Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Melanie Martinez was one of my all-time favourite contestants on The Voice US. In 2012’s Season 3, she stood out as a cool, distinctive, chart-ready teen pop star on a show that is meant to prioritise vocals over looks, style and personality. She came fifth, and as the show didn’t have a good track record of producing stars, she didn’t get a record deal at first. But her quirky twee-goth style struck a chord with America, and she retained a strong fanbase of teenage girls. After two years of recording and touring as an independent artist, Melanie signed to Atlantic, who released her popular song Dollhouse and helped her record her debut album. Her videos for Carousel and recent single Pity Party racked up millions of views on YouTube, and by the time of her album release, there was enough anticipation to send it to no.1 in the iTunes Alternative Album Chart, and even no.32 in the UK Official Chart, when she has done no promo here at all. She’s a great example of how an artist can use the exposure brought by a reality show to launch the career they want, without giving up creative control.