Martina “Tini” Stoessel, 19, always intuitively understood the emotive power of her voice. It was this ability to immerse herself in song, to create transformative experiences through her singing, that led her down the path to stardom as the main character in Violetta, an internationally successful coming-of-age telenovela produced by Disney Channel. Since it first aired in 2012, Violetta has aired in 130 countries and been dubbed into 15 languages. In 2015 alone, the series amassed an astounding 37.4 million viewers. And all of it started with that magical voice.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a family with deep roots in television, Tini initially wound up on Disney’s radar through sheer coincidence. Her father, esteemed director/writer Alejandro Stoessel, was pitching a potential TV project to Disney brass and, in order to convey the nuances of his vision, he submitted a preliminary audio recording featuring original music, with all the songs performed by his then-13-year-old daughter. Disney executives were soon eager to learn more about the young woman behind the voice and, upon learning her identity, they asked if she had any acting ambitions and whether she might consider attending a casting call for Violetta, which was then in its nascent stages. After several grueling casting rounds, Tini was granted the role of a lifetime, one that allowed her to combine her love of singing and acting. The Violetta soundtracks have sold over 2M units worldwide, with 2 million concert tickets sold for the accompanying tour that comprised of over 200 shows throughout Europe and Latin America. For Tini, however, the show was was much more than her breakout role. “Violetta was where I grew up,” she says. “Working on set everyday was like school for me: I figured out who I was and what I wanted to be during those incredible four years.”
Having wrapped up Violetta’s third and final season in 2015, Tini is writing a new chapter in her already stellar career, establishing herself as a solo recording artist and leaving behind her beloved TV alter ego. Now signed to Hollywood Records, she is unveiling her eponymous solo album and debuting a more versatile, mature sound. TINI was instantly embraced by audiences, with the album debuting in the Top 10 in numerous countries across Europe and Latin America, entering the official charts in Austria at No. 3, in Italy and Germany at No. 6, in Mexico at No. 7, and in Poland at No. 9 and France and Spain No. 12. The album went on to dominate the iTunes charts, debuting in the Top 5 in 20 countries.
A true reflection of her own musical influences, TINI features a medley of sounds ranging from pop to EDM, rock, hip-hop, and R&B. “The record is exactly how I dreamed my first album would be” says Stoessel. “I had this idea in my head for an album that included various genres of music to show every side of me as an artist, and I’m so grateful to everyone who worked on it with me for understanding that and helping me make it a reality.”
The first single, “Great Escape,” produced by Grammy-winning team The Monsterz & The Strangers — who have collaborated with Maroon 5, Jason Derulo, and Rita Ora finds Tini unable to resist the pull of attraction, the lyrical rhythm quickening alongside the tempo during moments meant to evoke adrenaline surges, her vocals soaring dreamily during key intervals that evoke a state of love-fueled euphoria. The accompanying music video, directed by Philip Andelman, showcases Tini running through the city of Buenos Aires with her love interest, stealing kisses in dimly lit rooms then chasing him as they run through the city, jumping across rooftops and effectively floating on air. “This is my first official English-language single as a solo artist, and it was important to me that the video be filmed in my country, in Argentina, since it’s my home and it’s such an important part of who I am,” Tini says.
The Jason Evigan-produced “Got Me Started,” meanwhile, showcases a more playful side of Tini, which starts off with a breezy, stripped-down beat and light-hearted cadence, then grows in sonic intensity as the keyboards and drum machines pick up the pace, urging listeners to dance along, before slowing down for a sensual vocal interlude, adding a touch of R&B flavor, then again resuming the upbeat, catchy, tempo. “It’s a song that immediately draws you in,” Tini says, excitedly. “You can feel the beat from your head to your toes, and it takes you through a range of emotions over the course of just three minutes.”
This desire for authenticity — not just in love, but life — plays a key role in Tini’s music. “I feel every emotion I sing about, and I sing from the bottom of my heart,” she says. “Whether I’m with my family and friends, whether I’m in a recording studio or I’m performing on stage, I’m always myself. There’s no persona, no character.” Rather than relying on gimmick and salacious image transformations that underscore her transition from girl to woman, Tini is allowing her music to document her personal growth. Her debut album, then, is a heartfelt, raw, unassuming love letter to listeners.