Melinda Ortner
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Melinda Ortner

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Band Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Loose Lips Article"

Melinda Ortner started music from her father’s footsteps, now she’s recording her first full length album, making music videos and being shopped around for a record deal. After comparisons to Fiona Apple, Muse and Alicia Keys, she’s more than on her way. Lee had a chance to talk to her the other day - Loose Lips, Lee Frank

"Bang Tidy Interview"

Writes amazing songs, plays wonderful piano, and top it off, amazing unique voice. - Bang Tidy Music

"Estelle Recommends"

She is great! - Estelle, major label artist

"Chester French Recommends"

Must check out Melinda Ortner’s “Heartbeats" music video. - Chester French

"LA Producer Recommends"

One of the most uniquely talented people I have heard on MySpace and as a producer. - Les July

"Best Of Sundance"

Best Of Sundance Film Music 2011! - PCTV

"Ivory Harp Interview (3)"

Melinda Ortner has a unique sound. Somewhat like Regina Spektor, with an emotive, smoky voice combined with her keyboard. She gives you the feeling of being in some hazy city at dusk amid the noise and the chaos, wandering through the passing crowd, lost in your thoughts. - Ivory Harp

"Ivory Harp Interview (2)"

Her style ranges somewhere between pop, electronica, and indie. One minute she has a funky beat going, and the next she is playing and singing a slower love song - Ivory Harp

"Ivory Harp Interview"

Her lyrics are very real, and that is part of what makes her music good. She talks about things that we all could, and probably do feel. It is this raw emotion that comes through in the tone and style of her voice, and the songs that she writes - Ivory Harp

"Melinda Ortner, Cut & Sewn, and Snickerdoodle cookies"

Melinda Ortner started music from her father’s footsteps, now she’s recording her first full length album, making music videos and being shopped around for a record deal. After comparisons to Fiona Apple, Muse and Alicia Keys, she’s more than on her way. Lee had a chance to talk to her the other day.

C&S: So the first question has to be, how did you get started in music?
Melinda Ortner: Well, my dad was a music teacher and forced me, I was reluctant to play piano. I didn’t want to, but then I did. He made me practice. I couldn’t play with my friends until I practiced, which I’m very grateful for now. And then, I kinda dropped it. I wanted to do acting when I saw the movie My Girl. That was the moment, ‘I want to be an actress.’ Then I got 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. And when I tried I and I thought, I’m not bad. And I went from there.

Which do you like more: singing or piano?
I like singing more, but I like doing both at the same time. That’s when I get to my zone. But I also play a little guitar and I do play the flute. That was my first instrument.

Are you gonna bring any flute into your songs?
Honestly, I don’t think so, but after hearing things by Vampire Weekend, I could bring a whole world of sound to my music. Never know.

What music influences you?
I would say, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington are the two singers that I wanted to sound like. From there, of course, Fiona Apple and Muse were like the obsessions I had in the last two years, where all I listened to was that. I would say I’m really really inspired by classical music and I try to incorporate it into my songs. Aside from that, Radiohead, and other bands that add regular piano stuff with electronica sounds.

Keep reading for more great questions and 2 awesome mp3s.

And you have a song coming up soon in a film?
I have two songs coming up in a movie with two of the people from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It had Nia Vardalos and John Corbitt. It was called I Hate Valentine’s Day, but they retitled it recently and it’s coming out in August. Two of my songs are in it. One is called “Maybe” and the other one is “Something You Said” while they’re kissing in the park. and they’re falling in love in Central Park.

What music is in heavy rotation on your ipod?
Right now, I’m really into Azure Ray. At this point, I’m really into Lily Allen and her new song. Vampire Weekend was a big thing and Bon Iver, I really liked that, too. And, of course, Sarah Barreiles. Her whole album is awesome.

Cover Songs. What your favorite?
I’ve just started playing a song called “Can’t Find My Way Home.” We just started playing it. It’s by Blind Faith. It’s for this record label for youtube. In the past I’ve done a lot of Jason Mraz covers, too. But my favorite is this song from The Jerk, you know what I’m talking about. It’s “Tonight You Belong to Me.” I don’t know who wrote, but it was made famous by Steve Martin in The Jerk. It’s like “I know you belong to someone new/But tonight you belong to me.”

What was worst show you’ve had so far?
One time, I mixed up the date. So half the people showed up. So that was terrible to begin with. Then my keyboard wouldn’t plug in. When it finally did, it made this terrible buzzing sound. And no one was in the audience anyways, but I felt bad for the ones who made it. Added to that, the day before, my bass player quit. It was pretty bad.

Ok. Silly time. 5 things you can’t live without.

1. Snickerdoodle 7-11 cookie.
2. My running shoes.
3. My keyboard. I’d really like a piano, but substitute a keyboard for now.
4. My duvet. My overpriced, that-I’m-stilling-paying-off duvet.
5. And my voice. If I lost my voice, which I have in the past, that would be terrible.

Scenario: You’ve just won a grammy. What’s your acceptance speech?
Before I won this grammy, I told everybody that follow your dreams is probably the stupidest thing anyone can do if you want to be a singer/songwriter because its the toughest journey I’ve been on. It’s not getting any easier. You still wonder what’s gonna happen tomorrow. If you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else more, do it anyway. Whether or not you’re expecting success, just do it. You still have to try, you have to jump.

What other things are you looking forward to in the next year?
I’m working on a record. I have an EP, but I call it the demo EP. So I’m working on the record, I’m doing a music video and I just got a manager. And they’re already shopping me to labels. So now we’re just waiting for my music video to be finished so she can really shop me like a full package. Next step will be to put together a tour. I want to do it and learn from it. The big goal is the record deal.

What would you like to see on a t-shirt?
“Do you want to talk about it?” If anyone ever starts a conversation and they’re just talking talking talking, I just say “Do you want to talk about it?” and it just throws them off.

Take a listen to these:
Something Sorry

Thanks to Melinda for the call and time to talk. Check out her myspace and site. - Cut & Sewn Loose Lips Blog


Strangers EP - August 2012:
01. Strangers
02. Wait Another Day
03. Sweet Little Lies
04. Somethin' Sorry

Gone With The River, October 2011 (Gone With The River)
Maybe & Something You Said (I Hate Valentine's Day)
Heartbeats - Single, July 2009 (American Pie:Book Of Love)




“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 day 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 press reviews, radio and TV interviews, sold out concerts and a scheduled follow-up tour late 2012. 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” has over 40K views on YouTube, has been licensed for over a dozen wedding videos, promos, and company websites, and been aired on MTV2, Showtime, HBO, USA Network, Pay-Per-View, etc etc.

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’.

I WANNA BE OK - The Debut Album

“When a fan writes me and tells me that my music touched them in some way, I feel content, and fulfilled. Above all, if I get none of those things, I'll be ok. If I can still find those fans in some way, if it’s continuing on with my self-managed tours, keyboard on back, suitcase in hand, I'll be ok. Well, I'd like to be. Hence, the title of my record.”

It was at an open mic night at The Abbey Tavern in London I first met Melinda Ortner. Little did I then know that I’d end up managing her about half a year later. I knew straight away she had talent though. And not only talent, but a handful of solid, well written songs and an honest