Q&A | Emeryld
Emeryld has a fondness for self-expression. The 22-year-old singer/ songwriter dissects the boundaries of her consciousness to compose music that self-reflects. Struggling to find an outlet in her hometown of Dallas, she bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles at seventeen in hopes of developing her musical front. By rejecting the current pop climate, Emeryld found working with mainstream industry goers difficult; forcing her to trust intuition. Fast forward five years, and Emeryld has performed at SXSW, Austin City Limits, Soho House Malibu, Live Nation’s Ones To Watch, and The House of Blues in both LA and Dallas. Exploring ideologies of love, independence, and youth, Emeryld’s upcoming EP, Young, exposes her journey of self-discovery. We spoke with Emeryld this past week to discuss her burgeoning path as an independent artist.
Buying a one-way ticket to LA at age seventeen, how have you developed as an artist since?
I think living in Texas, I had this mindset of being restricted with what kind of music I had to do or look I had to have to be successful. Even when I moved to LA, it was still a fight for my creative. So many people told me what was going to work for me, and I didn’t really know any better, so I listened. That I had to write and perform straight top 40 pop and that’s it. Different producers and managers would push me into their ideal direction of me, and I figured since they say they are “big” and name drop a lot, they know better. They weren’t big, and they didn’t know better. I just was 17 and still so new to everything. Even when I moved out to LA, it took me a year to connect with people that inspired me to have my own voice and to break the mold. It’s so easy when you’re young and in LA to get pigeonholed in this weird pop music scene. It took me a while to figure out it was okay to not be in that scene. Having LA as an environment drastically changed my writing and point of view as well. My self titled Emeryld. EP was the start of creating music that truly felt like me. Everything drastically changed after that and started flowing.
What musical influences impact your vocal aesthetic?
I grew up listening to a lot of jazz music and Crooners because of my parents, and I love mixing elements of that with contemporary vocalization. I’d say, Frank Sinatra, Erykah Badu, Sade, Adele.
Describe the process of creative directing your first music video for, ‘Young.’
It was SO fun. Challenging but fun. I think the most difficult part was not over complicating the concept which I struggled with at first. The directors for the music video (Darren Kho and AJ Lodge) were super helpful from all of their previous experience. When in doubt, less is more. The Brady bunch tile idea came to me and my partner Tyler who’s also a creative director, and I was like “what if they were all getting ready to “young” in the mirror and the camera was the mirror?!” from there I just wanted it to be fun, colorful and easy going. I’m really big on color stories, so I wanted to style all the girls in specific colors with cute 90s accessories like butterfly clips and such. The grey background came from the camera not picking up the white, and I just decided to have the directors leave it because It was such a retro yearbook aesthetic which I love. Young feels like an anthem to me, and I wanted it to be woman empowerment focused. I casted all of my friends which was a no brainer to me. They were all so amazing cuz they were down for whatever and just being themselves. The shoot day just flew by and was so fun.
If you could sing a duet with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Oooof that’s so hard. Either Elton John or Prince I think? D’Angelo would be tight too.
As an independent artist, what challenges have you had to overcome in the music industry?
I think not having as much help or budget to create music at the level I wanted to, shooting visuals at the level I wanted to, and getting my music out there have always been the main things. It really forces me to get creative with what I have. I’m honestly thankful for every hurdle because I feel like it’s made me so much more equipped and skilled in things I didn’t know how to do before professionally. I wouldn’t have been able to have a good understanding of what it takes to style and creative direct if I wasn’t literally forced due to not being able to afford someone to do it! Haha, I truly believe there’s a reason for everything.
Tell us about your upcoming EP, Young.
This project is so special to me. This body of work is my favorite songs I’ve written so far. I was honored to work with some really incredible musicians, artists, and producers on this project that I’ve admired for a while which is a crazy feeling. It’s all about love, sex, independence, and youth. It’s what I’m living through right now being 22.
What do you hope listeners take away from the message of your six-track EP?
That life doesn’t have to be so fucking serious all the time. That it’s important to cherish the little things on the way to bigger things and celebrate the youth and independence in all of us.
Emeryld’s upcoming EP, Young, is set to release May 24th.
To view a weekend in Emeryld’s life click here.