Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Vicci Martinez: The real thing by Sarah Toce
2010-01-01

This article shared 4223 times since Fri Jan 1, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


There is a serious case of conviction and compromise embedded to the core of singer/songwriter Vicci Martinez. She turned down the opportunity to perform on American Idol and said no to management icon Bill Leopold ( best known for steering Melissa Etheridge's early career ) . By all reasonable accounts, Vicci Martinez traded Hollywood fame to maintain her artistic integrity. ( Editor's note: Congratulations are in order for Martinez, as she and Blair Hansen won for Outstanding Folk/Country Song at the recent OUTMusic Awards. They won for "Break Away," which is on the soundtrack of the Chicago-produced movie Hannah Free. )

On the phone, she sounds sincere, energetic and her words are fluid—much like her music. Her energy is humble and, when discussing her future in music, she conveys a childlike innocence. This evident buoyancy has no doubt guided Vicci along the journey from her modest home in Tacoma to a tour throughout California, Pennsylvania, New York and Belize. Martinez has written or co-written all of her own music and has proven that she can defy gravity "From the Outside In." I sat down to talk with Martinez over the phone recently as she was just getting over a cold. She was as personable as expected.

Sarah Toce: Hey, it's Sarah! So, are you feeling better?

Vicci Martinez: I'm feeling a little bit better since yesterday. I made myself sleep all day. I have to go to L.A. tomorrow so I am trying to make myself better for the plane ride. I hate to be that person coughing over and over again.

ST: Well, I do hope you feel better. Let's start with Hannah Free. What does it feel like to be nominated for an OUTMusic Award for your song "Break Away?"

VM: It was pretty surreal. A friend of mine from L.A. actually mentioned that I should write a song for a different movie so I went into that with the idea that it was going to be a different project. I was going back and forth from Tacoma to San Francisco and my friend told me that Hannah Free was looking for a closing song. My friend had the trailer for Hannah Free there in San Francisco for us ( co-writer Blair Hansen ) to watch and we went from there. I was bummed because I didn't get to see the release of Hannah Free at the Castro because I happened to have a gig that day, but Blair went on behalf of both of us. A couple of months ago, Lisa Henderson looked us up and said, "by the way, you're nominated for an OUTMusic Award." It happened just like that.

ST: That's the way it goes.

VM: Yeah, we didn't expect it and it just happened. I was hoping I could get over there to the awards but the airline tickets are so expensive and my grandmother is very sick so that's the priority. It's really great, though, to have that out there and in my back pocket.

ST: In researching your career, I've noticed this pattern of you really standing up for your priorities. It's very admirable because when you look at Hollywood and the music industry in general, singer/songwriters tend to either have to stand up for themselves and go their own way or they end up in this mess of someone they're not and later regretting it. Did you battle with that choice?

VM: I think it was harder for me to do awhile back because when I started, I think the thing that I had going for me was that I was 16 and I could "do this" and "do that", but now I'm 25. I look like I'm 16 according to other people. [ Laughs ] I think, you know, when my dad passed away, I started to look at things like, "okay, what do I want to be thankful for when I am on my deathbed?" The biggest thing is staying true to myself and standing up for what I believe in. I had that struggle with my family coming out and saying, "I don't just like girls. I feel like the way you and Dad feel about each other. That is the way I feel about women. I don't know what it is to be gay; I just feel this way right now." I was younger then. There was a little bit of a time period where my family didn't know how to deal with it. For about a year, I was out of the family loop, their choice, but I stood up and wasn't going to change. My dad at that time was more concerned that I was making drastic decisions based on my age. My brothers and sisters knew. I didn't have to say I was gay. I was pretty much the tomboy of the family. I had a lot of support from them and since then, I've pretty much lucked out by being pretty true to myself. As for my career, I could look back and say, "well, it could've gone that way", but who cares? You still have your happiness. You didn't have to work with the guy you thought was a jerk. No, it was compromising my happiness. I didn't want that energy around me. A lot of people do the opposite and soak it up. Hey, if that works for them, that's great. I don't know when it's gonna be my time for me to go so every day I am gonna do what makes me happy.

ST: Part of your charm is the high energy you have on the stage. You can tell when performers are faking something and when they're really feeling something spiritual happening. It's evident to all involved that you're experiencing that spiritual vibe when performing.

VM: I wanna look back over my career one day and be able to say that I've inspired kids. It's turned into adults now, too. The way that I want to inspire them is by just really pouring it into them to be themselves and not care what anybody thinks because all in all you're gonna be a happier person. You'll make others feel happy to be around you because you're so happy. It's like a domino effect. It makes the world go round. You have to follow what makes you happy. What's cool is that you meet a lot of adults that feel inspired because of what I do. They want to pick up the guitar or even just find happiness in their jobs. It doesn't feel like work because we love what we do. Like you're doing what you love. You've had how many interviews today?

ST: This is my third one today! Sometimes, all the arrows point in a certain direction and I go with it and let the energy take over and do its own thing and I don't push it. There are times when it can be work, but you get that trade-off. I understand what you're saying because I tend to go with the flow, too. Life is really short and you have to go after what you want.

VM: I understand what you mean. Sometimes it is hard work because there are deadlines and you have to meet them. I've been working on this ballet project and I had to put myself into a hole and not leave the house for a week. The reward is great.

ST: So, now tell me, you had mentioned San Francisco. Are you living there now or are you in Seattle?

