The EMM brand is all about empowerment. Can you tell us how you are trying to empower young female artists today?
I am a female producer, which is rare. It’s really important for me to talk about that because it lets other women know that it’s possible to thrive in a primarily male-dominated space. That’s why I wanted to produce my first mixtape on my own.
What inspired you to try music?
Both of my parents are classical musicians so I grew up surrounded by incredible artists. It came really naturally to me as a young girl to follow in their footsteps.
How would you describe your musical style?
I strive to create empowering music (“EMM-Powerment!) that speaks to people with honesty and vulnerability. I try to take risks in what I talk about. It’s inspired by Pop and R&B but with my own twist.
Being an independent artist is tough. What benefits have you gotten from mixing, writing, producing, and recording your own music without a label behind you?
I am so grateful for the position that I’ve been in because it has forced me to grow and do things that I would have been to afraid to do otherwise. I have proved to myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to.
What artists do you look up to right now?
I really look up to Coldplay, Drake for his honesty, and Beyonce as a performer and a woman. I study all the greats as well. Some of my favorites are Janet Jackson, The Temptations, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.
I watched your music video for your original song, “Judge Me”. Both the song and music video are amazing. What is the story behind that song?
That song is about healing from a very dark relationship and feeling extremely misunderstood. When I wrote it I was inspired by Alanis Morrisette’s courage in her writing, even if she was expressing a darker emotion. Writing that song healed me a lot.
What inspired the idea for the music video?
The video was a complete accident. I said to my videographer, K. Sarrico, “What if we just go to the top of this mountain and try getting a couple performance shots for instagram?” And it turned into a full music video. We brought in Hunter Garner, the actor, on a different day to complete the video and add some storyline. We were all shocked by the success of the video.
Whats the process to make a “EMM” music video?
Well, until now we have only created the video for “Judge Me.” And we are preparing to shoot the second video for the mixtape now. So far it’s a lot of brainstorming with my team and trying to figure out the best ways to execute the ideas.
Can you tell us a little bit about your new mixtape?
During its conception, I would have my normal sessions with other producers during the day, and then come home and work on the mixtape from my home studio at night. I took off all of the normal limits that I put on myself as a songwriter. I decided to shift my focus from “trying to write a hit” to being absolutely honest. It took me a really long time to work up the courage to put it out because I was nervous about sharing so much vulnerability with people.
What song are you most proud of on your mixtape?
“Killin All the Boyz” is special because I wrote it and produced it when I was only 17 and I saved it for the mixtape. “Avalanche” is special because it was the first song I ever put out. I’m proud of “Wrong” for the production and lyrics. I’m probably the most proud of “Burning In the Dark” though. Not because it’s perfect, but because of the courage it took to write about such a heavy subject.
Can we expect more new music soon?
For the next few months I’m going to be focusing on completing the visual art to the mixtape, so you can definitely expect new videos.
Another big accomplishment of yours is your social media presence. You have a massive following on Flipagram and have over 10,000,000 views on the app. How did you gain such a huge following on that app and what do you post on the app?
Flipagram has been an amazing partner. I do episodes called “EMM in Real Life” every Friday that go exclusively to Flipagram first, and to my youtube later on. They have done really well. Sometimes they are about how I’ve been feeling, and sometimes they cover shows or events I’ve been doing just depending on what I have going on.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans other than Flipagram?
I am falling in love with twitter right now. I just started getting really into it the past few months, but it’s so cool to be able to communicate with them directly.
Does your fanbase have a name?
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
Personal. I am always getting in trouble at events because I love hanging out with them so much sometimes I get distracted from what I’m supposed to be doing!
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
People crying. That’s still very new to me.
What feeling do you get when your fans are singing your song back to you?
There’s absolutely nothing like it. It’s humbling more than anything to feel like I’ve been able to have an impact on their lives.
Whats your favorite song to perform live?
Right now, it’s Avalanche. It’s such a powerful song and it feels amazing to sing it.
You recently got the chance to perform your own songs at the Staples Center. Can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like? What were you feeling before getting on such a well known stage?
I have actually been blessed to sing my own songs there before, so it wasn’t quite as scary as the first time. I usually feel really nervous until about one minute before I walk on stage, at which point I get extremely calm. And that feeling doesn’t go away until after the show is over. It’s really weird. There’s nothing like performing in an arena. The energy is amazing, and of course it’s a dream come true to get to sing somewhere so iconic like that.
Are their any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
I am still working on my album and I have been for a while. I’m really excited for the sound and direction of that. It’s very anthemic, big arena type music with really big choruses.
What so far has been the best experience for you in this career?
The personal growth that I have had. I’ve been at this for seven years and it has shaped so much of who I am. It has been really difficult in some respects, but every hard thing that I’ve faced has made me stronger and braver than I ever imagined I could be.
What’s an average day for “EMM” look like?
It really depends on what I have going on that day. Some days it’s recording or filming and some days, its meetings or shows. I try to keep certain routines every single day though. I always meditate and pray for at least an hour no matter what I have going on, and I try to juice and work out as much as I can. On my days off I like to bake something sweet and watch netflix.
What goals have you set out for yourself in your career and in your personal life?
I strive for greatness in every area of my life. As a person, that’s becoming someone wholly grounded in love, and staying centered and grateful. As an artist, that’s being the absolute best performer I can be, and moving forward, weather in baby steps or great leaps and bounds.
How has this whole music career experience been?
I know that I am in my purpose. So as much as I want to say it’s been perfect, it totally hasn’t. Lots of up’s and downs. But with all of that, it’s worth it to be doing what I know I was born to do.
Do you have any advice for aspiring music artists?
I think some of the best advice I’ve been given is to focus on your craft. Focus on becoming great at what you do. Everything else will fall into place.
Last thing, Do you have anything you want to tell your fans?
I am so grateful for you. You inspire me every single day. Your stories are so amazing. I am so humbled and my mind is blown that I get to make music for you and be your friend.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with me.
Thank you so much for having me!
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