Melinda Ortner

Melinda Ortner

 Los Angeles, California, USA

A soulful voice, matched with undeniably catchy melodies and refreshingly honest lyrics.Dark pop with a bright side.

MTV's Steal The Spotlight Grand Prize Winner 2011.
Top 15 Songwriters Of The Year” for ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Project. "Best Of Sundance Festival" 2011



“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


Somethin' Sorry

Written By: Melinda Ortner


Your smiles goin' strong as I keep mine collected and calm
But I can't help look your way, can I smile back just for today...

I can't do much more and that's fine,
it's nice to be content but sometimes...

I wonder if I'm wasting time, is there something for me better to find....
'Cuz he's lookin' at me like you do but I won't do what I'm not suppossed to...
And it's probably just a little test and I could try a taste, make sure you're the best....
'Cuz you're wonderful and safe and right but I know I need some sorry tonight....

Verse 2:

He keeps starin' my way, like he's got some, somethin' to say, and his looks got the better of me, no I can't go where he wants me...


So please just kindly keep your distance, I'm happy in my quaint existence


Whoah....whoah....mmmmm. that gleam's got me....

whoah, whoah, hmmmm, no please not me....

Last Chorus:

But I can't wait until the end of time
To play the game I resist all of the time
'Cuz I want him right under my skin
'Cuz the fight seems like it wants him to win...
And he's lookin' at me like you do,
And I think I'll do what I'm not suppossed to....
'Cuz you're wonderful and safe and right,
But I know I need some sorry tonight...


Written By: Melinda Ortner

Heart Beats

Somedays I think I might be dreaming
When everything’s too right
People they told me about this feeling
The one you cannot fight
But I try, and I try but I just can’t deny
When it’s there, it’s everywhere
So I won’t wonder why…

My heart beats again…
Whenever I’m happy…
Are you happy too…

My heart beats for you…
Whenever I’m happy…
Are you happy too…

Verse 2:
So I play my cool and keep my quiet…
‘till the beat in my step is right….
and I try very hard to gently hide it…
everytime you step into sight…
And you look so unsure…as you walk me to the door…
but you see, you’ve got to me, and I’m only wanting more…
When the world is spinning and you’re lost in a dream
There’s no reason to stop when you can feel, your heartbeat again
Whenever you’re happy, are you happy too!
Where can I place the blame…
Tell me who put me into frame…
It’s not fair…Don’t you dare…
‘Cuz I’m losin’ my head in this, but I’m lovin’ every minute of it,
What a shame it’d be to never see the one thing that you really need…


The Beauty In Me

Written By: Melinda Ortner

There you are creeping through my dreams like so many nights before
You sing the song that you know I long for that leaves me wanting more…
You trap me in this make believe, ‘till morning sets me free…

Wake me up I’m lost in your glory
Dreaming I was part of your story
I can’t fight this lonely obsession
You’ll never see, the beauty in me…

Verse 2:
You appear so close but I know you’re far you’re a million miles from my reach…
It’s hard to wake when you pull me in cradling every word that you speak…
The fantasy consumes my world now that day can’t set me free…



And I try to wake up…
And I try to wake up…


Wait Another Day

Written By: Melinda Ortner

Verse 1:
Faster now
Get to work
Go to sleep when it hurts
All u get is the all u want is the worth

So you give and you give
And you try to forget, as you wait for it, wait for something


And I see you in the morning light
And I try so hard to make the time
When the dreamings done and the waters cold would you walk alone on that empty road


Wait, wait another day for it
Say, say what they will say

Verse 2:

Years go by, tell a lie, 'cuz you've got something good, and the dues that you pay will pay off like they should...

And you smile for them, they don't know where you've been, you pretend everything's alright


There's nothing you can do about the time that's passed
And you look in the mirror and the fear looks back
And the lines on your face keep on asking you, did you listen to yourself or listen to them

Bridge When I sleep my dreams await
Try to close my eyes but when I dream I’m wide awake


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)

Set List