New Jersey-based singer and songwriter Em, just dropped a magical single “Say What You Mean” that is blowing pop and indie charts. We asked Em about the new release, the process of creating her unique music, and plans for the future!
Who is Em?
Forgive me for this question, but the answer is broad. Who is Em in what sense? Because Em as a performer is different than Em as a daughter, or a lover, or a friend, or a sister, since that is my real name. But Em as a soul singer writes from her spirit, isn’t afraid to be who she is, lives her life to the fullest waning no regrets, wants people to find their passion, destiny, and calling. She wants to uplift, give people comfort and peace, lives in her truth and uses her words wisely like it would be the last time she was speaking to someone, sharing everything on her heart.
When did you discover your love for singing and when did you realize you want to build a career in the music industry?
I think I always knew it was my calling but my first memory was watching Britney Spears perform in a music video and thinking yeah I could do that, which is comical looking back because although I love to dance, I cannot dance like that. But just commanding a room with my presence, that I could do and love to do. I started truly at 12, and although I had doubts and moments, I always came back to it and knew it was my calling.
You just dropped an amazing single “Say What You Mean” – tell us how is it different from your previous works?
“Say What You Mean” has all facets of me, professionally woven into one- careful, delicate, melancholic (as my songwriting tends to be), feminine, with a message of strength and renewal after being broken down and hurt. It was so well done and thought out, the harmonic structure and sonic quality, such a different level of ingenuity, which I cannot take the credit for since I learned from my mentors, my producer, Chris Young and engineer Chris Bitner. I have never been around that level of mastery and intuitiveness. It was handled with care and that’s exactly what this song needed to transcend, and although on the surface the words could appear simple, there is such depth and layers of desire, unity, and connection, wanting to break the mold of today’s relationships and go back to a simpler time where men and women could be together in mind, body, and soul and not run.
“Say What You Mean” is a very intimate and personal song, can you tell us what inspired you to create it?
A relationship that did not go the way I intended, to say the least. We were so connected and close. I felt I knew him even miles away, literally, but there was a lot of confusion and hurt surrounding it, a lot of growth that needed to be done on both ends, maturity and self love wise. Being lied to is one of the worst things in my opinion that could be done to me, and that’s what happened, pure lies and betrayal and I didn’t understand why or how I deserved it. It starts off showing the hurt and pain I was in while the lover was trying to get away with tricks of manipulation and control. There’s guilt attached but not enough to render responsibility for one’s actions, so it turns into a cycle of abuse, instead of the love she once knew. That’s why you can feel her holding on in the verses hoping it isn’t true, that he’ll change, that he’ll come back begging to have her back. Hence, the ‘phone stuck to my side’ line or just the ‘makes me wonder’, she has this little ounce of faith in him left but all this uncertainty, has her mind swimming. There was love and now it’s gone, without warning, she is fighting, but then she realizes she has to fight for herself for he is no longer on her side or a partner. She is her own one true love and she needs to know what is best for her. The woman that accepted less was no longer present just like the man who loved the woman was no longer present. The woman is taking back her strength, realizing there is more to life, to relationships, and even her self worth. She knows she is more.
Does your music always channel your personal experiences?
Yes and yes. Even if I think I’m not. Subconsciously, yes.
How does your process of creating lyrics and music look like?
Not the typical and musicians would scoff. But I believe G-d gave me this gift and I hear melodies and words, record them into my phone, write them in my notebook, and just express express express until there is that sense of yes that is it. That’s exactly what I wanted to say, nothing less, nothing more.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound has made a huge transformation in this past year and I can accredit it to my producer, Chris Young because we spent many many hours and many long talks on it. My conclusion now would be Pop/Soul. I write from the heart and sonically it has both genre elements swirling in it.
What’s next for you in 2020? What are your plans for the near future?
It is tough to say what the future holds. G-d’s plan and at G-d’s speed as I’ve learned time and time again. I always love what is brought to me, as long as it is blessed and for me and I’ll know. As long as I’m healing and creating and living my purpose, that is where I’m supposed to be. I’m ready to share my music with the world.
Follow Em on Instagram and listen to her new single “Say What You Mean” below: