“The Voice” That Charmed the Nation


Vicci Martinez takes the road less traveled – and it is working out beautifully for her

Fresh from her acclaimed performances on NBC’s breakout hit show “The Voice,” Vicci Martinez is glad to be back in her hometown of Tacoma. Just this past weekend she made her second public performance a week after getting back from L.A. – at Art on the Ave, where she delighted the crowd with a free concert on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. (Her first performance was at Freedom Fair right after the day she got back. She was asked to give an impromptu performance, and she graciously accepted.)

The busy singer will not be in Tacoma very long, though. On July 8 she announced more than a dozen summer concert dates that will take her from coast to coast as part of “The Voice Tour – Final 8 Contestants” show. But before she leaves, she is giving local fans a chance to catch her at a free, all-ages outdoor show July 21, 7 p.m. at Clearwater Casino in Suquamish. Get there early – her two shows on July 23 at the Triple Door in Seattle have already sold out. She comes back to Seattle in August for a free show Aug. 10 at University Village, 6:30 p.m., and a free lunchtime show Aug. 17 at Union Square, noon.

Then it is into the recording studio for Martinez to work on her new CD so that it is ready for release this fall. She meets with recording industry executives this week in L.A. to continue mapping out where her career might very well go after so much success on “The Voice.”

“We’re already tied in with Universal Republic (Records) from the show, so that opportunity is now open on the label side of things,” she told Tacoma Weekly.

These are exciting times for this T-Town homegirl, as she begins a new chapter in her life – one that will require her to stick firmly to her guns to be herself in an industry that is more commercially-driven than ever. And it is her solid sense of self that is Martinez’s most powerful quality, made apparent during her long journey through a once in a lifetime experience called “The Voice.”


Just like she did from the small stage on 6th Avenue at Art on the Ave on Sunday, Martinez charmed people on a national scale once she walked onstage on “The Voice.” Her genuineness, humility and warmth came across immediately, and once she started singing, her spell was cast upon viewers everywhere. They voted Martinez all the way to the final four, and even though she did not take the top prize, it does not really matter in the end, for what is to be gained from “The Voice” is worth more than winning that one contest. Martinez made this clear to her co-competitors and the entire audience during “The Voice” final results show, amid the intense anticipation of who would be named the winner.

“During the commercial break, I yelled out to the audience that we all love each other and that we’re all winners,” she said. “I was so stoked that I was able to stay to the end. We were all ready for whatever happened.”

Now that the competition is over, she has had time to reflect on that whirlwind experience. When all is said and done, Martinez said, “I am just so happy.”

For years Martinez says she has mulled over the question of how she was going to make the leap to the next level in her music career. “Even just recently I was like, ‘how am I going to do that? What is going to be that kicker that gets me there?’ This show was exactly what I needed. It was a wonderful surprise.

“I’ve always felt that if people got to know my intentions with my music and who I am as a person, that would be the kicker for getting people to want to listen to me, not just because I have some hit song on the radio. I wanted people to see deeply that I’m not just about the fame and fortune. I want to do this to inspire other people out there.”

It appears that Martinez got her wish on “The Voice.” The viewing public embraced her from the minute she walked onstage during the premiere episode and she held their attention through to the finale.

“With reality shows, you can get cautious of how they (the producers) are going to make good TV, but we were ourselves and went from there.

“I went up to (Executive Producer) Mark Brunett afterward and I said thank you for letting me be me and not forcing me to do anything I didn’t want to.”


Martinez said that one of things she is most grateful for in her experience on “The Voice,” and in her life in general, is in how she has been free to just be herself. She mentioned her various looks on “The Voice” – that she knew she was taking a risk by amping up her hair and clothes instead of dressing down like she was performing at a local bar. “I was evolving so much as a performer. I asked for that make-up and that fauxhawk and for that warrior vibe. I was into it. I wanted to be Xena on the battlefield.

“I learned a lot about myself. I’ve opened a new door and a new part inside of me that loves that.”

More of her lifelong dreams were realized during the show. “I always had that dream as a little kid that I wanted to perform with the greats…being onstage with them.” At only 26 years old, Martinez has already worked with Sting, Annie Lennox, B.B. King, The Doobie Brothers, Etta James, Jonny Lang, The Presidents Of The United States Of America, Avril Lavigne, Bill Frisell, Jerry Cantrell and many more. On “The Voice” she gave a killer performance when she sang “Drops of Jupiter” with Train lead singer Pat Monahan. Cee Lo Green told her they would “forever be bonded” by their experience on the show, and even the legendary Stevie Nicks told Martinez she is destined for greatness. Martinez said she has been thinking about Nicks’ words to her ever since she got back to Tacoma.

“She told me, ‘Don’t waste five seconds. Don’t go home and get lazy.’ She said, ‘You’re a warrior – I know it’s going to be busy right now, but you can do it.’

To her Tacoma friends and fans, Martinez says she cannot do it without them. “Thank you for the support, for believing in me and for letting me be myself up there.

“The opportunities are huge now.”


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