top of page

Music is Power by Marta Gomez (Colombia)

My mother says I was born singing. I could sing before I could talk and I hummed myself to sleep every night since she can remember.

So, music has been part of me always and there is not one single moment that I can recall as the one that sparked my interest. I just can’t remember and can’t conceive my life without music. For some reason, since I was a little girl, songs have had a big impact on me. When I heard a song I could not understand or relate to, it just didn’t interest me, so songs that talk about social awareness were always my favorites and still are, way more so than love songs.

Marta Gomez

The music that I grew up listening to was the social protest music from Cuba, Argentina and Chile, and those songs were actually forbidden in their countries, so even as a little girl I understood that music is powerful and can change the world. Later on my life I also understood that you don’t need a lot of money to make a difference, so I started offering part of what I earn to support causes I strongly believe in.

When I first heard about Safe Passage, I was living in Boston and I got a call from someone from the organization interested in having a show to benefit the non-profit. I accepted and we did that first show. I fell in love with the project right away. I got so inspired by the life of Hanley Dening and since that moment I have participated in shows to help them collect money. I also sponsor a mother in the literacy program named Nancy Meyer, my father sponsors another woman, and I try to visit Guatemala once a year to help and sing for the community of Camino Seguro.

I was recently contacted by someone at World Citizen Artists and am happy to contribute in any way to spread the word about their work and help more communities around the world.

 I feel honored that World Citizen Artists has thought of me to present the winner of the ONE FOR ALL competition. It is part of what I believe music should do, and artists need to be involved in this type of projects, so I am more that happy.

To all other artists out there, we need to understand how powerful we are. We need to believe that our voices are loud and can be heard and can make a difference in the world and in the way people live.  As long as we know that, then we will compose songs that have a meaning, and we can travel the world, as I do, connecting to people and making people think, relate, cry or hug each other. That is how powerful music is.

Graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music, after receiving the Best Achievement Scholarship, Marta Gómez has developed an extensive music career which has placed her as one of the most interesting singer songwriters on the world music scene today. Marta and her group perform a repertoire of original compositions based on a vast amount of rhythms from Latin America. On her songs, Marta mixes the joy of the Caribbean with the nostalgia of the Andes adding jazz and pop elements, taking the authenticity of South American indigenous folk music into a new realm.

With more than 100 composed songs, This young songwriter not only traverses a whole range of Colombian cumbias and bambucos, Argentine zambas, chilean cuecas, Bolivian carnavalitos and Peruvian festejos but she also writes the kind of melodies and refrains that translates across any language barrier. That may be the reason that lead Marta to share the stage with musicians of different genres such as Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Totó la Momposina and Mercedes Sosa.

In March 2003, Marta’s song “Paula Ausente” based on the book “Paula” by Isabel Allende, won the The SIBL Project International songwriting contest as the best song inspired by a South American book. The song was included on a CD among others by artists such as Tom Waits and David Bowie. “Paula Ausente” was also included on the Putumayo Compilation “Women of the world: Acustic”(2007) and on the soundtrack of the HBO Latin America’s series “Capadocia”. Her song “La Ronda” was also included on the Putumayo compilation “Women of Latin America” (2004).

Marta is nourished by the everyday stories, and from this nostalgia, songs emerge with a deep social and human content. In an interview on the National Public Radio, journalist Steve Inskeep said he admires Marta’s capacity of “turning the bitter history of her native country into sweet music”.


bottom of page