Melissa Polinar uses natural talent and social media to advance her career.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
When Melissa Polinar was only 18, Warner Brothers brought her on as a staff songwriter. But the music giant had no real clue about the secret weapon it had added to its arsenal.
“[Warner Brothers] knew that I could sing, but all I did was write songs and collaborate with other songwriters and producers,” she says.
Polinar talks in a voice that may sound like she’s a young kid – she also sports a set of cute dimples on her cheeks – but when she sings, she melds blues, jazz, country and pop influences in a fluid and powerful way that could easily rival any of American Idol’s top contestants.
Shortly after the singer-songwriter – performing at Planet Gemini on Wednesday – left Warner to pursue her own music career, a friend urged her to post videos of her original tunes on YouTube. Her videos have racked up more than 5 million views since.
“That was the beginning of everything,” Polinar says. “It all translates to Facebook and Twitter. If I have a new video up, I can Tweet it and post it everywhere else.”
Polinar draws inspiration for her lyrics from relationships and family, personal faith and daily observations.
“I don’t really have one spark for song writing,” she says. “I feel like that would be kind of limiting.”
Musically, the Dallas native sources influences from a vast array of musicians including Whitney Houston and Etta James, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor.
“I like to incorporate the musicality of the female artists I grew up on along with piano – and guitar-driven song writing,” she says.
On one of the young musician’s most recent YouTube uploads, “Off-Guard,” Polinar channels the soulfulness of Tracy Chapman and the folkie punch of Stevie Nicks while intermittently tapping on her guitar to keep rhythm.
Polinar’s vast musical collage makes it nearly impossible to ascribe her sound to any particular genre. But she says that’s one of the things that keeps her fan base hungry for more.
MELISSA POLINAR plays 6:30pm Wednesday, April 11, at Planet Gemini, 2110 N. Fremont St., Monterey. $15. 373-1449.