Welcome to MusicTalks! Tell us a little bit about who Em is.
I always have a little chuckle at this because this was my birth name but Em as an artist is obviously a separate thing than Em as a daughter, sister, friend or significant other. Em as an artist is similar to Em in everyday life. Not afraid to be herself.. She is who she is.. Spiritual, emotional, deep, thoughtful, caring, sincere, honest to a fault. Loves with her whole heart, curious and passionate.
What has been the biggest challenge in your musical career so far? How did you overcome that obstacle?
The biggest challenge was facing my producer and ultimately, myself in Woodstock. I worked with my producer Chris Young and truthfully, I never had anyone push me as much as him, and I’m so beyond grateful for that. As difficult as it was at times, we never gave up, and always put the music first at the end of the day. I knew the only way to receive the blessings was to make sacrifices for your passion so that meant staying in Woodstock until we got it right. Also, having a tendency to take things very personally, I started to people please from doubting my own intuition. Once I calmed the noise and trusted myself, the magic happened.
Based on what you’ve learned in the music business, what advice would you like to give to upcoming independent artists?
It is easy to use words, and until someone is there in their journey, then it will resonate. I used to hear all the time: practice your craft everyday; be around people that are better and will make you better and challenge you; never give up.. But those words do not mean what they used to at all since I lived it. Everyone’s journey is different but those three pieces of advice are so dead true and anyone who is in the thick of it, walked through the ring of fire and back, knows it. One last piece of advice my producer passed to me was huge. Being objective and listening to artists you like and figuring out why you like what they do. That helped me a ton.
Will you tell us about your new music video, “Say What You Mean?” The video is truly stunning, what made you produce such emotional visuals?
Thank you, truly. This song was as vulnerable and raw as it gets when you’re still holding onto a relationship you know you have no choice but to walk away from it because it abandons all your morals that stand in a relationship. I cannot take full credit on this at all..
I worked with an amazing director I handpicked myself, Parris Mayhew from Wildfire NYC productions.. Hours and hours of research led me to him, and I knew he would be able to deliver such a vulnerable and beautiful depiction of the divine feminine in her hurt and glory.
It was my idea to have this woman wandering around in a flowy dress in this glasshouse with rain just pouring down on the windows.. I saw the rain with this song. Being showered in rain, almost like a cleansing of the spirit. He took my rain concept and made my reflection in the droplets.
Pure genius and we split my personality into two. The one in her peignoir set who is vulnerable and hurting waiting for her man to come home. And the one who rises above it. In her 50s glam look showing that she is strong and she will power through any confusion, someone will try to put her through.
Many signs of symbolism as well besides the rain, there’s the flame and the tarot card. I decided on one or two tarot cards for each of the songs on the album and this one, I chose the High Priestess and the Strength card.
In the video, you see me pick up the High Priestess when I’m starting to question the nature of myself and the relationship, and with that, the High Priestess serving as woman’s intuition, ‘when you know, you know.’
The lyrics are very personal, do you channel your personal experience in it?
Absolutely. I’d feel like a phony if I didn’t truthfully. It was a true experience.
Rumor has it that you are preparing your debut album? What can we expect from that LP?
Yes. 5 other songs you haven’t heard from this collection entitled, EM. I think there is something there for everyone. Everyone I ever showed it to picks a different song. I wanted it to be classic, timeless but still modern in a way people could relate. They’re all so different yet unified. There is a heartbreak song, there is the upbeat pop dance tune like “Blue Light”, the fight song, a song for unification and so on. They all have their own flavor and message. A lot of heart, a lot of soul.
Are there any upcoming collaborations in the future? Who will your dream collab be with?
At the moment no. I would love to do more soul/ spiritual music so wherever G-d leads me with that. A dream collab for sure would be Drake. I also connect with Lauv’s tenderness to his vocals… so many.. Anyone that can blend nicely with my voice and spirit and we just click.
Will your fans be able to see you perform anytime soon?
Oh yes. I’m out in NYC performing currently, and I have a show on March 13 at the West End, and March 23 at Pianos. Possibly a few others in April and May. I always have it on my Spotify as soon as I know!
Thank you so much for your time Em and good luck with your future releases!
Thank you. It was an honor and a pleasure.
INTERVIEW: EM On Her New Releases And Artistry