Melanie Martinez’s “K-12”


Marley Watkins, Staff Writer

It’s been more than four years since singer Melanie Martinez has released music, but recently she’s been a big hit for not only a new album but a unique film. She’s most known for her 2015 album “Cry Baby” and as of September 6th, 2019 Melanie has released her own movie. She calls this one K-12. Her approach to songwriting, acting and directing is impressive and new for film and music production. 


Melanie’s movie was first aired on YouTube on her channel where viewers could stream this new film for free. In her movie she portrays a character “Crybaby”. This character apparently gets granted powers from a goddess “Lillith.”  Despite her fame, Melanie Martinez plays an emotional young girl who doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the children. We meet other characters in Crybaby’s story such as Angelita and Celeste, two of her close friends she makes. In the movie Crybaby deals with real life experiences like falling in love, bullying, and low self esteem issues. Melanie uses her songs to get these messages through to the public and how it affects people. 


The album starts off with “Wheels on the Bus”, a song that just begins to tell the audience that this isn’t just another musical film. As other songs like “Class Fight” and “The Principal” come into focus we see that these songs are telling Crybaby’s story. Although Melanie has told the public that her and the character Crybaby are not too similar, their lives and background can sometimes tangle in the movie.“I feel like it’s kind of easy to just write a pop song about how I feel or about my love life or whatever but it’s so much more of a challenge to create a story and think about other characters and how they relate to that character and expanding that world.” says Melanie. The track features a song, “Show and Tell”, a song we can clearly tell that’s talking about Melanie’s personal experience in the music industry. A line in the song states, “Lie and sell like I’m a product of society.” 

Melanie’s interpretation of her song “Show and Tell”

Not only did her songs tell Crybaby’s story and a bit of the singer’s own, Melanie Martinez puts more messages into her songs throughout K-12. For example “Drama Club” basically explains the social environment in society today. Then another song “Strawberry Shortcake” opens the void to the fact that women are still treated like objects today. One lyric that repeats is, “That’s my bad, that’s my bad no one taught them not to grab” is trying to message out that girls deal with things like sexual assault and it’s an underrated issue not too discussed. Then another lyric says, “Wondering why I don’t look like Barbie…They say boys like girls with a tiny waist”. This is an effect of uncomfortableness and low self esteem with females. Other songs in the track like “Lunchbox Friends” and “Orange Juice” are about other serious topics like fake friends and eating disorders. This kind of songwriting is something that the audience should know about and Melanie did an excellent job of getting that into perspective. Christopher Amano, currently an eighth grader at Dana says, “ I think her film and album K-12 is really unique because she did something that not many artists have done over the past years.”

 The 24 year old singer, songwriter, actress, and now director Melanie Martinez was absent in the music industry for quite some time but after surprise teasers of a movie/album last year, fans were most interested in what it was entirely. The singer did indeed come out with a movie she calls K-12, directed by Melanie herself and this track is also a new album for her.

Abigail Burrell, eighth grader here and fan of the singer states what she thought of the film, “ Her music shows what women deal with and how our society is split but yet she also makes it enjoyable to listen to.” Partnering with YouTube for a “Artist Spotlight Story,” Melanie experiences something new but presents a unique piece of music and entertainment. She sings songs delivering messages about serious environmental problems, issues in society that need to be heard, or just catchy authentic songs that show her creativity. Amazingly it all flows well all throughout it. Her movie can be streamed on YouTube while the album is available on all platforms. This movie is definitely a must see with its powerfully moving track.