Originally from Middletown, New York, Norma Jean Martine moved to London in 2011 at the tender age of 20 to study at Queen Mary University. She decided to implement what she described as "the Lady Gaga plan," taking a year out from her studies in order to devote more time to kick-starting her career in music. This decision proved to be a good one as she signed a publishing deal with BMG/Chrysalis exactly one year later. Influenced by childhood trips to the blues bars of upstate New York with her mother, her emotional bluesy style draws inspiration from the greats — Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Etta James — and, combined with a pop sensibility, has led to comparisons with Amy Winehouse and Adele.
Subsequently dropping out of college altogether, Martine racked up a formidable list of songwriting credits while simultaneously honing her own craft as a performer. She co-wrote Italian singer Giorgia's 2013 Top Ten hit "Quando una Stella Muore" from the Italian number one double-platinum album Senza Paura, followed by "Lonely Nights (Hey You)" on former Pussycat DollAshley Roberts' 2014 album, Butterfly Effect. She also co-wrote two songs from Marco Mengoni's 2014 triple-platinum album Parole in Circolo, as well as "In the Light" for German Eurovision winner Lena's 2015 album, Crystal Sky.
Finding the time to appear at major festivals, such as Montreux in 2013 and 2014, Latitude, and the Calling Festival in 2014, sharpened her talents as a solo artist, further developed by supporting Gaz Coombs, Lissie, and Tom Odell on tour. Her 2014 single "No Gold," co-written with Joel Pott of Athlete, was used for The CW Network in the U.S. and Fox 8 in Australia. The single "Animals" was released in September 2015, and her debut full-length album followed almost exactly a year later; entitled Only in My Mind, it was recorded with Coldplay's X&Y producer, Danton Supple. ~ Simon Spreyer