Vicci Martinez Biography
Last updated: 07/05/2012 12:00:00 PM
When you first hear Vicci Martinez sing, you know immediately you are experiencing something special. Though only 26, Vicci writes, sings and plays guitar with the touch of a veteran performer. With a passionate voice, profound lyrics and incendiary live performances, this Tacoma native’s contagious live performances have received critical acclaim throughout the Northwest.
It was this same quality of performance and ability to connect with audiences of all ages that swept over viewers this spring as millions of people sat in front of their TV’s watching NBC’s The Voice and experiencing the full force of Vicci Martinez. The twitter-sphere was alive with exclamations of “who is she” and “when do we see her again”?
Relix magazine could have told them who she is. They wrote; “Whether banging out percussive acoustic guitar or strapping on a djembe, this barefooted dervish had the crowd whipped up to a storm,” They call a recent acoustic festival performance a “funked-up, stripped-down and kicking set.”
Martinez’s inspiration comes from family as well as from musical figures like Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Dave Matthews and recent explorations of Van Morrison‟s hallowed catalog. Vicci delivers intensely personal songs wrapped up in her soulful emotive voice. The power of her voice defies her petite stature and the soulfulness of her guitar playing is beyond her years.
“I know everyone says, “Oh I came from humble beginnings,” Martinez says. “But it‟s what I want to keep. I want the music to be for everyone. I have the ability to say what I want to say and that’s the how I want to keep it.”
Her grass roots following has come to expect powerhouse performances from Vicci Martinez, but The Voice brought out a side of Vicci that even she may not have expected – and the strong performer became a warrior. After being mentored by singer/producer Cee Lo Green, Vicci Martinez has taken that next step toward musical stardom. With each performance on The Voice she grew stronger and in more command of the stage and the audience. Her rendition of Florence and The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” brought audience and judges to their feet and the power shot out of the studio across the air to viewers worldwide. In the finale she sang an original song called “Afraid to Sleep” that landed her in the iTunes Top 20 and her performance of Love is A Battlefield with CeeLo Green put her in a costume she never would have imaginged even a few months ago. But again, the Warrior came forth and dominated the stage.
Vicci has been performing since she was a teen. She writes and performs her own songs in both the acoustic blues and folk rock genre and is a gifted song writer who writes from life experiences and from her heart. When she was 16, she tried out for Season One of “American Idol” and got her “Golden Ticket”. She later turned down the invite due to her belief that the contract was too restrictive and that she wasn’t ready personally or professionally. Following the road less traveled, Vicci has chosen to stay true to her music and her fans. Over the past ten years, Vicci has released five independent solo projects plus a live DVD.Last summer engineer Jeremiah Sheets recorded an amazing live show that captured the energy and passion that fans feel every time they see Vicci perform live. Out of that came her first fully “live” CD, titled “Live From Jazzbones,” which was released January 2011. All of the proceeds from the sale of this limited edition CD, available exclusively on her website, go to keeping the band out on the road touring and doing what they love to do best, play music.
When leading her accomplished, intuitive band , she turns her concerts into full-on events, taking her fans on thrilling journeys of emotional peaks and musical adventures. Vicci is as comfortable playing an intimate solo gig to headlining festivals and she has either opened for or shared the bill with artists ranging from Sting, Annie Lennox, Jonny Lang, Brandi Carlile, soul man, Syl Johnson to blues legend BB King.
Vicci is building on this rich history of performing and writing, taking her career to a new level. Her management team, Miki Mulvehill van Tyn (Luther Allison, Jonny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Keri Noble, Double Trouble) and Beth Tallman, (A&M, Island Def Jam, Rykodisc) are behind her and she is working and writing with some of the finest songwriters in the country including Jeff Arundel, Adam Cohen, Syl Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, Bruce McCabe and Kevin Totoian, She also has plans to write with Pat Monahan, from the band Train, with whom she sang on The Voice and perhaps spend more time working with CeeLo Green. Now that The Voice is over Vicci plans on finishing an album that she has been working on, tentatively titled “Enjoy The Ride.” She’s wasting no time, and wants to get it done within 2-3 months.
“I love the idea for “enjoy the ride.” I feel like in the last few years, I have finally come to terms with “enjoying my own ride.” Now that I’ve made the commitment to myself, to enjoy my ride…everything seems so effortless. In a way, I think it has set me up to be ready for whatever may come and to welcome it with open arms.”
One thing is for sure, Vicci continues to carve her niche in the musical echelon, and does it her own way. “The music business is a scary thing. Just like a current, always moving, always changing, and if you don’t flow with it, you drown, or you at least work a lot harder. I feel like we do our own thing. For the right reasons. Music can be healing, bring smiles to your faces, or tears to your eyes.”
Whether or not the costumes, feathers and makeup continue to be a part of Vicci’s performances, the ride she’s on has just received a power boost thanks to the experience and exposure from The Voice. She’ll be touring the country with other artists from the show and meeting her fans. From there, the sky is the limit.
Whatever you do – follow her, hear her, see her – you’ll enjoy the ride too.