1. Hello Marla, can tell me a little bit about yourself, before you became a country singer/songwriter?
Hi! I am originally from a small town in Connecticut outside of New Haven. I moved down here to Nashville in 2010 to attend Belmont University and to pursue my music career. When I was in high school I made frequent trips to Nashville to write. The first time I ever performed was when I was four-years-old and I have been performing ever since! I’ve been writing most of my life, too. Musical theater was a large part of my life, too, but songwriting was always my main pursuit!
2. What is your process when you are writing a new song?
Every song seems to have a different origin story, but most of the time I prefer writing with a hook in mind. I am constantly generating ideas so I try to make sure that I always bring one to the session. A lot of my song ideas come from me singing to myself, mostly when I am in the shower! Often times lyrics come out through the melody I’m singing. I also write a lot by myself, even though I co-write nearly every day. Solo writing is something that I have always really loved and I have been doing a lot of lately. That process tends to be a little different than co-writing because you have nobody to bounce ideas off of, so you have to really trust yourself. I’ll sit down at the piano or I’ll start playing guitar and if something sounds interesting melodically or sonically or if I like my lyric idea then I’ll run with it! Then it becomes a puzzle!
3. What is your favorite song off your latest EP “Marla?”
Ah that is hard- it is always different! The song “Try Telling My Heart That” is a very special song to me. I wrote it with Grant Vogel and Witt Mckay. The song is a very defining song of mine. The lyric, the melody and the concept embody everything I am as an artist. We wrote it at the end of 2014 and my love for it, and other people’s love for it, hasn’t seemed to fizzle at all, which I think is telling. I came up with the title one day while I was sitting at my piano and I started writing some seriously melodramatic song that I didn’t like ha! I loved the hook, though, so I took it to Grant and Witt the next day and the chorus poured out. It took two more sessions to nail down the verses, tough. Once we figured out what we wanted to say it wrote itself. I am very proud of that song.
4. Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2019?
I am going to start releasing a lot of demos and live acoustic videos on YouTube. I finished recording my EP a year and a half ago so I have written a ton of new songs since then! I’ve never been more excited about new music as I am at the moment. There are also lots of songs I have written in the last five or so years that I really want to get out that I love just as much!
5. What are three things you enjoy doing in Nashville?
- I love spending time with my friends and my boyfriend (who is Grant Vogel) and our cat Tobias! I’m very extroverted but I am not very rowdy! I love going to places where I can hang with friends and have good conversation. The Patterson House is my go-to spot for that! Songwriter’s rounds, too!
- There are constantly new restaurants popping up here, so I like checking them out!
- I love hiking, being active and just bopping around the city! Percy Warner and Radnor Lake are two of my go-to hiking spots. I also like to walk around all the districts!
6. If you have to describe your music in 3 to 5 words, what words would you pick?
Heartfelt, Accessible, Energetic, Pop/rock influenced, Honest
7. Who are some of your musical icons and if you could sing a duet with any singer or group who would it be and why?
Growing up, my idol was Celine Dion. My music is nothing like hers but that’s ok she is untouchable! My mom listened to classic rock and my dad listened to country. Fleetwood Mac was constantly playing in our house, as well as Phil Collins, Elton John, Garth Brooks and Shania Twain, just to name a few. I used to listen to George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart” incessantly, thanks to my dad! It would definitely be a dream of mine to sing that with him. The first record I ever bought was Christina Aguilera’s first album. She will always be a favorite of mine. I was always (and still am) a huge Lady A, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood fan. Currently, I am obsessed with Dua Lipa! She is a killer entertainer.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?
I’m a ginormous Harry Potter fan, so this may be predictable, but I have always loved this quote.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”- Albus Dumbledore
9. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Stay tuned for new music in 2019! I am truly so excited to put more music out there. Follow me on YouTube, Instagram (marla.music), Twitter (helloitsmarla) and Facebook! Also, check out my EP on Spotify and Apple Music.