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Interview with Emilee Rose
Bold, daring and impossible to ignore. Welcome to the exciting new world of Emilee Rose, an emerging solo artist currently making her mark on the global music scene. Her sound is highly accessible to all — with lusciously layered vocals and pop-perfect melodies. Emilee’s astounding anthems have been capturing the hearts of many for some time now. The rapidly rising star loves to tell stories and relate to others through her music, using life as her biggest inspiration.
Hailing from Colorado in the states, the young singer always had a deep love for performing. She did a ton of musical theater as a child and was even part of an all-girl competitive acapella group that toured the country. By the age of fifteen she was already writing her own songs, finding songwriting as a way to express her emotions. She fell in love with the process and decided to turn this intimate passion into a career. Her goal is to really dig deep into the feelings of the listener to evoke strong emotions. With her mesmerizing voice, it’s hard not to be swept off your feet by her enchanting melodies. From the darkest depths of depression to the soaring heights of partying, Emilee tells spellbinding stories across the whole spectrum. The resulting sound exceeds the boundaries of genre and oozes with originality.
Now based out of Atlanta, the singer is bringing her magical melodies to the global stage. She first made her mark with the timeless track “The Best”, a melodic wholesome tune about a fun, healthy relationship. She followed this up with “Let Me Go”, a powerful electronic pop ballad which showcases her versatile vocals and stunning songwriting. After this she put out her groundbreaking single “Good Luck” which is a feel-good floor-filler that pushes the boundaries of pop and electronic house music. “Good Luck” garnered over 200,000 streams and charted at #13 on the Global Top 150 Independent Digital Radio Chart. Her current single “K.O.D”, which has been released under Sony/Orchard distribution, is a dark alluring tune with gritty bass that takes the listener on a journey. Since moving to Atlanta to chase her music dreams, she’s had the opportunity to work with a number of Grammy award winning producers. She’s also expanded her songwriting expertise, dabbling in genres from RnB to Country. She has a fierce work ethic and won’t stop grinding until she has left her mark on the world.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I've always been a music lover and have always loved to sing and perform. I grew up in a music-loving family, music was always an important thing in my life, my parents are also music lovers even though they just love to listen, not perform. My dad would bless my ears with classics dating all the way back to the 50's and 60's, like Patsy Cline, The Mamas and Papas, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, and Roy Orbison. My mom was more of an 80's and country girl, playing anything from the B'52s or ABBA to LeeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, or Martina Mcbride. When I was a kid I did classical music/choir and musical theatre, plus serious karaoke sessions in my childhood home living room, I always pictured myself being a successful musician in some way, shape, or form. When I got older and got into high school I ventured into an acapella group that really boosted my love of performing pop music. At that time I also started to experience some depression/anxiety, which I turned to writing music to help me express how I was feeling. That really boosted my love for songwriting and gave me the confidence to want to really dive into music as a possible career path. I'm into the creative side of the industry as much as the artist side! I love makeup, wardrobe styling, creative direction, and all the work that goes behind the scenes of the projects people adore and love. I also am a huge mental health advocate and have a major interest in Psychology, so if music wasn't an option I'd probably venture into that or something else in the creative realm.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love exercising, journaling, vintage shopping, acting, painting, cooking, getting tattoos, hanging with my pups, walking in nature, and love to go beer or wine tasting. I really enjoy simple everyday joys that bring a level of peace to my day. My anxiety is something I deal with almost on a daily basis, so being able to do things that keep me calm and bring me joy allow me to be in a great headspace to create. I base a lot of my music on experience and story telling, so being able to go out into the world to travel and observe really boosts my inspiration. When I journal it also allows me to separate and connect to my current thoughts, which in turn allows some really great writing material.
How long has music been your career?
