An Interview with the “My Dear” Singer-Songwriter, EMMA TAYLOR!
Posted On 13 Mar 2018
“My Dear” is singer-songwriter Emma Taylor’s latest single. Already surpassing nearly half a million streams on her debut EP “Hazy,” 20-year-old Taylor has begun to captivate audiences everywhere with her endearing voice and melodies.
Describing her own work as “sad girl music,” Emma’s songs tap into emotion that will resonate deeply with any listener. Creating her own unique acoustic-indie sound, Emma’s music is beautifully raw. Since breaking onto the scene in a big way, Emma is gearing up for the release of her new single “My Dear” and more original music in 2018.
Link to ‘Hazy’ EP: https://open.spotify.com/album/54dJ8txMqGsbyjeAlH4Rh2?si=WubIA3qbQim6BiRwbb9mLw
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Emma has been singing for as long as she could remember.
Her spark for performing only continued to grow; she considers guitar to be her main instrument other than her voice, but also plays piano and ukulele. When writing songs, Emma’s process usually consists of coming up with a melody first on her guitar. Once she has a solid melodic chorus or verse, she writes her lyrics to go along with it. “I usually find my inspiration from my surroundings or from personal experience. Usually I write about typical 20-year-old stuff: love, confusion, finding yourself… universality is so important when I write my songs because I want everyone listening to be able to relate to it. It’s also so important to have my melodies and lyrics really fit together and play off one another. I like to give my songs movement, meaning each section has its own feel and nothing sounds predictable.”
Releasing her debut EP “Hazy” in 2017 was a pivotal turning point for Emma. Putting her heart and soul into the project, Emma took a year to perfect how she wanted the world to see her as an artist – and the hard work shows. “I started writing for the EP when I moved to New York from LA for college. The transition was much more challenging than I had expected and it was very overwhelming. In order to cope with all the change I wrote as many songs as I could. The title ‘Hazy’ seemed like a perfect fit — the haze symbolized my life; not being fully clear but you can see between the fog.“ The song “New Found Sound” off the EP made an absolute splash, going from 8,000 streams to 55,000 overnight.
Emma’s single “My Dear” will certainly mark a new, mature chapter in her career and show her evolution as an artist.
“The song ‘My Dear’ is like the second chapter in my life. I recently went to London for a semester and wrote the song there after experiencing another round of change. Specifically in my love life, I was going through some tough times and the song came pretty naturally because of it. It’s about wanting to believe the person you are with will actually change. I think it is a subject that many can relate to and it really helped me push past the difficult times to get to the great times.”
Learn more about Emma Taylor in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time. We know musicians are busy people so we appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself!
Of course, thanks so much for having me!
So where does this interview find you today? Has it been a good day?
It’s been a great day, been very busy with my new single “My Dear” so it’s been exciting!
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
2017 was one for the books! It was a very pivotal turning point in my career because I went from having no music out professionally at the beginning of the year to having my debut EP out midyear. It finally got my name out there and it helped me make my mark as an artist. It left me very excited for this year and I feel like artistically, it is going to be the best year yet for me. I have so many things that I want to accomplish but a major goal of mine is to keep releasing new music and go on tour (which I really hope that I can do by the end of the year). Playing live is a huge part of my artistry so I can’t wait to get on the road and show audiences what my music is all about.
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
I actually have known from a very young age that I’ve wanted to pursue music. My parents used to tell me that I would hum before I even said any full words, so I do believe that music has been a part of me since birth. It wasn’t until I was around 6 years old that I started feeling comfortable singing in front of my family. I remember specifically bringing my karaoke machine into the living room one night and singing ‘Maybe’ from the musical Annie to my whole entire family. It was from that moment on that I was addicted to performing. My songwriting became serious a bit later, when I was around 12 years old and attended a songwriting intensive during the summer. Although I had written songs before then, it was at the intensive that I discovered how essential it was to my life and how I needed to pursue singing and songwriting professionally.
How do you think growing up in your hometown has influenced your sound and who you are as a musician?
I’m so lucky that I was born and raised in Los Angeles, one of the best places to be if you want to pursue a career in the music industry. Because of that, I grew up immersed in music and I got a glimpse of what the LA music scene is all about, which definitely made my yearning to be in it even stronger. As for the city itself, LA is so beautiful with the sun always shining and nature everywhere you look. Since I get very inspired by my surroundings, growing up in LA made it easy for me to write about nature and all that comes with it. I also consider Los Angeles to have a pretty laid back energy to it, which heightened my interest to create music that had that same vibe. Because the indie singer-songwriter scene is quite prominent in LA, it helped influence me to pursue that style and get fully immersed with artists similar to me.
Let’s talk about your new single “My Dear.” What was the inspiration for this track? How do you think it compares to other music that you have released?
I went to London a few months back and I was struggling with the concept of change in all aspects of my life, including in my relationship. It put me in a very vulnerable state and caused me to really pour my heart into my music through which ‘My Dear’ came about. The song is written from the perspective of someone wanting, so badly, for the relationship to work out even though promises have been constantly broken before. It’s about hoping that maybe this time things will be different and that this will be the time that things change for the better because love is greater than struggles- a topic that I think most people can relate to in some aspect. Because I’m in a period of my artistic career where I am constantly growing and changing, this song has a new depth and movement that hasn’t been discovered before. Melodically and vocally, it showcases a different side of my style, and it’s definitely more mature both lyrically and stylistically. I can’t wait for everyone to listen!