VM: I am back in Seattle. I got signed to a college agency out there and I wanted to see if they were really going to do anything good for me. They told me that I had to wait until school started back up. Pretty soon, I am going to be all over the East Coast doing college shows. I'll be in the New England area. I'll be doing gigs in places where I really want to play and will be able to get more exposure. With these college gigs, I will be able to pay my band what they deserve. People say, "You have a really great band," but I have to pay them. It's not like we practice in the garage or something. So, I have to tell them, "this is what we need for every show" and that was my choice because I wanted a great band to play with and so I need to pay them. So, I needed to figure out how to do it wisely. The universe helped me out and hooked me up with the college gigs so that we can play and I can pay my band what they deserve.

ST: That's very inspiring. Being from the Seattle area, we like to support our own. When we see you in concert, we can't help but notice that you're on the stage without shoes and banging your drum. We all love you out here.

VM: Thank you. That's very cool. [ Laughs ]

ST: Tell us about your ballet project coming up.

VM: I did a score for a ballet, which debuted in November, but we're going to do a Seattle show at the Triple Door on January 17, 2010. I'm gonna have the ballet company open the show. It's about 25 minutes long. Then we'll play a set and have a CD available of just my own stuff—some instrumental, some vocal stuff—it'll just be Vicci stuff. You should go to that if you can. Let me know and I'll put you on the list.

ST: I'm in town so I'll definitely be there.

VM: Awesome. If you have friends, tell them to start reserving so that maybe I can get a second show added. The proceeds will go to the MLK Ballet Company. It's a non-profit company for kids who can't afford to go to dance. They supply the ballet shoes, leotards, etc. That company will actually be doing the dance at the show, so that will be exciting.


This article shared 4223 times since Fri Jan 1, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Always Olivia' celebrates Olivia Newton-John at Raue Center 2024-02-26
- From a press release: Always Olivia, a tribute to one of the most celebrated and beloved pop culture icons of all time, the late Olivia Newton-John comes to Raue Center in Crystal Lake on Saturday, May ...


Gay News

Samuel Savoir-Faire Williams's violin stylings help COH mark Black History Month 2024-02-23
- As part of its celebration of Black History Month, Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., presented a solo jazz performance by violinist Samuel Savoir-Faire Williams on Feb. 21. The two-hour long performance presented a showcase ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Kristen Stewart, Rock Hudson, Talia Keys, 'True Detective,' Marvel comic 2024-02-23
- At the Berlin Film Festival, Kristen Stewart defended her photo shoot for a Rolling Stone magazine cover that went viral and divided audiences on social-media platforms, per The Hollywood Reporter. "The existence of a female body ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Billy Elliot, The Musical 2024-02-19
- Book and Lyrics: Lee Hall; Music: Elton John. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora Tickets: 630-896-6666 or Paramountaurora.com; $28-$79. Runs through March 24 Billy Elliot: The Musical may nearly be two decades old, but ...


Gay News

REFLECTIONS: An Evening of original music with the Jeannie Tanner Quartet 2024-02-19
--From a press release - REFLECTIONS will be a night of feel-good, upbeat original music written by Jeannie Tanner. Songs range from jazz, to pop, to soulful R&B. Jeannie's music can be heard in many television shows and movies, with recordings ...


Gay News

Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret Valentine's Day Feb. 17 2024-02-16
--From a press release - Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret puts their own spin on Valentine's Day with a show celebrating things done and sacrificed for love - not just romantic love, but love for pets, friends, family and art. Join the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Hannah Gadsby, video game, Jennifer Lopez, queer thriller 2024-02-16
Video below - Sir Elton John has sold his Atlanta home and is now auctioning off more than 900 of his personal items that were kept in the 13,500-square-foot condo, The Daily Mail noted. The massive collection includes rare ...


Gay News

Wic Whitney spills the Afternoon Tea 2024-02-15
- Born in Arkansas and now based in Chicago, queer performer Wic Whitney is a storyteller with a great deal to say, preaching his Southern soul message through unique vocal stylings as a rapper and singer. This ...


Gay News

CGMC presents Lipstick & Lyrics: Forty & Foxy, A Glamorous Feast for the Senses 2024-02-14
--From a press release - CHICAGO, February 13, 2024 — The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus proudly presents Lipstick & Lyrics: Forty & Foxy, a dazzling, live-singing drag show that celebrates the sensuality and empowerment of middle age. Get ready to unleash ...


Gay News

Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees 2024-02-11
- Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees On Feb. 10, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its 2024 class. According to NPR, two-thirds of the artists on the list for "rock's highest ...


Gay News

Dr. Lady J explains how opera can be a drag 2024-02-10
- On Feb. 8, Center on Halsted, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, presented a lecture by historian, drag activist, podcaster and curator Dr. Lady J. The event, titled "Castrated Superstars, Cross Dressed Divas, and Queer ...


Gay News

Asians and Friends Chicago to host LGBTQ Lunar New Year Dinner Feb. 24 2024-02-09
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Taking a cross-dressing twist for the Year of the Dragon, members of Asians and Friends Chicago (AFC) will host a dinner-and-drag musical revue, celebrating the Year of the "Drag-on" and bringing together members of the lesbian, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...


Gay News

Women dominate 2024 Grammys 2024-02-05
- It was the year of the woman at the 2024 Grammys. Regarding everything from performances to wins, women dominated the 2024 Grammys that took place Feb. 4 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Tracy Chapman ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Tom Holland, Bowen Yang, Pet Shop Boys, Mariah Carey 2024-02-02
- In the wake of Nigel Lythgoe exiting So You Think You Can Dance, queer personality JoJo Siwa is returning to the series, per Deadline. Siwa, who was a judge on season 17 of the Fox show, will replace Lythgoe, who left ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.