I've been in the music industry since 2019, I started when I moved to Atlanta, GA at 17. I did more RnB and HipHop based music at the time. I then transitioned into Pop-Electronic music in 2020 and really fell in love with that. I would combine my RnB melodies with pop-synth and dark electronic beats and it was a really cool transformative period in my music journey. I went through a lot of ups and downs between 2019 to the beginning of 2022, all of it gave me a lot of knowledge about different aspects of the industry that I wouldn't have known unless I truly dove in and experienced things. In late 2021- early 2022 I got into a really bad fake label situation that caused me to be out of a lot of money and really an all time low of inspiration and motivation for my career. At that time I almost met one of my best friends Lance Mapp, who is now my current producer/ frequent writing partner, and we started writing country music, which was a huge thing for me because that's what I grew up listening to a lot, especially when I lived in Birmingham, AL. It felt like I was going back to my roots and gave me a new zest and excitement for music again, that I hadn't felt in a long time. We were just writing the songs in hope of pitching them for placements, but the more people heard it the more they insisted I needed to release them myself and that they were made for me. In September of 2022 I released my debut country single "When I Close My Eyes" and just relocated to Nashville, TN. I haven't looked back since!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am currently based out of Nashville, TN and travel a lot to Atlanta, GA since I used to live there. Atlanta really influenced the RnB aspects of my music, as the RnB in that city is around every corner and is so amazing. Nashville is of course a country music hub, with many different variations of country sprinkled through the city that is super unique and inspiring. I feel like the combinations of city life, social issues I witnessed, and cultural music in Atlanta combined with the nature, community, and classic country undertones of Nashville have given me a unique perspective on music and has influenced my ability to mesh genres together and create storylines that relate to more than just one demographic.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Covid really affected my show-playing abilities for a long while, as it did for all artists. So this past year (2022) has really been the most live performing I've done of my own music, smaller showcases, writers rounds, etc which have all been really positive experiences. I played my first huge independent live show back in 2021 while I was doing Pop-Electronic, which I would consider to be my worst show I've played. My performance/stage presence itself was great, I had 4 backup dancers, 2 wardrobe changes, full choreography, that wasn't the issue. It was more the venue/team I was working with at the time. The opening act they chose for me used major autotune and certain mic specs, and they had not fully adjusted my mic back to my settings prior to my set. So when I started singing my mic was initially turned off, and then was at a super low volume turned on which gave me trouble with hearing myself and made me over sing, tiring my voice out quickly, The mic also had continuous feedback and ringing through my whole 15 minute set that no one seemed to be able to fix. It was super frustrating and disorganized considering all the money and work my creative team had put into the production. But all in all, I got great video performance footage and photography as well as more performance experience. I also got to connect with my community that night and meet people I didn't know were fans of my music, which was super cool.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I haven't performed in enough venues to know my favorites just yet, even though I did thoroughly enjoy the intimate music-loving scene at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA. I would love to perform at The Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman Auditorium, The Listening Room and Bluebird Cafe in Tennessee. Red Rocks Amphitheater in Red Rocks, Colorado is another dream venue spot. My ultimate goal is to be able to perform a stadium tour and headline some amazing festivals like Stagecoach, CMA Music Festival, and Austin City Limits Festival.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
This is such a hard question!! I would say Midland, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Zach Bryan, Tyler Childers, Carter Faith, Maren Morris, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Jo Dee Messina, Morgan Wade, The Chicks, Hailey Whitters, Sierra Ferrell, and Little Big Town.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
I would tell them to hold no pressure on themselves. When you just start out you have high expectations, like things are just going to magically grow and happen. You even start to compare yourself to other artists and their success, but everyone's career has a different timeline, so be patient with yourself, focus on your craft and do what you do because you love it, it's easy to forget that when you run into hard times. Don't limit yourself, explore different sides of your art, even different genres if your creative mind wants to. It's easy to get trapped into a box, whether that be certain people you work with that want you to be what they envision, or simply based on your environment. Lastly, the biggest piece of advice I would give is to educate yourself fully on the business side of the industry. That means learning about publishing/licensing/sync, copyrighting and protecting yourself and your music, different kinds of label deals, marketing tactics, other artists you look up to and their journeys. As an independent artist, ESPECIALLY as a woman, higher up execs or quite frankly men in general, will try to tell you to "trust their process" or that "you don't know the industry or how things work" or that because you're a young artist you aren't knowledgeable, when that is COMPLETELY false. One time I had a man tell me I should switch career paths because as a "young woman being my own boss" I am going to "destroy my career". It's so easy to run into fake deals or people who just want to steal money/opportunity from you with false promises that seem like a good idea. The more knowledge you have, the less you have to rely on other people, which makes you have your own power and the ability to protect yourself and your art!
