The instantly vintage singer-songwriter Emma Taylor(20) took time out to share her new single ‘My Dear’. Coming off a rousing debut on her EP album ‘Hazy’ (now at over half-a-million streams) “The Sad Girl” Emma Taylor is ready to share her talents with the world.
Your new single “My Dear” is beautifully written and performed; can you explain the life experiences that became this song?
EMMA: Thank you!! I was in London this past year for a few months and was in a very transitional period in all aspects of my life, particularly in my relationship. It led me to become very vulnerable and put me in quite an emotional state, which is perfect for songwriting. It caused me to write My Dear’, from the perspective of someone wanting, so badly, for the relationship to work out even though promises had been constantly broken before. It’s about hoping that maybe this time around things would be different; and maybe this would be the time things would change for the better.
I think that most people can relate to the topic that love can be greater than struggles if you can find a way to make it work. However, there’s always that worry that things might not ever change, which is discussed throughout the song. The song helped me get through some tough times, so it has a special place in my heart.
It’s about hoping, that maybe this time around things would be different; and maybe this would be the time things would change for the better. -Emma on writing “My Dear”
This song has great musicality, what was your songwriting/recording process?
EMMA: The actual songwriting process came pretty naturally. I just came up with the melodic guitar pattern that became the verse and wrote lyrics alongside that. Because I was going through such a vulnerable time, I poured my heart into the words pretty quickly. I knew that I had been wanting to show off my head voice a bit more, so I wrote the chorus with more of my range.
As for the recording process, I had to wait a few months after I wrote the song until I got back to LA to record. I have people that I feel comfortable working with who I did my EP “Hazy” with, so I knew that I wanted to record with them. My producer, Adrian Cota, and I discussed what kind of vibe we wanted for the song. We actually recorded everything in his living room! He has a huge common space with no furniture so it makes for a great sound. He brought in my engineer, Dhruv Agarwala and we also brought in some other musicians to record. The whole thing really came together within a few days. All of us knew what I was looking for because we’ve worked together a bunch, so it’s now just such a great and beautiful process every time we record.
As the self coined “sad girl” why do you identify so much with this emotion in your songwriting?
EMMA: For a long time I never knew how to really describe what kind of music I make. I didn’t want to put a label on it, but I also knew I had to give people some sense of my musical identification. I’d heard someone use the term ‘sad girl’ and it really stuck with me.
I’m not a sad person during my day-to-day life, but writing and playing sad girl music is a deep form of self expression and acknowledgment of emotions, good or bad.
I think especially for women, we are often called ‘over emotional’ or get our feelings pushed aside. Flipping the coin and making sad girl a positive, empowering thing, I think is very beautiful and can show everyone that it’s okay to be expressive and honest and show that the power of music is universally relatable.
When did you know you wanted to share your music with the world, and what was the biggest fear you had to get over?
EMMA: I’ve honestly been doing music for as long as I can remember so it’s always been the main focus in my life. It wasn’t until I got fully confident with what direction I wanted to take my music and how I wanted to present myself as an artist that I knew I was ready to share my music with the world. That took me years and I began writing for my first professional release freshman year of college which also took me a year to release. I was posting little covers before the EP came out, but I knew that when I got to college and experienced things that changed my music that I could successfully share my stories with the world. Of course, the entire process of releasing music for the first time was terrifying!
I often put a lot of pressure on myself for things to be exactly how I want them to be. Before the EP came out, I had so many fears about how the reaction would be, but then I kind of put that aside and knew that I had to make this for myself and if other people enjoyed it then that would just be a bonus. Thinking this way really helped me focus solely on the music and work to release the absolute best product I could.
You pick up a lot themes from your surroundings; what city or country (that you’ve visited) inspired you to write your best music so far?
EMMA: I think every city I’ve been to has, in some way, inspired how I write and how I view the world. I will say that living in New York has totally changed my artistry and writing style because I’ve been exposed to much more creative energy and diversity than before I moved. Living in London for a few months and visiting different cities throughout Europe also gave me another perspective on different environments and overall lifestyles which ends up having a result on my music. I know that as I continue to travel the world and immerse myself in various cultures, my music can only get stronger.
As a 20-year old musician-singer/songwriter what noticeable stages have you seen your musical material go through as you continue to evolve?
EMMA: So many changes and I know that I’m just at the beginning of my musical journey! My middle school years were kind of my time to really understand what exactly I wanted to do in music. My high school years helped me really dive into songwriting for myself and creating a particular sound. Now, the past few years I finally feel like I have a good grip on the kind of artist I want to be.
I’m in such a crucial state of evolvement because I’m starting to really mature and make my way into the music industry so it’s been very important for me to continue to just write what I want to write and really experiment with what I’m making. As for style, I’ve basically always wanted to do singer-songwriter music, but now I’m much more confident in it, and can only imagine how I will continue to evolve in the future!
Who creatively inspires you, past and present?
EMMA: It really has always been and I think always will be Joni Mitchell. There’s just no one else that inspires me and motivates me to continue on like Joni does! Growing up, my parents had this singer-songwriter playlist that they played on repeat and so many of her songs from “Blue” were on that rotation. She’s everything I aspire to be as a songwriter and as an artist. She’s vulnerable, unique with her melodies, and a brilliant poet and storyteller. Her talent is unlike anyone else’s I’ve ever heard.
A huge goal of mine is to pay homage to her and the songwriters of the 70’s because that music is so timeless and deserves more modern day attention.
Where do you want to take your music and career from here?
EMMA: I just want to keep releasing music and continue to grow my audience. Honestly, if my music can make listener’s feel something then I’ve done my job. I want people to know that they are not alone in their feelings, and that music can really help them get through tough times. I know that as I grow, I’ll continue to experiment and push boundaries lyrically and musically, which I’m really excited about. I can’t wait to just tour the world, play my music, and tell my stories.
What advice would you give youth who want to pick up a guitar and sing, but are afraid of the spotlight?
EMMA: DO IT! It took me such a long time to get rid of stage-fright and being the center of attention when playing & releasing music. If you have a passion for playing and singing, then everything will eventually fall into place as long as you are confident in your art and own who you are!
What should we be on the lookout from you in the near future?
EMMA: More music for sure! I’m writing a lot and have already started talking about what to release next, so stay tuned for that! I also want to release music videos and get more into the visual aspect of my music. Be on the lookout for some gigs coming up as well and keep up with what I’m up to on my socials:
EMMA TAYLORMY DEAR-INTERVIEW
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