Melanie Martinez, former contestant on season 3 of NBC's The Voice, spoke to Newsday about her debut album Cry Baby, released today in Atlantic Records.
On the concept for the album: "'Cry Baby' is basically me -- a fairy-tale version of me," Martinez said about the album's main character. "Each song connects to each other. . . . It has a childhood theme, but it's a child placed into adult situations, things that are dark and mature."
On the writing process: "Though Martinez worked with several producers and songwriters, "Cry Baby" sounds cohesive because once she understood her vision for the project, she stuck with it. Sonically, she stuck with her mix of pop melodies and spare, trap instrumentation."
On the visual aspects of the album: "Martinez also took the unusual step of offering special packaging for the physical version of the "Cry Baby" album. "I had to really fight for that," she said. "I just wanted it to be more special. People kept telling me that it would be good for a limited edition, but I wanted everyone to get it[...]Even though releasing such expensive packaging for a new artist is practically unheard of in the music industry, Martinez convinced Atlantic Records to release the first 15,000 albums her way -- even agreeing that she would shoulder the extra expense herself.[...]"The visuals are very important to me," she said. "I really wanted people to see it. It had to be that way."
On writing with Kara DioGuardi: "It was my second writing session with [DioGuardi] and we were still figuring each other out," Martinez said. "I was explaining the concept of the album and we came up with this idea of no one showing up to the party. She kept saying I had an old voice, like Judy Garland."
On single "Pity Party:" "It was an insane fit for the album," Martinez said, adding that she tried not to get too excited until she knew they had clearance to use the sample. "We were done with the lyrics in the first 20 minutes. The whole session we kept thinking, 'Are we going to be able to clear this?' We had this awesome song and it would have been terrible if we couldn't put it out to the world."
Still surprised by how much I've started liking her. The album is really, really solid and the concept of weird twisted kids music works well. Pity Party is still perfect but Mad Hatter, Mrs. Potato Head, Training Wheels, and Alphabet Boy are also amazing.