by GABRIELLA DEPINHO, Asst. News Editor
Senior Emely Martinez was one of many performers at Quadchella on Friday, Sept. 14, however, to me she stole the show. With her chill demeanor and her equally chill set, she really grabbed the crowd’s attention.
She sang covers, a Spanglish remix of “Be Careful” by Cardi B and even performed some of her original songs. Her support improvised the music and she rolled along with it.
Martinez, who goes by Emelia Vero Martinez on social media, once got 50,000+ views on a video of her singing on Facebook. Other than that, she usually keeps her online videos to shorter Instagram clips. The only way to catch her original music is to see her perform live whether it be at open mics in the local area or on campus.
The Quadrangle was lucky to catch her performance at Quadchella which captured everyone’s attention. The laid back atmosphere of the fall music festivities and her original music was the perfect combination to listen to her live. The Quadrangle was able to catch up with her this week and get to learn more about her relationship with music.
The Quadrangle: How did you first get into music?
Emely Martinez: I didn’t always sing; that’s a fact. I always liked listening to music. I was always the weird one at home who would listen to the most random things I could find like classical music. My brother – he went through all of the phases – had the classical rock phase, the super grungy phase, a country phase even. So I had those influences. I had my parents who are from the DR so I listened to a lot of Spanish music. Then I was just finding things I didn’t hear from them and just listening to it. Then in high school, I started playing guitar. I identified closely with that, stuck to that. A lot of the guys in the other high school were like “Oh you play guitar so you sing,” and I was like “No, I play guitar.” It was a pride thing. Eventually I started singing, I think during my last year of high school. It was cool, I didn’t like it too much. I started writing and then I was like “ah yep, found it;” this is my box. Then I just continued to go from there.
TQ: What first inspired you to start writing?
EM: The first thing I ever wrote was my prom-posal. I asked my date to the prom; it was like a 30 second thing but it was cute, fun, simple. I was just like this is cool. I kinda put it aside until I was overwhelmed with emotions and I just didn’t know what to do with them. I always kinda sucked with words but it always came out better in song form. It always helped me understand what I was feeling like afterwards I would be like “oh is that how I felt? I got it now.” So I think it was just me trying to understand what I was feeling.
TQ: What’s your favorite lyric that you’ve ever written?
EM: Oh that’s a good question.
TQ: Or you can do favorite song if you can’t pick a lyric.
EM: The song that I’ve been performing and doing in open mics most recently is one of the most recent songs I’ve written called “Nice Smile.” The reason I like that one so much is because it was a challenge because my friend knows that a lot of my like/love/feeling-y songs are laced with insecurity. I was like “you know what? I need to add some confidence to that” so I thought of writing a flirty song but I didn’t know how to write it. That’s why before I start singing it I say this is a song about me trying to flirt. It made me feel uncomfortable and I was just like “why do I not like the concept of flirting?” and it just made me think of the times when people would flirt with me. And when you tell people like, “hey, I’m not feeling this” they would kinda insult you or make you feel bad about saying no and that feeling that you have no say in what they’re saying, I didn’t like that. So I wrote this flirty song but the whole bridge is saying that you don’t have to respond to anything I’m saying, I’m just saying it to say it, you can do whatever you want and I respect that. Me writing that in just made me feel better and that’s what I want other people to understand. If you want to let someone know how you’re feeling, do it in a selfless way, don’t do it so you can get the response you want from it, do it because you want to say it. So I feel like that little message, giving that person the choice to say yes or no, I thought that was very important.
TQ: I heard you perform that song at Quadchella and I absolutely loved it. So do you perform a lot or was Quadchella a one-time thing? Do you do stuff on and off campus?
EM: I do a lot of open mics and random things. I usually don’t find out until the day of when my friends are like “hey, there’s an open mic here” and I just go. I honestly just write for myself and randomly find ways and places to put it out there.
TQ: Do you want to do something with music for your career?
EM: My major is psychology and I have a music minor. I mean, I enjoy psychology, it’s great, but I would definitely try to do something with music if I can.
TQ: If music doesn’t pan out are you looking to do something with music and psychology?
EM: That’s a good question. A lot of people have brought that to my attention but I haven’t done a lot of research on it. I guess my backup plan – or the plan that you tell your parents – is that I’ll work with kids with behavioral disorders or developmental issues – which I’m also very passionate about and I really enjoy it. But there’s a hierarchy of things that I want to do. So that’s the plan I tell my parents, which I’m fine with doing and I’m not upset about that option.
TQ: What do you think of the music scene on campus? Do you think there are enough opportunities for people to share original music?
EM: I think there are plenty of opportunities, we have coffee houses. I know there are a few people on campus that write their own music. I think a lot of people are shy about it. They hear other people’s complete and finished songs and think “oh that looks like it took work.” Listen just get your ideas out there; it’s not bad or good, it’s yours, that’s the only thing it is.
TQ: Do you put your music out online?
EM: It’s mostly just performance based. On Instagram, I put little fifteen second things on my story every now and then. I am in the process of recording my music but we’ll see how that goes.
TQ: So is it true that one of your videos went viral one time?
EM: Yeah, on Facebook. It was the most random thing because I do not use Facebook. But the Cardi B remix got on there and then it got 50,000 views. I actually haven’t been able to access my Facebook since then but it’s up there, doing its thing. It hasn’t really brought itself to Instagram, some people have reached out from some random places but otherwise not really.
TQ: What’s the dream or ultimate goal for you?
EM: Continue finding different ways to express myself, I guess. Through music, get better at expressing myself in general – hopefully not just through music. Hopefully, people just relate to it. I’m definitely a believer that whatever I’m feeling, I’m not alone in it. Whenever people are like “oh my gosh, I related to that” it’s the biggest compliment you could tell a songwriter. Unless it’s a sad song because then it’s like oh I’m sorry but even then. Maybe for people who don’t have the words to express themselves, maybe my words can be that for them.
Check her out on Instagram @emeliavero.
Watch her performance on our YouTube channel by scanning the QR code on the right.