Get to know EmiSunshine! This Americana/Country artist recently released her latest album “Family Wars.” This collection is her most personal project to date – covering domestic violence, dysfunctional families, political corruption, mass murder, love and freedom.
At only 15, Emi has been named one of Rolling Stone’s “Ten New Country Artists You Need to Know and has appeared nationally in the US on the Today Show, Pickler & Ben and NBC’s Little Big Shots.
Learn more about EmiSunshine in the following All Access interview:
Happy New Year! When it comes to your music, what are you most excited about for 2020?
Touring! I love to play.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician?
When I went to my first of only a few ukulele lessons. I was 7 and they told me it would take a while to learn how to play and sing at the same time. I went back in a couple days and had it down.
What do you think motivated you day in and day out?
The fans. That and the love of music itself.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make?
Well, Justin Moses, formerly with Kentucky Thunder and now a top notch studio player and artist in his own right, is from my town. He was a very early inspiration! But really, East Tennessee in general is saturated with great music!
Growing up, how important was music in your life?
It was a daily part of my life! My grandmothers started me harmonizing before I could speak full sentences! My mom had me writing by 5.
Were your family and friends supportive of this career choice?
Yes, very! They all have supported me.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
I’d be an artist! I love to draw.
What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The financial constraints have been ongoing and the biggest challenge! But it keeps us hungry for more and that leads to better shows and ultimately better songs.
What has been the best part about it all?
Being with my family.
Let’s talk about your newest album, “Family Wars.” What was it like getting into the studio and recording these songs?
It was great! We had 2 weeks to pick the songs and 6 days to record, mix and master.
Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
Yes, producer Tony Brown is a genius! I knew it already but he shines in the studio! The songs are better for his touch on the project.
How was it writing about such personal things?
I love to write about real life. We have lots of songs, by lots of artists, talking about the fun stuff. I feel my place is in reality and darkness sometimes. That’s not to say I can’t write happy or light. I just feel if your going through hell, then sometimes you need someone who’s been there to lead you out. What better way to grab a hold of someone in such a state than to sing them a song about where they are?
How did you get started writing these particular songs?
I write what I see. Folks let their guard down around writers. I listen. I read. And, ok, I eavesdrop a little too! Every person I cross paths with has a piece of a song.
What, if anything, has stayed the same about your music-making process?
I love simple songwriting — pulling it back to just me and my mom. We write together often just like we did starting out.
How do you feel about social media?
It’s a love hate thing! I love the fans and interacting but I hate the bullying.
What do you think social media has done for your career so far?
Oh it has moved me along, kept me up to date with fans, and introduced me to friends!
What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Jack White, and Buddy Miller.
If you could design your dream music video right now, what would it look like?
A vintage style video for my song “Be You,” speaking to someone, with a mix of black and white and soft light.
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
The Americana Music Awards!
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Peace, joy, reflection — Hope