What was it like making your debut EP, “Hazy”? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? Were there any unexpected challenges?
The making of ‘Hazy’ was very organic and came about pretty naturally in all aspects of the process. I never sat down and told myself I was going to make an EP on this date and release it for this time, but it was always something I knew I was going to do at some point. When I first got to college, I moved from LA to New York and I was going through some difficulty finding myself and creating a life in the big city. It inspired me to write a lot and, because of it, I created an array of songs that helped me get through the challenges I was facing. I knew at that point I had something that would collectively blend together so I decided to run with it. I had my incredible producer, Adrian Cota, who I had wanted to work with as well as my engineer, Dhruv Agarwala, and the three of us just came together and spent about a year on and off recording, editing, and organizing what came to be “Hazy.” It’s the story of my struggles and it was a very eye-opening chapter of my life. I was surprised by how naturally things worked out and how smooth the overall process was, especially when it came to recording. Although it was a challenge getting everyone together in the same room to record for the EP, when we did it was magic. Obviously it wasn’t easy by any means and there were times that I struggled to find the vocal take I liked or the direction I wanted to take the song, but because I had such an amazing producer, engineer, and musicians working with me, it made it such a beautiful experience.
When do you hope to release more new music and a full album of original songs?
My new single ‘My Dear’ was released on March 2nd, which I’m so excited about! It’s my first release since my EP and I can’t wait to show everyone what I’ve been working on. Besides that, I plan on releasing a few more singles throughout the year as well as music videos to go with them. I would love to make a full album, which I’m always writing for, but I’m waiting for the right time. I don’t want to rush things and I know that it’ll be quite clear when I’m meant to work on a full-length album. Stay tuned!
Where do you find that you sing the most- in the shower, in the car or elsewhere?
In the car I go into full belt mode and sing at the top of my lungs to songs I know I would never perform in public. It’s my time to really let myself go, especially when sitting in LA traffic so I try to have fun with it! As for seriously, I sing most in my room late at night because I tend to get most inspired when it’s dark out.
Where do you find that you have the most fun- on stage performing, making music videos or recording in the studio?
They’re all such different experiences and although I love them all, performing is 100% my happy place. It’s where I feel most alive and it’s where I want to be all the time, for the rest of my life.
Where can fans see you perform next? What do you think makes for an ideal concert for you?
I just played a gig in New York last week, but I’m going to Los Angeles in a few weeks so hopefully I’ll have something planned there! I’m working on putting a show together in New York sometime in April, so stay tuned and keep checking back on my website emmataylormusic.com for updates.
How active on are you on all of your social media platforms? How important do you think it has been to your career so far? Do you find that it’s hard to update all of them all of the time?
To be honest, social media is so hard for me and I have so much respect for Instagram bloggers and influencers who post multiple times a day! It sounds like its an easy thing to do, but it’s been challenging for me because I don’t have as much content day to day. I’ve been really trying to get better at posting more frequently and I know that I’m only going to grow and continue to get the hang of how to be better at social media. I know it is so important for my career, which is why it’s been a huge priority to get it right and continue to grow my audiences through it.
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
Good question – it’s definitely a very unique time in today’s society and I think music is one of the strongest forms of communication and expression that can allow us to share our opinions and come together to appreciate the beautiful things in life. I think because music is so artistic and honest, it can really create messages of hope and inspiration to push past the challenging times and help us get to the great times. It’s up to us artists to use our platforms to reach universal audiences and create a sense of unity and optimism.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
My biggest musical inspiration is, first and foremost, Joni Mitchell. 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- vulnerable, unique with her melodies, and a brilliant poet and storyteller. Her talent is unlike anyone else’s I’ve ever heard. Actually, James Taylor and Carole King have both been inspirational to me because of their exceptional talent in both songwriting and vocals. As for collaboration, my dream is to work with Lucy Rose, without a doubt. Anyone who knows me would probably say instantly how obsessed I am with her. If you haven’t heard her music, please do because she’s beyond incredible. She’s a singer-songwriter from the UK and she has such an amazing tone to her voice and her songs are just so beautiful. She is so real and raw and has similar influences to mine, so I think that we would have a great time making music together.
What do you hope your fans take away from your music?
A huge goal with my music is that I want it to resonate with listeners. In today’s industry, it’s easy to get either caught up in one specific style or get a short attention span on certain types of music, so if I can pull listeners in and have them feel something, then I’ve accomplished all that I aim to do. I write my songs to help me get through things and to make myself feel better, which I hope I can do for others. I just want people to know that they are not alone in their struggles and that music can really help them tap into emotions that are often not discovered completely.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself or your music?
I’m so excited for the future and I can’t wait to continue my musical journey. I have so much planned and I look forward to sharing sad girl music with listeners universally! If you want to stay updated, follow me on socials: