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 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

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

This article shared 4003 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 4003 times since Fri Jan 1, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MUSIC 'All Day I Dream' festival Aug. 6 in Chicago 2022-06-29
- All Day I Dream of Chicago Shimmer—part of the global touring festival All Day I Dream (ADID)—will take place on 31st Street Beach on Saturday, Aug. 6. After 10 years of producing hundreds of iconic day ...


Gay News

MUSIC Taylor Bennett announces free July 22 show at Lincoln Hall 2022-06-29
- Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett—whose year has included teaming with Champion Athletics for a clothing line and tour; dropping his new project, Coming of Age; and much more—announced his free homecoming show on Friday, July 22, at ...


Gay News

Pride in the Park pumps up the volume in 2022 2022-06-27
- From East Monroe Street to East Jackson Drive, Pride in the Park covered just the right amount of territory in the Grant Park area in downtown Chicago on June 25 and 26. Butler Field was overrun ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash attendees party during Pride weekend in Chicago 2022-06-27
- The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash took place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese ruling, Pride events, Colombia election, Boris Johnson 2022-06-26
- A Japanese court ruled that the country's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez 2022-06-26
- Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...


Gay News

Lynda Carter releases new single, 'Human and Divine' 2022-06-23
- Many people are familiar with actress Gal Gadot as superhero Wonder Woman. However, decades before, Lynda Carter wore the bracelets and wielded the golden lasso as the Amazon princess who set many hearts (of men and ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash taking place June 25-26 2022-06-22
- The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash will take place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

The Andersonville Village Market returns for summer 2022 2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (June 21, 2022) The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome back its 2nd annual Andersonville Vintage Market, featuring antiques, home décor, jewelry, accessories, clothing, music and ...


Gay News

Chicago Philharmonic launches 2022-23 season 2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL - (June 20, 2022) Chicago Philharmonic has announced its 2022-23 symphonic season on the heels of a 2021-22 season that ended with the sold-out Chicago Premiere of Marvel Studios' Black Panther in Concert. The ...


Gay News

Chicago Pride Fest adds new features to the outdoor celebration 2022-06-20
- The Chicago Pride Fest outdoor celebration returned June 18-19, as local Pride events lead up to the parade on Sunday, June 26. The festival featured music on three stages and more than 150 vendors running down ...


Gay News

Goodman Theatre running musical 'Life After' through July 17 2022-06-20
- Goodman Theatre is running the musical Life After through Sunday, July 17. With humor and wit, this "luminous new musical…lush, poetic and surprisingly funny" (The San Diego Union-Tribune) explores how people move through and live with ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Lightyear,' celebrity event, LGBT runner, Mariah Carey 2022-06-19
Video below - Pixar's latest film Lightyear is hitting theaters, and it has a special moment for gay fans—a same-sex kiss between the character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her female partner—that almost didn't happen, Out Magazine note ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: WNDR Museum, Prince, queer books, flowers 2022-06-16
- — WNDR Museum's Pride event "Crafting with Queens": The West Loop museum is usually entertainment and, um, wondrous enough on its own—but during Pride Month, WNDR is queering things up with "Crafting with Queens" on Tuesday, ...


Gay News

PERFORMANCE 'Moonset Sunrise' at Navy Pier on June 16 and 18 2022-06-15
- Collaboraction announced that Moonset Sunrise, its 25th-anniversary production, with live performances on June 16 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Beat Kitchen's new Bar Sol on Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave. Through healing ritual, storytelling, ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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
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.