I was recruited for the choir because they needed girls. They didn’t know I could sing. I didn’t know I could sing either. So I said ok.” 
Melinda Ortner was born and raised in California, and the past five years she’s been based in LA where she’s launched her music career. Her father being a music teacher it may seem like the obvious thing to do, but it wasn’t her first choice of careers. She was ‘forced’ into playing the piano
(and the flute), but it never interested her that much. And ever since she saw the movie ‘My Girl’, Melinda wanted to be an actress – or Anna Chlumsky to be exact. In college she joined the theatre and semi-pursued a career as an actress. She was never very good according to herself. It was when the school choir was short of girls that she first moved onto music. Melinda never thought
of herself as a singer at first, but gave it a go nevertheless.
I started singing around middle school and got the lead in "Oliver" (yeah, I played a boy!) then in high school I was the lead in "West Side Story". It was junior year though when I had one of those
"moments" when I knew I had to do music.”
Since then she’s been writing and performing music anywhere she can. She’s a trained vocalist and pianist, but foremost sees herself as a songwriter. “Piano was in and out of my life since age 8ish and I kick myself every say for not practicing more, but I get by. It's about the songwriting for me” – she says. Amongst her influences are Ella Fitzgerald, Keely Smith and Cole Porter– her first three major ones – and as she delved into writing, she also drew influences from The Beatles, Fiona Apple, Muse, Keane, and The Pixies, to name a few. If she could perform alongside one artist it would be Thom York, who she once mentioned in an interview she wants to ‘watch quietly, like a creepy stalker’
(for educational purposes, of course).

With her debut album still to come, Melinda Ortner is quickly climbing in the music industry, both abroad and at home. In 2011 she was the grand prize winner of MTV’s “Steal The Spotlight” contest, and was chosen as one of 15 songwriters of the year for ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Project. She was also semi-finalist for the IMWSC Songwriting Contest while her song “Something You Said” was featured on STAR’s indie playlist.

She has three recent song placements in the feature films, ‘I Hate Valentine’s Day’ by Nia Vardalos(My Big Fat Greek Wedding), ‘American Pie 7: Book Of Love’. She’s written for Chevrolet, and recently licensed a song to Glen Ballard’s young new artist also working with Desmond Child and The Jonas Brothers. In August 2011, she opened for Joe Jonas, Miguel and Cobra Starship at the official pre-VMA show at House Of Blues, LA.  She played the 10th Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute with host Jack Osbourne, and performed with Magni Ásgeirsson (finalist from the CBS show “Rockstar Supernova” in Iceland). Furthermore she won “Best Performance” and “Best Song” 4 consecutive years at the West Coast Songwriters Showcase. She got to perform at Kate Hudson’s Christmas Party last year and was voted “Best of Sundance Music” also performing at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She was featured on PCTV and invited to perform the ESPN Dinner Party and several film premieres which led to writing the theme song for a feature film in Finland called “Gone With The River”. The track made it into the top 100 Billboard charts in Finland.

In 2011 Melinda completed a successful 4 month self-assembled Europe/Japan tour that led to great press reviews, radio and TV interviews, sold out concerts and a scheduled follow-up tour late 2012. In the meantime she’s completed another US West Coast tour, and regularly play shows
in LA.  She was also the main subject in a documentary released in Europe, where cameras followed her around for a year, filming her walking six dogs at a time to pay the bills whilst writing melodies for her album, then running off to the studio or a gig or some Hollywood meeting. 

The music video for her first single “Heartbeats” got more than 40K views on YouTube,” and has been licensed for over a dozen wedding videos, promos, and company websites.  Several of her tracks have also been aired regularly on MTV2, Showtime, HBO, USA Network, Pay-Per-View,  as well as the  Comedy Central, The Sundance Channel, and the Movie Channel.
There is no doubt that Melinda’s fan base is growing fast as she approaches the release of her debut album, suitably titled ‘I Wanna Be OK’.

No comments:

Post a Comment