Artist TalkSongwriting

Artist Talk with Em George

A new EP from Down Under has recently landed on our desks. “Wolves” by Sydney based artist Em George came out on July 17thand enchants with folky pop tunes with a touch of nostalgia and warm dreamy vocals. The 5 songs evolve around self-reflection, human relationships and

We talked to Em about songwriting and the creation of her new EP!

Read the full interview below

Em, congrats on your beautiful EP “Wolves”, which is the long awaited successor to your 2016 self-titled EP release. What made you wait so long to get back into the studio? Tell us a bit about your journey since your debut EP four years ago.

Thanks so much for your kind words about the EP!  I guess I wanted to take time to work out what I wanted for this EP, how I wanted it to sound and feel.  My first EP was very acoustic and raw; just my voice and guitar and while that was intentional, I wanted to go bigger for this one.  I’ve also been through some personal upheavals and general life issues which stole some time for a little while!

“Wolves” comprises 5 mellow songs, which make you want to escape real life for a while! You released “Fight” as a single beginning of July. What is the song all about and why did you chose this particular one as a single?

Weirdly this song is kind of about three different things that crossover throughout the song.  I lost my grandmother around the time I wrote the EP, and the chorus is for her. I also had ended a toxic relationship and was confronted with thoughts of whether I was “loveable” something that I think everyone thinks of at some point, even though its ridiculous haha! Everyone is loveable.

I´m sorry for your loss! The song would probably make her very proud! You released your first song back in 2014. When did you start making music and do you remember the first song you ever wrote?

Music has been a huge part of my entire life, my true source of happiness.  And it sounds a bit lame but I remember being a kid and realising being able to sing how I did, made me feel powerful and I grew up in a haphazard environment, so any kind of power was an amazing revelation.  I used to have a book of fairy poems that I’d turn into songs when I was really small, but only started really writing songs and taking it seriously first year of Uni.  Before that it was all about singing which I took so seriously I didn’t go a day without practicing-it was everything.

How important are lyrics to you? What is your favorite lyric line you´ve written on this new EP?

I love the way words sound and how they can express and shape feelings and tell stories. It’s the first thing I connect with when I listen to music, and I like to write with the lyrics as the focus.  As for a favourite of my own, I’m not sure I have one!  I do like the opening of Wolves –  “Oh the wolves are calling, calling for the night / And the Earth is breaking, breaking for new sight” It’s atmospheric which I don’t usually do but that’s how that one flowed!

Yeah! Really loving these song lines, as well! What do you love about songwriting?

I love the feeling I get when I write something that works.  I feel powerful and peaceful and free all at the same time.

How do your songs usually come about? Could you describe the process?

Sometimes a section of a lyric will just randomly pop into my head and I’ll write it down, try to relax and focus and then it all just flows.  Other times I’m just jamming around and come up with something.  But I try to write some kind of lyric or poem every day and they usually become a song at some point.

On average, how many songs per year do you write? Is it something that comes easy to you?

I have to be in the zone to write, and I can’t force it otherwise I freeze, but that happens rarely.  I have a large turnover of songs each year, and try to write every day.

Your music has a nostalgic feel to it, which I love! What inspires you and do you sometimes wish you could travel into a past era?

I’ve always loved history and everything that comes with it as well as Art and film history.  Growing up I spent a lot of time around Art, watched tons and tons of old black and white movies and listened to music from Cole Porter to Leonard Cohen.  I spent a lot of time with my grandparents who influenced me a lot in what I absorbed culturally.  I’m not sure why but I’ve just always loved other eras. I wear mainly vintage clothes and love the aesthetic of it all. If I could travel into any era it would be about 1965 and I’d demand to stay until 1975- That time was incredible for everything and I’d love to have experienced it.

If you could record a duet with anyone (dead or alive), who would you chose and why?

Iggy Pop who is my absolute favourite and probably makes no sense with how my music sounds but he’d have to be it!

What is your favorite genre to listen and to write in? Does it make a difference whether you consume or produce music genre-wise?

I have no limits to what genre I listen to, I love so much music!  I write on an acoustic guitar and I think that really impacts how my songs sound and the style I write in.  Music that makes me really connect to the writer like Joni Mitchell’s music, Carole King, Leonard Cohen, is what influences my writing the most.  I’m always trying to get to their World somehow.

What is one thing you still want to learn with regard to music?

I’d love to learn the drums.  I am so jealous of anyone who can do it!

Where do you spot yourself in 5 years from now with your music? Any long-term visions?

I want to release a full length album, tour overseas and reach more people with my songs.

What is one tip you have for aspiring songwriters? What is a lesson you wish you would have learned earlier on in your journey?

Don’t delete or forget your bad songs!  I always learn how to be better from them

So true! We recently wrote a blogpost about the importance of bad songs. What are the skills a music artist should acquire to make it in today´s music industry?

Just always be open and willing to learn new things, take chances and work with different people.

Last not least, what are your plans for the rest of 2020? Will we see more of your projects online or offline anytime soon?

I’m hoping to do some online gigs soon, or at least a stream.  Main thing is keeping safe amongst Covid!  I’m looking to 2021 to tour and release a new song.

Thank you for the interview, Em George and best of success!

Thank you!

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