Married couple Joseph and Martina Costa met 10 years ago through the popular website, MySpace. The couple formed the singing duo of Terra Bella, which means beautiful earth. They are both native Californians and started their career touring up and down the west coast where they created a following of fans in their home state. In 2014 the couple moved to Nashville where they met respected producer/guitarist, Johnny Garcia, guitarist for Garth Brooks, who began to coach and produce Terra Bella’s material.
How they met Garcia is a long story and involved Martina’s grandmother, a cousin, a phone call, and a family outing. They feel blessed to have a musical relationship with Garcia and Martina and Joe are hugely thankful for the opportunity to work with him.
“We have a great working relationship. That man is amazing and means the world to us,” said Martina.
“He is soulful and lyric-driven. He loves a song that has a great lyric. He makes both of us want to be the best version of ourselves. That is his biggest contribution. Getting us to strive to be better than we think we can be,” Joe continued.
As a married couple, Terra Bella’s music is influenced by their relationship, especially their stage performances. They feed off each other emotionally on stage and in the writing process as well.
“If we are singing a love song we can look into each other’s eyes and feel love. If I’m writing a love song it’s about Martina,” Joe explained.
Martina went on to say, “We have both experienced the topics we sing about separately and together. It’s a cool balance.”
There are other challenges as well. The couple have their differences and may have disagreements, but when they go on stage, or when they finish a writing session, everything else fades away and they each become the other’s number one fan. They listen to each other and are open honest when it comes to the music. They may not agree but they feel that keeping true to who they are individually will only increase the bond that they have.
“If we caved to what the other wanted to do, we wouldn’t have an identity. We both wouldn’t be doing what we want and we wouldn’t’ be as passionate about it,” Joe described.
Their second single, ‘Before You,’ was released last month. Martina was not involved in writing the song but when Joe was co-writing it with another writer, he knew that it was Martina’s story.
“Because I know her so well and I know our relationship, I thought Martina is going to love this. She needs to sing it. In that respect (our music and relationship), is very intertwined,” Joe said.
Like all new artist, Terra Bella’s stage performance and presence are influenced by the national acts they have toured with. They have opened for such acts as Lee Brice, Thomas Rhett, and Montgomery Gentry. Montgomery Gentry was the first national act Terra Bella opened for in their home state of California. They believe that Eddy and Troy gave them the best advice as a new musical act- “Decide who you want to be and what kind of artist before you come to Nashville. You have to have the conviction of ‘this is who I am’ and then hold true to it. Always be the best that you can be.”
Terra Bella will be returning home to California to do a one month tour. It is where they got their start and they love how excited their original fan base is when they come out to see them perform. They will be playing several venues one being the Hanford Fox Theater. The venue is a beautiful historic theater and because of the history of it, they feel honored to play there.
“Life has changed so much in five years. We are headlining in a historic theater and we are so happy we get to do what we do and do it with each other’s best friend surrounded by love and music,” the duo explained.
Martina and Joe love their fans and love when they join in their journey. They run all their own social media platforms and reach out personally as often as they can.
Interview conducted and written by Lorraine Frigoletto, contributing writer for NECM. You can follow me on Twitter.