See Melanie Martinez Explore a New York City Toy Store - Rolling Stone
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See Melanie Martinez Explore a New York City Toy Store

Former ‘Voice’ contestant also discusses importance of visuals, childhood themes to her music

Melanie Martinez may not have won her season of The Voice, but the 20-year-old electropop singer seems to be doing just fine launching her career outside of the singing competition. Her 2015 debut album, Cry Baby, was filled with dark takes on childhood themes – including songs like “Tag, You’re It” and “Mrs. Potato Head” – and the singer reflected on how central these concepts are to her work during a visit to a New York City toy store with Rolling Stone.

“I always have felt that I was six years old,” Martinez said while scoping out the products at the East Village shop Dinosaur Hill. “I always cling to things that remind me of being a kid again.” The singer joyfully played with the toys on the shelves of the tiny store and even walked away with a balloon-animal kit and a few glass balls.

Later, she discussed her musicianship with RS, noting that the visual imagery, titles and themes of her songs come first. “The story and the actual meaning of the song and the lyrics are super important, and the sound and the music is something that naturally happens revolving around the theme.”

For now, Martinez is focused on conveying the visual message of her songs. She plans to put out a video for every song on her debut album, and she most recently released the clip for “Cry Baby” last month. “I’m super focused on making sure that everyone knows that the album is a story from beginning to end,” she explains.

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