Voice star Vicci Martinez keeps playing by her own tuneon June 19, 2012 @ 12:26 pm (Updated: 9:38 pm - 6/20/12 )
Most aspiring musicians wouldn't think twice if they got an offer to appear on American Idol, but Vicci Martinez has always danced to the beat of her own drummer. When the then teenage Tacoma singer-songwriter was given a shot to perform on the hit TV show, she gave it some thought then said, "No thanks."
"The contract was very binding and I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to learn to record and produce and I had all these ideas," Martinez told me during a recent visit to 97.3 KIRO FM.
She also credits her dad with helping her to look long- term, even at such a young age.
"He was like 'You're a good singer for 16-years-old, but what about when you're 26? Come on, grow up and learn how to do this and really learn this.' I didn't know what I had to stand for at that time and I feel like I do now and that's kind of what happened with The Voice. I know who I am now," Martinez says.
Vicci Martinez released her new, self-titled album Tuesday. She performed live at KIRO Radio Friday, June 15. (MyNorthwest.com)
Millions of TV viewers now also know who she is, thanks to her star turn last year on the hit NBC show The Voice. Martinez was a finalist, finishing third in the singing competition, earning national acclaim and inking a big contract with Universal.
But in her typical fashion, she resisted the label's push to put out an album right away along with the other finalists. Instead, she took her time to craft the album she wanted. "Vicci" was just released Wednesday, almost a year after her big breakthrough.
"I wanted to do it right and enlighten people," she says.
It's a powerhouse that showcases her deeply personal lyrics and huge voice that propelled her to the top of the Voice and features a previously recorded track with her mentor Cee Lo Green, the pop star who she says helped inspire her to stay true to her self.
"He was the one that everyone was like, 'What's your story' and he just decided to 'say this is me.' And I felt really connected to him with that because I grew up the same way. I had friends that were like 'You're like a tomboy. You're a girl but you kind of have the boy thing going on too, what are you?' I'm a Vicci, that's what I am."
And thanks to the release of her new album and the non- stop touring ahead, plenty of others will likely get to know who she is as well.
"My biggest thing is I just want people to be inspired to do what they love, love themselves first, live their truth, and inspire other people to do the same."
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