Originally appeared on LADYGUNN.
Emlyn prefers to get straight to the point. On her debut solo release, the artist lets everyone in on the complex feelings of loving someone that is not good or right for her—and yet, she perseveres. Her new song is called “Had Me at Hello” and contains multitudes, not just in its story and sound, but in its power, too. In this interview, Emlyn calls the track “an amalgamation” of herself. It also alludes to an amalgamation of pop culture references, each giving their own individual insight.
Read more. Find an excerpt of the interview below.
You told Voyage LA that your primary goal when songwriting for other artists is to deliver a story. Does this rule apply to your own writing?
It’s funny, I actually don’t think I’m capable of writing a truly good song without a personal story behind it. I think that is part of what makes me such an artist deep down even when I’m writing for others. I know there are unbelievable writers who are so strategic and brilliant in their words that they can write about anything even if they haven’t experienced it. For me, the best songs are the ones you can feel. I think that the reason songs are magical is that they deliver an emotion through melody, lyrics, even down to the cadence of a line or the breaths between words. The reason I cry to a song or dance to another is usually because I can feel the energy behind it. So I try to always do the same with my own writing in hopes to genuinely connect with people.
Setting can play a big role in an artist’s life, and you were born in Music City USA, aka Nashville. Please tell us about the impact that it has had on your life as a musician.
My experience growing up in Nashville was really unique. My dad being a drummer, and my mom also being close to so many people in music threw me in the mix of the industry at a very young age. I used to go up on stage with my dad at 7 or 8 years old and sing with his band, usually made up of the top session musicians in Music City. At that age, though, I didn’t know any different. They were just my dad’s friends and I was just having fun. When I would tell my parents’ industry friends that I “wanted to be a singer,” they told me that I needed to learn how to write songs first. So, I began writing and co-writing at 12 years old. I think growing up in a city that honors and cherishes songwriters so fiercely, genuinely defined my love for music. It pushed me to want to do more with music than just sing to people. It made me want to tell stories too.