The music of singer-songwriter ÊMIA is, as she tells us in the following Creator of the Month interview, both “playful” and “personal.” It is also deeply tied to a filmic imagination and thrifty fashion sense that enliven the videos she creates around her songs. Read on to learn more about her influences, creative process, favorite gear, and upcoming music.     

EMIA working at home

When did you start writing songs? Who are some of your influences?

I started writing songs when I was 13. My favorite artists growing up were Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton, and Taylor Swift. But literally any girl who sang and played an instrument was insanely cool to me. I loved learning covers but didn’t think about actually writing my own songs until I saw my favorite YouTube musicians (Marie Digby, David Choi, Kina Grannis, to name a few) posting original songs and homemade music videos. Because of them, the pop star dream seemed within reach. To this day, I still feel very drawn to artists who have a DIY spirit and take part in every stage of the creative process. For example, I love how Maude Latour casts all her real-life besties in her videos, how Nina Nesbitt self-produces her demos, and how Caroline Polachek directs and edits her music videos. 

 

For those not familiar with your music, how would you describe it?

My music is playful, personal, earnest, and a little unserious. I proudly lean into being the unreliable narrator of my own story. I want people to listen to my music on a wild night out, on a long drive home and right before they’re gonna do something they wanna do but they’re scared to do it. 

 

Your videos not only have high production value but are inventively plotted and photographed. Once the inspiration hits, what’s your process for creating your videos? 

Thank you so much! When I’m creating a song, I’m already visualizing the movie in my head. So once I get down to start planning the video, my homework is to turn it into something more concrete: deciding on outfits, colors, movement ideas. Sometimes that’s discovering a particular aesthetic that already has a name/term, sometimes it’s researching another artist who’s already created the blueprint for what I had in mind. I try to learn from the best and let my own taste/direction influence the final product. Aside from that, it’s a lot of mood boards, shared docs, and drinks with friends to bounce ideas back and forth. 

Music video, girls in dresses Video still, girls holding candles

We love that you’re a fan of the ATH-M50x monitor headphones. Why do you trust these headphones to help you create your music?

I’ve been using them since 2014! OK, so I’ve never liked working in big studios with giant gear. It’s silly but the sheer size of everything intimidates me and the pressure to create something great is too much for me. I like creating in my room or in public spaces where I’m forced to focus, like on long train rides, cafes, planes, parks, etc., etc. It’s crucial for me to depend on headphones that allow me to dive into my own world no matter where I happen to choose to create. I love how consistent it is. The way that I can trust that if they sound good in the headphones, I’m not too far off when I do my final mix in my monitors is essential. 

 

EMIA working EMIA recording/singing at a skate park EMIA recording/singing in public EMIA recording at a skate park


ATH-M50x  Professional Monitor Headphones

 

What other gear do you use when recording music or producing videos?

I use a Blue Dragonfly mic to record most of my vocals, an AKG D5 dynamic mic for my live performances and “on-the-go” writing sessions, Focusrite Scarlett interface, and my beloved iPhone 13 for shooting videos. 

 

What advice do you have for others who are eager to produce their own music but don’t know where to start?

Start with what you got and what you know and master one new thing at a time. Making good music is just about making a TON of choices. Learning one new thing at a time helps you understand the list of choices that you have to consider (cuz you don’t know what you don’t know) and what little things add up into something great. 

 

When not creating music, what other activities or hobbies do you like to engage in?

I love thrifting. Sometimes I feel like my love of making music videos is just an outlet for me to showcase my outfits (and it is). I get so attached to pieces and feel very inspired to create worlds for them to fit in. 

Polaroid of EMIA

My other hobbies are reading, collage-making, shooting polaroids of my cute friends, and running. 

 

What’s next on the horizon? Any new releases, live performances or other information you’d like to share with our readers?

I’m releasing one of my favorite songs I’ve ever ever written on June 28th called “Movie About Us.” I made it with my dear friend and long-term collaborator Charlie Kurata. I recently finished shooting the music video for it with one of my besties, Brittany Drays, during a “girls trip.” I don’t want to give much away but I stomp around in a wedding dress in Manhattan and run around in a garden in upstate New York so it’s gonna be magical. 

 

 

 

  

Follow ÊMIA
 

Instagram – @thisisemia

 

YouTube – @thisisemia

 

TikTok – @thisisemia 

 

 

Main image credit:  Brittany Drays – Instagram – @brittanydrays

Behind-the-scenes skatepark image credit:  Nick Noyes – Instagram – @preppygoth

 

The Edge of East Village

ÊMIA - Super Fun Party Girl (Official Music Video)