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Last year, singer/songwriter Melanie Martinez was only 17 when she appeared on the third season of the hit NBC competition show “The Voice.” Although she made it to the Top 6, she was eliminated.

The elimination hasn’t hurt her budding career.

MELANIE MARTINEZ

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna

Tickets: $15-$40

For information: 703-255-1566; jamminjava.com

With hits on iTunes of her covers of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” Martinez set out to record her original songs. Out on tour, the now-18 year old is singing covers and songs from her upcoming album.

Martinez will make a stop to perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Jammin Java in Vienna.

“I used to write a lot of poems,” Martinez said. “I started playing the guitar around 13 or 14. That was when I was able to write songs completely.”

Her talent, according to Martinez, came out of the blue. Other than her grandmother, who Martinez said sings a lot, her family isn’t musically inclined.

That talent showed when she auditioned for “The Voice.” She sang “Toxic” during the Blind Audition and wowed the judges. She was placed on Adam Levine’s team.

“It was definitely a learning experience,” Martinez said. “I was really happy that I got the chance to work with other artists and really talented musicians. It was definitely really fun and I think I grew a lot from that experience as an artist and as a human being, too, because the other contestants taught me so much and they were a lot older and I was the youngest. They taught me a lot about the music industry and all that.”

Martinez said she’ll release an EP soon with her own material.

“It’s just going to be a bunch of all original songs and original music,” Martinez said. “Production-wise, it’s going to have a heavy, heavy beat and a feisty sound. It’s going to be really different. They’re my stories. I really like stories.”

As one might expect, Martinez spends most of her time writing, recording or on stage. That lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to a lot of free time, but Martinez insists she makes time to just be a teenager in Baldwin, N.Y.

“I’m actually going out to the city today,” Martinez laughed. “I’m just going to hang out with my friend.”

Music is an important part of Martinez’s life. She takes great pride in her stories and songs and looks forward to sharing them with the world.

“A lot of people tell me that certain songs touch them a lot more than others,” Martinez said. “For instance, there was a song I wrote called ‘A Million Men,’ that’s about sex trafficking. Even though a lot of people haven’t been through it, they’re still saddened to hear that kind of stuff exists in the world. When I found out, watching all these documentaries about it, I was disgusted and decided to write a song about it to make people aware about it. Now a lot of people have their eyes open and are very, I guess, touched by that song.

“It’s a story [like that] that people can feel in their hearts that gives them some sort of emotion because of a song.”



wfranklin@gazette.net