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself a couple of things. First off, don't listen so much to the people around you who think they know best. It's okay to take advice here or there and learn from people, but you know yourself and your art the best. Create what you want and let your heart guide you. Secondly, don't get discouraged because things aren't happening overnight or in the timeline you want, trust in God and the Universe that everything happens for a reason and in divine timing. You may think you are ready, but there are lessons and experiences you need to have before you can take off into your dream. Sometimes the Universe protects you from people around you that may mooch off of you or hold you back, or environments that aren't right for you, and you aren't going to succeed in your most profound ways when all of that is happening. Have faith and trust your own journey, and take time to enjoy it. Lastly, don't be so hard on yourself. It's okay to make mistakes, not have a perfect performance, get writers block, and trust the wrong people. It's a beautiful thing to learn and experience. You're only human and can't be the definition of perfection, so don't hate on yourself when you can't meet your own unrealistic expectations. Celebrate your little wins.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I would say it's my song "Small Town Dream" that I am going to release at the start of 2023. I wrote the song with Lance while I was going through a huge transitional point recently. I had a panic attack the day we started writing the song, that came out of nowhere. It rocked my world completely, boosting my severe anxiety that I hadn't felt in a while and forcing me to cut out many old bad habits I had been holding onto that I didn't realize was affecting my health so much. I was also a few weeks from starting my new journey in Nashville and there was so much unknown and fear inside of me, alongside excitement. I was suffering a lot for those few weeks, had to start anti-anxiety medication, find a new therapist, get to know this new version of myself. During all of that I was still determined to finish this song we started, that we both were super excited about. When we initially started writing it, it was more storyline based and we just wanted to write a song about a cool girl leaving her hometown to follow her dreams and her freedom, whatever that entailed. Little did I realize until the song was finished how much that song was truly representing me at that very moment. We reference in the chorus how she's "gone west, chasing after sunsets, leaving all the excess, tryna find her own way out through the neon", and in the verses describe her free spirit and the simple things she's embracing along her unknown journey. All of that was literally depicting my journey without us realizing it. Then the night before I left Atlanta to head to Nashville, I premiered the song at Eddie's Attic and announced that I was moving to Nashville and the reaction from the crowd was unforgettable, it was like confirmation that I'm on the right path.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite songs to perform on my own are "When I Close My Eyes" and "Small Town Dream", with "When I Close My Eyes" being my number one request from people. When it comes to songs I love to cover, "Slow Burn" by Kacey Musgraves, "My Give A Damn's Busted" by Jo Dee Messina, or any Miranda Lambert song will always be my go-tos.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process always differs but I do maintain a certain structure regardless. Typically we will lay down an acoustic guitar melody to start, I'll be singing melody ideas, and experimenting until I find one I like. When it comes to what I'm going to write about it could root from anything; a word, a quote I saw, an experience I had or am going through, a story I read, a place I traveled to. It always differs. Sometimes we'll just write to acoustic guitar, but in most cases Lance will go ahead and track acoustic/electric guitar and add drums/bass/pedal steel electronically to give us a skeletal base. Then we'll write to that, at least getting the verse/pre-chorus/and chorus done. If inspiration is flowing with the song we may finish it and I'll track the vocal demo to it. Then we take it to the studio and have all our band members come in and track every instrument live one by one. I'll officially track the vocals in the studio as well, then we go into post production and mix the song, finally sending it to Mastering at the end.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Music has always been super healing for me, it's my own version of therapy I suppose. Whether I want to cry and listen to a sad song, celebrate and listen to a happy song, power through a workout and listen to a badass song, or even just listen to a song with a story I relate to so I feel less alone. I want to be able to make people FEEL through my music. However that plays out to be. I want to help people heal, feel less alone, express themselves, feel empowered, feel like they can have an escape when needed. I want to highlight the ups and downs of life, the simple joys and things we take for granted, the beautiful yet sometimes devastating nature of love, the harsh reality of mental health and social issues, the inner thoughts people are scared to talk about. I want to make a positive change in the world through my music. I also am part of the LGBTQ+ community and I want to destroy the stereotype that country music doesn't welcome my community. Country music is for everyone of all backgrounds, good music is simply good music and should be able to be enjoyed and celebrated by all.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Of course, that's always going to happen when you put multiple creative minds together. I try to be open minded when different ideas are suggested and try to not take it personal if someone doesn't like mine. Sometimes an idea that I don't think fits ends up being better in the end than I originally thought it would be. If I really feel passionate about my opinion, I speak up and try to find a happy medium. You have to be able to respect others' input and creativity without shutting it down, but also without disregarding your own ideas as well.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
In 2023 I want to release a lot of new music. My current plan is to drop 2 singles at the beginning of the year, followed by an album. I also want to do a Christmas EP, which I am super pumped about and will be working on probably throughout the whole year because it needs to be perfect as I am a HUGE Christmas music fan. I would love to do some collaborations with other artists this year and travel more to perform. Definitely want people to keep an eye out January-February of 2023, I will be dropping a new single and it's my best one yet!
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