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Biography

  • Years Active

    2017 – present (2 years)

DreamStates is the powerhouse duo of Natalie Grace Martin and Madeline Eckhart - They're transgender activists who make synth-pop infused with rock, jazz, and estrogen.
Madeline Eckhart is a singer, songwriter, actor, voice-over artist, puppeteer, digital designer, and costume designer from Elyria, Ohio. Miss Eckhart has a strong following of thousands on her YouTube channel, and she's been singing since her early school years. Since attending the University of Akron for Theatre Arts, she has been an artistic "Jill-of-all-trades" throughout Northeast Ohio. As well as working with the Ohio Shakespearian Association and several high-profile animators, she was a featured speaker at the 2016 TransOhio Transgender & Allies Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, and her work as a costume designer/puppeteer has been featured at multiple comic and anime conventions. With dozens of character voices at her disposal, Madeline is a skilled and versatile performer who is also trained at improvisation. In the digital design field, she lends her talents to album cover artwork, producing and editing music videos, and designing cartoon characters. Natalie Grace Martin is a former Vindicated Records recording artist, and 2005 graduate of the Vocal Institute of Technology at Musician's Institute in Los Angeles, California. She is a trained multi-instrumentalist, having played piano since she was 5, bass guitar since she was 11, and percussion since age 14. Martin is a prolific songwriter and singer with 4 previously released solo albums, "Such A Mess It's Beautiful" (2011) "UltraHeavy"(2013) under her pre-transition alias C. Mardo Martin, and her independent, post-transition albums "Rules Are For Breaking"(2015) and "She/Her/Hers"(2017). Ms. Martin has been a constant presence in the Akron music scene since 2009. She's currently a public speaker, activist, solo performer for all of Ohio, frequently playing in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, plus numerous Akron-area music festivals. A parent of two young children, Natalie also works with children as the music teacher at the Lippman Elementary School in Akron. Natalie Grace Martin and Madeline Eckhart started The DreamState Band together in December of 2017. They bonded musically over a Paramore-style cover of the song "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys, and decided that the results of their efforts were too much fun to be a fluke. Previously, they had honed their harmonies while working together in Martin's "She/Her/Hers" live ensemble, earning rave reviews for their performance at Akron's innagural Pride Festival in 2017. Solidified by a mutual desire to expand the roster of transgender musicians in the entertainment industry, they began work on Part One of their self-titled debut album.
Using a combination of FL Studio 10 and Audacity, all six songs for Part One came together in less than two weeks, using a fluent mixture of live and synthesized elements to craft the dreamlike "what's real and what's not" sonic landscape from which the band drew their name. Part Two followed suit with 6 more songs being completed in just shy of three weeks. Eckhart's influence on Martin's compositional style is apparent from start to finish, clearly distinguishing Martin's previous, peppy work from DreamState's darker, more mature tone. Part Rogers and Hammerstein, part Tenacious D, and part Daft Punk, The DreamState Band is following in the footsteps of music's most famous duos. Their activism in the LGBT community is as important to them as their music, with both Martin and Eckhart working as featured clinicians at the TransOhio Transgender & Allies Symposium 2017 in Columbus. Martin was a featured musician at Cleveland's 2016 LGBT festival "Pride in the CLE," she provides music for Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremonies in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky, and she also shares her story as a public speaker for church groups, high schools, colleges, and trans support groups all throughout Northeast Ohio. They stand tall and proud with their trans brothers and sisters every chance they get, and will continue to do so regardless of the success of their music endeavors.

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