With her unique voice and honest, rich lyrics, Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Emmy Law is an artist whose music you’ll want to add to your playlist. I got the chance to talk to Emmy about how she got started in music, why she chose to crowdfund her debut EP, her upcoming single “Kid”, her upcoming tour and so much more! Keep reading to see what she had to say.
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I started taking piano lessons at age 8 and was always singing. I was really into chorus at school and learned to sing in a choral style. I actually didn’t write songs as a little girl! My education was very classical and creativity just wasn’t encouraged. Until college, most of my performing experience was performing classical piano and singing in a choral setting.
Was there a specific moment or person who made you realize music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I led worship at a church for a few years… I loved doing this, but it took up so much of my time. I wanted to pursue music but wasn’t quite sure how. When I stepped away from leading worship a few years ago, I immediately became aware of how much more time and energy I had to give to my songwriting and career. This was when I realized that I really wanted to do this thing. I do miss leading worship, but I’m thankful to be in this season.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So how would you describe your sound without using genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
We’re all on this quest to find our sound. With my music, I really want to convey the meaning in the lyrics and rawness and emotion in the vocals. My music is becoming less and less produced, and that’s a good thing, I think. I’ve worked with producers that really wanted to dress up the songs, but I think my strength is in a vocally-centered, more simplified sound.
Going off of that, who are are some of your musical influences?
It’s so interesting that influences don’t always translate to a similar sound. I’ve been really impacted by the songwriting of Ingrid Michaelson’s earlier work, Damien Rice, Death Cab for Cutie, and the band Copeland.
I want to ask you about your debut EP, Fairyland. I know you got it funded by Kickstarter. Why did you want to crowdsource it instead of maybe going a more traditional route when it comes to getting an EP made?
I was apprehensive about running a Kickstarter campaign but I’m so glad I did! It was a great way to connect to people, and I loved being able to write them letters and give them merch. It really helped build a little community of listeners to the music, and I’m grateful for that. It also helped fund some things, of course. I’ll probably run another campaign in the future!
What was the actual recording process of the EP like?
To be honest, kind of chaotic [laughs]. I’ll say the whole thing was a learning experience and a lot of fun too! Most of it was recorded in a cabin in Dahlonega, GA. It was recorded over the course of a couple months.
Let’s talk about your upcoming single, “Kid.” What’s the story behind the song?
The song is written from the perspective of looking back on a tough childhood with a neglectful parent. While this song isn’t about me, I’ve worked professionally with kids through teaching, and I’m passionate about the meaning of this song.
What was your writing process like for this song? Did you write it by yourself or did you collaborate with others?
This song idea came out of nowhere when I was writing alone one night. Writing is funny like that sometimes. The process for this tune was a little different — usually, I come up with a vocal line first, but for this tune, I came up with the keys intro line first.
I know you are going on your first tour this fall! Congratulations — that’s so exciting! What are you most excited about?
Thank you! It will be an adventure for sure. I’m most excited about connecting with people outside of Atlanta and bringing the music to new ears.
Going off of that, what can fans expect when they come to an Emmy Law live show?
Well, they can always expect some interesting comments on stage! [laughs] Depending on the venue, I’ll be playing with a full band or with a stripped set-up. This tour will be a mix of both. The set is usually all original, but a cover is thrown in here and there.
You are still very new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you aim to reach in the next couple of years?
Oh gosh, everything! I’d like to connect with a solid group of listeners on Spotify and really start working on placements for my music. I’d also like to establish strong relationships with venues outside of Atlanta and would love to go on tour opening for an established band with my vibe.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something you nerd out about?
Oooo, great question! Harry Potter (said emphatically in the voice of Dobby, the house-elf).