MusicRowPics: Terra Bella

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Terra Bella with MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson

Seven years ago, Martina Otterbeck was a competitive karaoke singer in California’s San Joaquin Valley when she met guitarist Joseph Costa.

“I was looking for free guitar lessons, and Joe was in a band,” recalls Martina. “We had a mutual Top 8 friend on MySpace, so we agreed to meet.”

Joseph’s family had been farming in the Central Valley for more than 100 years, but he was drawn to a career in music. Meanwhile, Martina was rodeoing, but wanted chase her passion for singing.

The meeting led to love, marriage, and forming the duo Terra Bella. In August 2013, Joseph and Martina Costa followed their dreams to Nashville, making the 2,200-mile move from California.

The duo recently visited MusicRow‘s office, where they previewed three tracks from their six-song EP Road To Forever, including single “You’ve Got That Somethin’,” “I’m Down,” and the nostalgic, folksy “Hey Mama,” co-penned with Robert Williford. The project was produced by Johnny Garcia, longtime guitar player for Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.

“When we moved to [Nashville], I got pretty homesick for a second there and it was on our second anniversary,” Joe recalls. “Martina was mad at me for spending too much money on our anniversary. I remember missing home and thinking, ‘I wish we could go see our parents.’ That led to writing ‘Hey Mama.'”

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow's Troy Stephenson, Terra Bella and MusicRow's Sherod Robertson

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow‘s Troy Stephenson, Terra Bella and MusicRow’s Sherod Robertson

Though “Hey Mama” would become the song that would capture Garcia’s attention, the connection to Garcia came via family members in Texas.

“Part of Martina’s family lives in the Rio Grande Valley. We were down there visiting, and her grandmother threw a big party and invited a cousin, who was also a musician. We got to chatting and started jamming, and he said, ‘Do you guys know Johnny Garcia?’ He was a friend of Johnny’s and sent him our music.”

Garcia was impressed with the duo’s songs, harmonies, and onstage chemistry, and agreed to produce them. “He took Terra Bella and made us a better version of ourselves,” Martina says.

“We’ve really worked hard to get where we are, but that’s all we know,” Martina concludes. “That comes from the farming and ranching background. We are not afraid to get our hands dirty.”

Terra Bella with the MusicRow staff.

Terra Bella with the MusicRow staff.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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