Emmrose is a 16 year-old singer-songwriter who blends moody, dark pop with alternative vibes. The themes of her music include love and heartbreak. Emmrose stopped by the Radio Free Brooklyn studio to talk about her brand new song, Hopeless Romantic. Read an excerpt of the interview below and scroll down to listen to the full episode!
PR: When did you start writing your own music?
ER: I guess I’ve always had a fascination for music even when I was 5. I didn’t start writing music until I was about 12 or 13. It started out pretty fast, actually. When I started writing a catchy song my piano told me it was really good. My parents told me I should do more of this, which snowballed into where I am now.
PR: Who are some of your musical influences?
ER: I’m obsessing over Radiohead. I just think they revolutionized music so much and I just can’t get their sound out of my head. More recently I definitely like lo-fi pop like Clairo, indie rock like Lucy Dacus. I think they’re amazing! I like Frank Sinatra, I love jazz and swing, it’s so fun. I like to incorporate different styles in my music, I don’t just want to sound the same. You can’t really tell what kind of song you’re going to write, it just happens. It’s more of this is coming, this is happening, this is what I’m thinking, this is what I’m going to write.
PR: What is your songwriting process like?
ER: Usually I’m in math class extremely bored. Usually I’m going through something awful and I just write down my feelings exactly and it develops into lyrics. Sometimes I just go home, play the piano, come up with something, there’s the song. It usually takes about 15 minutes. There’s like a week of tinkering around with lyrics, editing, adding new parts, but the bone of a song would definitely be done the first night I write it.
PR: When you are writing your songs, where would you say your inspiration comes from?
ER: Boys and ex-friends. I write songs from stories that have actually happened to me, which makes it more painful I guess. I’ve had quite a few heartbreaks in my existence. A lot of my songs are about the same person.
PR: Can you tell me about your song Tonight?
ER: It’s about feeling isolated at a party. You’re there alone, you don’t know anybody around, but then you see the person you do know and like. You don’t want to look like you don’t belong there, you want to look like you’re having a good time and talk to them and their friends. You want to look energized even though you’re not feeling that way at all. It definitely develops into turning into another person throughout the night.
PR: My favorite by you is Dangerous Eyes. It’s a cool mix of sounds, and for your music it’s a bit more indie pop. I saw online you also wrote that in math class?
ER: That’s a math class song! I can remember the exact moment I wrote the chorus. He was sitting at a table with other friends. He had “dangerous eyes” and I really wanted to talk to him, so I wrote a song. He plagued my mind. That’s kind of what a lot of my songs are about, how you just can’t let go about thinking about a person and hope they’re feeling the same. In the chorus, “hold back that dangerous tongue that fills the breath in my lungs.” That really means, “you keep saying awful things to me but every time you say that it brings me in more.” The beginning and end of the song is, “don’t take this personal.” I asked the guy that I wrote the song about about if he wanted to go to Starbucks and he said, “don’t take this personally, but I hate you.” And, you know, I took it personally.
PR: You have a brand new song, Hopeless Romantics. It’s very different! It’s very apparent in that song how you don’t think about a genre when you write a song. It has its own vibe.
ER: It has a Spanish bullfighting vibe! I wrote it on the ukulele. I was so angry when I wrote this song. I was just strumming my hands violently, so this song is absolutely a reflection of that. My strumming pattern was so wild it turned into a Spanish bullfighting moment. When I got home one day I was feeling unsure about my relationship with this person so I wanted to write a song about the worst case scenario that was going on in my head. I was so angry to begin with and venting in the lyrics. The next few weeks, I made more songs in the span of emotion. The last song is just moving on from it. Those are not released yet!
PR: Are you recording songs now?
ER: Oh yeah! Working on an EP now.
PR: How do you connect with fans?
ER: I’ve gotten messages from people telling me they relate to my songs and tell me stories about their ex-boyfriends. I think it’s funny that people who are older than me can relate to songs that I’ve written now or years before when there’s such a gap between age and experiences.