With Her Debut EP Coming Out Next Year, The Promising Singer-Songwriter, Emma Kate Chats About Her Beginnings and Her Bright Musical Future!
Posted On 17 Nov 2014
Tag: 99 Problems, Aaron Kamin, Ariana Grande, Bonnie Raitt, Boys II Men, Broadway, Clean Bandit, Ed Sheeran, Emma Kate, Fleetwood Mac, Hugo, Joyful Heart Foundation, Madonna, Neon Yellow Hearts, New Jersey Nets, NYU, Only Make Believe, Rather Be, Run-DMC, Selena Gomez, Story Untold, The Bitter End, The Calling, Thinking Out Loud, X
Emma Kate is a very promising singer-songwriter with a debut EP hopefully out early next year. This collection features her new catchy debut single “Neon Yellow Hearts”. The single was co-written by Aaron Kamin from The Calling.
Emma Kate’s “Neon Yellow Hearts” video:
Discovered by the same people who launched Selena Gomez, Emma certainly has a bright future ahead. Learn more about her in the following interview:
Can you remember the very first moment that you decided that you wanted to be a singer/songwriter?
I always wanted to be a singer, but it wasn’t until writing my first song in 10th grade, with a writer in Los Angeles that I realized I could really do this as a profession. I remember writing “Story Untold” on a yellow pad of paper and feeling like all of the singer/songwriters that I looked up to because I was sharing my experience through my passion.
I see that you’re a former New Jersey Nets junior dancer. What was that experience like? Did you always know that you wanted to be a performer?
It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had as a performer. It taught me so much about the power of collaboration, and all of the things you only learn the hard way with live performing, like tripping on your way out to the court! (yes, that happened)! It definitely made me more confident as a performer, but it also helped me see that my true passion as a performer was as a singer.
You are currently a college student at NYU. When will you graduate? How do you balance being a student and having a music career?
I am a senior at NYU Gallatin, and being in college has definitely helped me immensely as a songwriter. Taking writing courses at NYU has taught me how to make my experiences as a student, a 21 year old girl taking on the city, into something universal that any other girl can relate to in my songs. Most of the students at NYU are also creative-types pursuing both an education and career, so my friends understand all of the time I commit to my writing and recording.
Let’s about your debut single, “Neon Yellow Hearts”. Where did the inspiration for that song come from? How did the release party go last month in New York? What were some of the emotions you were feeling?
I wrote “Neon Yellow Hearts” about the last time all of my high school friends and I spent together before going our separate ways for college. We actually blew out my best friend’s speakers, so we went up on the roof of her building and watched the sunset. It was one of those moments that I wanted to capture in a song so I could save it forever. The release party at The Bitter End was incredible! It was so fun being back at a venue I played at so many times when I first started out. Being able to come back with new material I am so proud of, and to receive such a positive reaction is a feeling I will never forget.
Tell me about working with Aaron Kamin from The Calling on “Neon Yellow Hearts”? How did you get to know him?
Working with Aaron has been both an educational and fun experience. Aaron has helped bring me out of my shell with my writing. He’s become a mentor and a friend, which makes writing so fun! Some of our best work gets done in the kitchen over bagels and coffee!
I really enjoyed the video for “Neon Yellow Hearts”. How involved were you in the creative process of the video? It looked like a lot of fun to shoot!
Thanks! I came up with the idea for the video with my older brother Zach! He had just graduated from NYU, and all of his Tisch friends were together for a graduation party, which had such a similar sentiment to the inspiration for “Neon Yellow Hearts.” We decided to try and film it just as naturally as possible. The flag, the pool madness, and the whacky dancing were all just raw footage! I did tell my brother my dream was to have sparklers in the video, so he went and bought some to surprise me, but we only had enough for one take so we all had our fingers crossed it would work out!
I recently watched your YouTube cover video of Ed Sheeran’s song, “Thinking Out Loud”. What other artists do you enjoy covering?
Right now I just can’t get enough of Ed Sheeran’s latest album X. I also love covering songs by the artist Hugo. At my single release party at The Bitter End I did a cover of his “99 Problems.” I love covering songs that seem a little out of the pop genre and making them my own at live shows, anything from Run DMC to Fleetwood Mac.
Who are some of your musical influences? Who are some of the new artists on the radio that inspire you?
Growing up as the youngest of five kids, my musical influences range from Bonnie Raitt to Boys II Men. I am a huge R&B fan thanks to my older sister, but also love classic rock because of my mom. Right now I love Ariana Grande’s radio hits, and anytime Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” comes on the radio I just can’t help dancing. It’s the ultimate feel good song.
Living or dead, who are some artists that the band would love to work with and why?
I would absolutely love to work with Madonna. She is hands down the queen of Pop. She’s fearless, innovative, and overall FUN! I would love to see her in action and learn from her.
Tell me about your involvement with Only Make Believe and the Joyful Heart Foundation?
Only Make Believe is an organization that has Broadway performers and playwrights support hospital-bound children with terminal illnesses, by putting on shows. I had the opportunity of putting together a costume-making workshop to create the costumes that go in the “treasure chest,” where the kids get to pick out their identity for the day! It’s just so touching to see these children identify as a Super Hero, or a butterfly for a few hours, rather than as sick.
The Joyful Heart Foundation is something that is very important to me as well because they work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, while bringing light to these tough to talk about issues. Being on a college campus, these issues are very prevalent, and I feel like it’s something people are scared to talk about. I want to help eradicate the “but she was drunk” and “she was asking for it” phrases on campus. By working with The JHF, I have the opportunity to educate our community on these important issues.
When do you think your debut EP will be released? Would you consider it to be similar to your new single, something a little different or maybe a little bit of both?
My debut EP will be released by the end of this year! I am so excited for people to hear what I have been working on for the last year, and to finally share all of it. The EP is definitely in the same vain as “Neon Yellow Hearts”. It’s fun and upbeat, but still honest and tells the story of where I am in my life right now. You can get a glimpse of the vibe on my Soundcloud, which has some of my original songs on it!
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to hang out with my family. We are all in different schools and live/work in different places, so when we have time together, I really try to savor it. My friends and I love to walk around downtown in the NYU area, because we always discover new restaurants and nooks and crannies in the city!
What would you like new fans to know about you and your music?
I would just like for them to know that I really put myself into my music, and even the fun party songs are about real life experiences. I just want people to have a hopeful feeling after listening to my songs, even in the breakup ballads I try and keep an empowering tone. I find a lot of strength in vulnerability, so I try and capture that in my music.