Artist Spotlight: Vicci Martinez

It’s been a whirlwind year for 27-year-old singer and musician Vicci Martinez. Originally from Tacoma, Martinez has been a local music scene staple around here since the mid-’90s. After her appearance on “The Voice” last spring representing Team Cee Lo, Martinez’s performances, the popularity of her funky soul music, her talent and her fans have proved to be the perfect storm propelling her forward. Now she’s landed in Los Angeles with a record deal, a new self-titled album, “Vicci,” coming out this summer and a pending concert tour. But success hasn’t been overwhelming. Martinez has found herself just saying “Yes” to opportunities—and to Hollywood. ShowCase Magazine caught up with her to hear all about it.

What are your musical inspirations?
I’m a writer, singer and musician, so the music that grabs me the most are songs that usually have inspirational messages. One of the things I’ve tried to do, too, is write my instrumental work to evoke emotion. It’s a hard thing to do as a musician, but when you get it, it’s powerful.

What instruments do you play?
I grew up playing the violin. I play guitar, drums, other percussion and a little piano. I learn what I need to learn, too, but I’m not a prodigy. Mostly, I play guitar.

How did growing up in Tacoma influence your music?
I think there’s such a grounding energy in the Northwest. It keeps you humble. I had a lot of people support my music here, but there’s such a realness and connecting with people. Not to say LA doesn’t have the same type of scene, but after being on a TV show like “The Voice,” it’s a different game out here. There’s so many people trying to get to that next level. For me, knowing success in Tacoma first, there’s more of a feeling of quality, enjoyment and experiencing the music. Having those roots helps me in LA.

Classify your style today.
My music fits into the pop rock soul genre. My voice is based in gospel training that I had, so there is definitely a soulfulness to it.

How did your appearance on “The Voice” change your life?
I am really grateful that I had that opportunity and I seized it. I just said “Yes” to it. For the last 10 years, I had been looking for a way to reach a wider audience. All the blessings that came from it amazed me. On this platform, now I have more fans to say that to. Sometimes taking that leap opens up so many beautiful doors in life.

What can fans expect on the new album?
I feel like it’s definitely an evolution from my last album. I worked with some hot producers and did more mainstream, electronic, pop and up-tempo stuff. They helped me hone in and make the songs really stand out. But you’ll still see my moody, soulful, funky music. That is who I am.

TAMMY ROBACKER