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Your backstage pass to Northeast Ohio's independent music scene.

Shuffle: Natalie Grace Martin Is "Out and Proud" With A New Pop Album

Natalie Grace Martin
Natalie Grace Martin

A Wadsworth pop singer/songwriter says she’s ready to release her first album as her true self. Natalie Grace Martin’s forthcoming record, She/Her/Hers, is about coming out as transgender. Moreover, she says, it’s about coming back from heartbreak. For this week’s Shuffle, Natalie Grace Martin talks about her journey: 

Martin says a lot has changed since The Devil Strip Magazine's cover story about her in February, 2016.

“Not long after the interview, my relationship with my wife ended,” she says.

Martin says her marriage ended two-and-a-half years after her male-to-female transition. “I said goodbye, and I said hello to this new existence.”

A new life and a new muse
Following her divorce, Martin continued to perform cover songs and entered the dating scene, looking for a boyfriend. But she continued to suffer from writer’s block that began back while she was performing as C. Mardo Martin.

“It was daunting being newly divorced; trans; mother of two with a public music career.”

Then, she reconnected with a Wadsworth childhood classmate.

“We’ve been together over 10 months now and his presence in my life has easily been explainable as a muse,” she says.

So, she began writing what became the 12-song She/Her/Hers.  “These songs are me,” she says.

Credit Natalie Grace Martin

The album explores her journey coming out as transgender and celebrating her new life. But it also has its dark moments, exploring feelings of suicide.

Pop music in Akron?
How does Martin think her pop sound will fit in with Akron’s music scene that's largely rock bands and acoustic singer-songwriters? 

“I can’t fight the fact that I’m a pop singer any more than I can fight the fact that I’m a transgender woman,” Martin says.

She got a degree in contemporary vocal performance at the Musician’s Instituteof Hollywood, Ca.

“I’m sort going on the faith that pop is universal enough to appeal to people who are even into the rock or blues scene.”

"These songs are me."

Trans in Akron
When asked how the local community has responded to Martin as trans artist, she says, “Wonderfully.”

“I [can] do large venue functions with other local acts and my being trans isn’t even a factor in it. Because that sort of is the goal in the long run -- Whenever anyone comes out all they’re really trying to see is normalcy.

She/Her/Hers is set to drop August 16. Martin has GoFundMe page to help her complete the project.

She performs weekly at theAqueduct Brewery.  She will also be performing at Akron Pride on August 26 at Hardesty Park.

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