When they hear the name Melanie Martinez, what most people think of is the song entitled Play Date. Yup! Even though the song that became part of the album CRY BABY This has been in circulation since 2015. Play Date you could say it reached its golden peak around April 2020 when this song went viral on TikTok. The TikTok community at that time was shocked by the video edited by actor Timothée Chalamet when he danced in his film entitled Call Me by Your Name which his fans edited using a song Play Date. Long story short, this song became one of the most popular songs in the world at that time.
Melanie Martinez is an American-born singer who first showed her talent in the music world when she participated in The Voice Season 3 in 2012. Although the 1995-born singer did not come out victorious, her career in the music industry did not fade away. From 2014 to 2015, Martinez issued singles hits that later became part of his first album—CRY BABY.
You could say Martinez is probably one of the singers with the most unique concept in this generation. His songs, which are alternative pop genres, are packaged so uniquely together with Martinez’s style and concept, which is called “pastel goth“—that is, a combination of the aesthetics of pastel colors and dark gothic. Not only that, Martinez also writes songs with deep meaning and often have implied messages.
1. The Underrated K-12 Album Raised Many Social Issues
Not many know about Melanie’s second album, titled K-12 this. When compared to his other songs like Play Date, Pacific Heror Soap on album CRY BABYalbum K-12 which was released in 2019 is not as popular as its predecessor. On Spotify, only 1 song from K-12 which entered the ranks of Martinez’s 5 most popular songs there. That doesn’t mean K-12 not as good CRY BABYbecause as always, the songs in K-12 It also has deep meaning and important messages for the listeners.
K-12 consists of 13 songs: Wheels on the Bus, Class Fight, The Principle, Show & Tell, Nurse’s Office, Drama Club, Strawberry Shortcake, Lunchbox Friends, Orange Juice, Detention, Teacher’s Pet, High School Sweethearts, and Recess. Many of his songs involve criticism of social issues and contain important messages for his listeners, who mostly come from the younger generation.
Below will be discussed further 3 songs on the album K-12.
2. The Principle
“When you come and hurt us
Just so you can get your money
Forced to follow the leader
Who’s being possessed by demons”
The Principle tells the story of a greedy and corrupt school principal. He didn’t care about the plight of his students; all he cared about was money and power. Martinez wrote this song to criticize those who are in leadership positions but abuse their authority because they are too drunk on money and power.
3. Strawberry Shortcake
“Got boys acting like they ain’t seen skin before
Got sent home to change ’cause my skirt is too short
It’s my fault
Now, the boys want a taste of the strawberry shortcake [aku])”
Strawberry Shortcake tells about the phenomenon where women are often used as sexual objects from an early age. Through his music video on YouTube, Martinez shows Strawberry Shortcake as a metaphor for Martinez himself (red: female). In the video, it is shown how men flock to Martinez who is posing as Strawberry Shortcake giant and tried to taste it.
Often in society, women are required to cover themselves. They are also the ones who are blamed when they get sexual harassment from men, often with narratives that discriminate and objectify women as if women are a piece of cake that exists only to satisfy men’s lust. Martinez criticizes the social issues that plague this society with visuals that are disturbingand if we look deeper, it is very sad considering how real this social issue is.
4. Teacher’s Pet
“Caught the teacher giving his eyes to a student (Accidentally saw the teacher paying more attention to a student)”
You got a wife and kids, you see them daily”
Teacher’s Pet which is a song from K-12 The most listened to on Spotify tells the story of a teacher who is involved in a romantic relationship with his own student. Martinez wrote this song to satirize the social phenomenon that often occurs in which a grown man who works as a teacher abuses his profession by dating his own student. This is of course illegal and weird. The student is a minor and has not yet reached the legal age, while the teacher is a grown man who in some cases even has a family.
No matter how much the teacher says that he likes the student because the student is more “mature” than other children his age, under no circumstances can it be allowed to go unnoticed—or worse, be romanticized. It is illegal and immoral. Furthermore, in the music video Teacher’s PetMartinez wants to emphasize that this relationship between teacher and student will only hurt and harm the student in the end.
5. Addition: K-12 Film Film
Along with music videos K-12in 2019 Martinez also released his film entitled “K-12 (The Movie)” which contains dialogues from the storyline inserted between the music videos. You could say this film seems to be a musical drama from the album K-12. This 1 hour 32 minute film tells the story of Cry Baby (Melanie Martinez), a girl who has magical powers who goes to a special school with her friend Angelita (Elita Harkov). This film has also been watched as many as 98 million times. Those of you who claim to be Melanie Martinez fans must really watch this film!
Those are five interesting facts about 3 Melanie Martinez songs from her second album, entitled K-12. Of course, K-12 It may only be popular among Melanie Martinez’s loyal fans, but that’s no excuse for global audiences Play Date not to give this album a chance. After all, Martinez is a very talented singer with alternative pop music that is unique, unconventional, and certainly will never disappoint.