Interview

Emmi

“I spent all my pocket money on classical cassettes while my parents were listening to Elton John and Pink Floyd in the next room,” remembers Emmi of her musical awakening. She has broadened her horizons since then to include many other genres, releasing her debut track “My Kinda Swag” in 2015 and came to Internet prominence when Taylor Swift tweeted her track “Sleep on It” later that year. And as for what’s next? Plenty more songs. “I have hundreds on my computer which are literally bursting out of my hard drive,” she says. Watch this space.

Emmi, Some people refuse to cite their music as pop, thinking its uncool, why are you the opposite of this?

I’m not really sure pop is a genre anymore. The word itself is short for “popular” and I think the moment Gotye and Nicki Minaj appeared next to each other in the charts we songwriters knew there weren’t any rules any more. The spectrum is so wide now. To my mind, pop just means you made it with the intention of it being for everyone. That used to imply we might dumb things down for the masses to be able to understand, in the days when there were a few people deciding what we, the people, heard. But now that the internet has given the people the first say, I think the music industry as a whole are understanding that consumers are a lot smarter than they might have once thought, so it’s a brave new world.

What makes a good pop song in 2016? And what’s your all time favourite pop song?

A good pop song in 2016 I hope would be the same in any other year. We feel it. We relate to it. The melody just works like you heard it before, and there’s normally an earworm for you to take away. I have too many favourites to choose from but if you’re talking a well crafted pop song I think Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ ‘We Found Love’ is one of the best examples of modern simplicity done well. The lyric “we found love in a hopeless place” is just everything.

You’re originally from Australia, how has your background influenced your music?

I am Aussie grown, but born in England and world travelled from a young age. My folks were missionaries for a while so I experienced living in the third world well before high school. I think it’s made me aware of how different we all are culturally, but perhaps more importantly it’s taught me the ways in which all humans, regardless of origin, are the same. As a writer that perspective is invaluable. We all want, need and feel the same things ultimately, and if you can talk about those universal ideas, without excluding anyone you can write with meaning and reach.

Fashion and music are intrinsically linked - how important is fashion to the persona of an artist?

I used to fold my arms and huff at this kind of question and wonder if we could talk about my music instead… but I now believe it’s vital. There’s no point in pouring your heart and soul into something you wish to offer up to the world, and then at the last moment dressing it in a brown paper bag. Or indeed something too shiny. The visual (or the wrapping as I like to call it) is the indication of the “gift” inside. It’s an expression of you and it either invites like-minded people or it doesn’t. Fashion is something I am very newly passionate about and I’m excited to start developing my own style.

You can count Taylor Swift as a fan, but who is always on your playlist when it comes to your contemporaries?

I’m a huge fan of Christine and The Queens. Everything she represents, her choreography, her music… the whole lot of it. So she features heavily right now. I also love ChVrches, The Weekend, Florence, Kendrick Lamar and newer artists like Kiiara, Halsey and Alessia Cara.

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