Marta Palombo Shines A Spotlight on Love in “Him, Vol. 1” EP

“Him, Vol. 1" EP tells a story. Can you share how you came up with the concept?

Sure! About a year and a half ago, I was trying to decide which song I wanted to release next as a single. I had so many songs ready to go that were special to me, and I kept going back and forth between a bunch. One day I laid them all out and realized that all the songs I was absolutely dying to release were about my experience with love — and even better, I realized that if I organized them by the date they were written, I could trace back my thoughts, moods, and changing mindset on love throughout the past 5 years. It wasn’t really a carefully crafted concept, more just a realization. Once I saw the way it all worked out, I knew it had to be an EP!

How exciting was the EP release show — getting to see first hand fans’ reaction to all of your songs?

It was so much fun!! So many of my friends came, both from out of town and in town. There were a bunch of people I didn’t know there as well — and that was exciting because I got to hand them goody bags and talk to them about the music in a whole new way. The room was packed! Everyone was listening so intently the whole time; it’s beautiful to be in an environment like that. That’s part of the reason why I decided to get off stage and sit down with the audience while singing “A House.” It’s such an intimate song, and it resonates with people so deeply, it just felt right to be up close and personal.

Ok, saw Instagram posts — what is a ‘disappointed mom look’ doing at a release show?

Ha! That was just an unfortunate picture — getting pictures back from performing is hilarious because half of them are gorgeous snapshots of beautiful, fun moments, and then the other half are the whole band making really weird faces. The disappointed mom look was just one of those blooper shots!

On a serious note, how did it feel to hear fans share their stories and feelings after being inspired by your lyrics?

It’s really, truly wonderful. Magical. I’m still shocked by how many people text me and come up to me saying that one of the songs touched them. I’ve gotten to have conversations about relationships, love, hardships, music — I’ve gotten to connect with so many people that I wouldn’t really be able to speak to otherwise.

And what would you say to fans who want a creative way to express themselves, but have yet to find one?

Probably just to dive in and try new things without being afraid to fail! I say that because I am the absolute worst about putting that idea into practice. I hate failing, and that often stops me from trying. But all of the best things in my life have come from saying “screw it” and just going for it — if you want to paint, turn on some Bob Ross and give it a shot! Take a handful of voice lessons! Pick up a camera! Do whatever you think will make you happier, and just give it a go.

Thousands of streams later … how are you preparing for the release of Vol. 2 a month out after the first volume?

Vol. 2 is going to wait a while. I definitely have enough songs written to release Vol. 2 immediately, but I want to give it some time. Right now, I’ve got lots and lots of content still planned for Him, Vol. 1 (hint hint…music video? Acoustic sessions?)! I titled the EP “Vol. 1” because I knew that my love story still has so much more to offer, so there will eventually be a Vol. 2, without a doubt. But I’ll give it time…there’s plenty of singles I’m dying to release between now and then!

Also saw the post where you said you want to post track highlights that talk about the inspiration and the process behind each song. Yes, please and thank you.

I’m so happy about the overwhelmingly positive response I got for that! I’ve started posting them now. I remember seeing another artist do something similar and I absolutely loved being able to dive into their brain and their story. I’m excited for people to do the same!

What are you performing at the Poetry Out Loud state competition at the Atlanta History Center? How do you think the atmosphere will be different as a returning competitor — more pressure for those with experience?

Poetry Out Loud was an amazing experience for me. I remember being a competitor and seeing people perform during the intermission, and thinking, “huh, I wonder how they get to do that?” Now that I am well out of high school, I wanted to find more ways to stay involved. A lot of the times, the kids who participate are still deciding what path they want to take and what college to go to — I know that as a high schooler, I would have loved to see a returning competitor who is currently pursuing a creative career come tell us what we can use poetry for in the “real world.” I’ll be singing a few songs during intermission while the judges tally up the scores and decide who moves on to Nationals. The atmosphere will be tense, for sure, but hopefully I can break through it and make the competitors forget about the knots in their stomach for a few minutes.

What’s in store for fans planning to come see you at the Raw Artists Showcase? And how, exactly, does it make for a great idea for a date night?

I’m incredibly excited about this performance. RAW puts together these events that showcase all sorts of art: dancing, makeup, photography, painting, jewelry making, music, fashion — basically anything and everything. The evening consists of displays set up all around City Winery where you can look at and buy people’s art, accompanied by a constant flow of entertainment coming from the stage. It’s just a fun night where everyone gets dressed up, sips some wine, and absorbs some much-needed creativity. I think that makes for a pretty unique date!

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