Photo by: Bryan Collins

What is your name?
Marta Palombo

What is your genre of music?
The easiest and most all-encompassing label is definitely Folk Pop.

Give us a little bio about you.
I usually say that if Joni Mitchell and Florence + The Machine had a 21st century hippie daughter, it would be me. I was born in northern Italy, made my way through a couple of southern states in the U.S. (joining school choirs, composing, and dabbling in poetry along the way), and finally settled down in Nashville where I spend my time writing, recording, performing, and curating a cabinet full of local teas.

What made you go into music?
A variety of things – some I can pinpoint exactly, and some have just always been there instinctually. The one moment I can identify for sure is when I joined choir in 4th grade. As soon as I opened my mouth to sing, I knew that this feeling was something I needed to hold on to for the rest of my life. The more I began to learn about making music and singing, the more I became convinced that this was exactly what love and fulfilment were always meant to feel like. The beginning of my song writing is a little bit harder to zero in on, because I’ve always had some sort of compositional instinct: just earlier this year I found videos of me as a toddler banging around notes on the piano and expecting my father to applaud my genius. Writing music has always come naturally to me as a way to process the world around me, and a way to communicate things that are often hard to grasp, say, or understand in normally structured thought and speech. So, the combination of singing and writing has been helping me function as a human being from a very young age.

Are you a signed artist?
Nope! Well, not yet at least…!

You released your new single ‘Him’ – tell us more about the single. What is the meaning behind ‘Him’?
“Him” is the product of a few years of frustration, honestly. When I was in high school, I fell in love with a guy…and I kept getting asked out by other people that were not him. It was exasperating! Flash forward five years, and that guy did in fact ask me out – we just celebrated our five- year anniversary last December! But somehow, because we don’t live in the same city currently, there’s still guys that think it’s ok to make a move. So I wrote “Him” as a response to all of those situations: wanting and loving one person, but continually being pursued by another. Whether you’re in love with this season’s Bachelor or a real person, I think we can all relate to the frustration of being asked out by the wrong person.

Describe the track in two words.
Ethereal and dramatic

What was the writing process like?
Very quick. Once the idea for the chorus came (a.k.a., me thinking “man, I just want him!”), the rest of the song tumbled out in about twenty minutes.

What was the recording process like?
So liberating! My producer and I bounced around ideas, and we really just decided to let the song take off. It’s very different from what I imagined when I first wrote it, but also somehow exactly right. Sometimes you’re not sure what sound you’re going for until you hear it, and this was one of those cases.

Who did you work with on the Single?
Foster Ferrell was the producer, Matt Huber mixed it, and the mastering was done by Alex McCollough. My guitarist Robert Blakely has been playing this song since I wrote it years ago, so he came in the studio to record acoustic guitar for it!

Will we see an EP or Album this year?
Yes, actually! “Him” is the first single off of a 5 song EP. But “Him” is only the prologue – the next four songs are where the story really unfolds.

Do you have any shows coming up?
I do indeed – I have an EP release show at Two Old Hippies on leap day, February 29th, at 5:30. I’ll also be playing at City Winery on March 4th at 7:30. I’m really looking forward to giving these songs a different flair live!

What else can we expect in Early 2020?
Lots of music. An EP is coming, and with it a whole lot of other musical surprises.

Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists? Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
I don’t have any collaborations planned currently! It’s funny; for someone who loves to write, I’m not very fond of co-writing. But I absolutely love giving any musical project a shot, so if anyone wants to collaborate in any way they can definitely email me!

Do you play any instruments?
Enough piano to accompany myself every once in a while, and ukulele!

Who are your influences?
I mentioned Joni Mitchell and Florence + The Machine earlier – those are two huge influences. Taylor Swift was also one of the first artists I actively listened to when I was younger, and I’ve always thought her lyrics to be brilliant. When I first started writing songs, she was my biggest point of reference.

How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I’m constantly inspired by the world around me – the smallest objects or actions can spark inspiration and become a song, just because they came at the perfect time. I think art doesn’t always have to be about big, loud, life-changing things; it can be about the quiet days spent over a mug of tea, too.

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Oh gosh that’s a hard question – the future is so dynamic, it’s difficult to really think that far ahead. Ideally, I would see myself happily making a living off of my artist endeavours! In a cute apartment, maybe with a couple of cats, traveling a lot for my job.

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Usually, some form of relaxing self-care. My roommate and I have the same taste in absolutely terrible romantic comedies, so we spend many an evening watching those. I like to go to the farmer’s market whenever I can, cook new recipes, re-read the Harry Potter series for the millionth time, explore more tea shops, and find fun art events around town.

What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
I’m not really sure about that! I’ve always enjoyed listening to music, but without paying much attention to where it falls in the industry. Usually, when I make a study out of a song, it’s one of my own – that way I can analyse growth, what worked, what didn’t, and see what trends might work with my brand for my next release. Writing and recording is the fun part. When it comes time to release, that’s when it’s time to dive into the music scene!

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
To learn a little bit of everything: being a good writer and a good performer is great, but today as an independent artist you also need to have a good grasp on social media, marketing, promotion, and all that jazz.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Be yourself and write what you want. Seriously. You may rise to success really quickly by following a formula, but what good is success if you don’t connect with the songs you write or the image you present? Find what you love, craft an image that is true to who you are, and use that as your artist brand. That way it’ll change as you change and allow you to be honest and open with everyone (including yourself).

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
There’s a part in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Dumbledore says, “Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” Obviously he was talking about something totally different, but over the years I’ve applied that to a ton of things in my everyday life. A dream that happens inside your head can absolutely be real if you put in the work to make it a reality.

Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
I wouldn’t say that this is a must-go to visit (because it is in fact my own backyard), but there’s a tiny little creek just beyond my fence where I used to go a lot to read and write songs. There’s lots of rocks and trees, perfect for sitting a while.

You’re coming off tour;
1) Where do you go first?

a. Home for some peace, quiet, and much needed alone time, haha!

2) Who do you see first?
a. My roommate or my boyfriend if they’re in the house.

3) What do you eat first?
a. Probably some form of dessert or fast food. Whenever I have a busy performance or recording schedule, I keep my diet very healthy to keep up my energy and my immune system. So as soon as that’s no longer a top priority for a week or two, hand me a tub of ice cream!

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Water, set list, merch, a killer outfit, and an excited (but professional) attitude.

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

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