo Green. Recently the song has been taking off on radio, gaining momentum on the Hot AC and Triple A radio charts.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Martinez over the phone about her recent success. She spoke candidly about what initially drew her to music, her single’s gradual climb up the charts, and advice she’d give to contestants currently competing on The Voice.
Congrats on the recent success of “Come Along.”
You started playing music at a really young age – what initially drew you to music and when did you realize that’s what you wanted to pursue as a career?
I played violin when I was five or six years old, kind of a happy accident, because my sister didn’t want to cut her fingernails. My parents had gotten her some private lessons, but because she didn’t want to cut her fingernails, she didn’t want to go back to that teacher. So they were like, “Damn, we have like a month full of lessons, who are we going to give them to?” And I was the next one in line that was pretty musical, I guess. So that’s how that happened.
I don’t know, it just kind of evolved into what it was. I obviously was very musical, listening to bands; I just loved music my whole life. When Lilith Fair happened, when I was about 12-years-old, I was super inspired by all these women with guitars, just singing their own songs, and it just like, so freeing.
So I just started doing that myself and it kind of became what it is now.
You also started writing songs when you were younger, how would say your songwriting style has evolved over the years and did you approach your new album, Vicci, any differently from albums you released prior to appearing on The Voice?
Yeah. For me, writing was always what I was feeling. It was hard for me to force myself to write. I think when I was younger, so much was going on; you’re a teenager, then you’re a young adult. Just so many things going on ‘till you’re at that level, where you’re like, “Okay, I think I’m comfortable with myself.” [laughs] So there was a lot to write about at that point. Obviously, break-ups, make-ups, meeting new people that end up a big part of causing me to write a song.
I think this one was definitely different, because of the the pressure that sort of came after being on the show and the label I was signed wanting to turn a record around very quickly. So they put me with a lot of different writers, people who I had never known or heard of. Later finding out, “Oh, you worked with this person, that person.” It was nice kind of going into it blindsided, like not even knowing. It made it very easy to come to these people and start talking about my life and what I’ve been through and at the end of the day, we had a song written.
You’ve previously referred to this album being kind of like you’re diary and letting people get to know who you are as a person and an artist, so I’m assuming it’s easier for you to write from your own experiences rather than, here’s a topic, let’s put a song around it.