EMELINE has had a bumpy road finding her voice. Discouraged by the pervasive misogyny in the music industry and feeling alone, she was inspired to write her new single, “6 foot deep,” in fiery defiance of those who had done her wrong. Finding strength and humor in the situation allowed her to triumphantly reclaim her self-worth – and being prompted by the pandemic to independently hone her music skills has helped, too. Watch the video for “6 foot deep” below and follow EMELINE on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Cliché: What would you say is your mission as an artist?
EMELINE: My mission is to always express true feelings and to just be myself. I hope to inspire other people to embrace being unapologetically themselves too.
As a songwriter, which lyrics are you proudest of and why?
That’s a great question. One of my favorite lyrics is from my song “Hush” that goes- “So now I’m conceded or I’m insecure, there’s no in between I’m a prude or I’ma hold on to who I am”…It’s clever, conversational, and a fun thought process to listen to. It’s saying that no matter what a woman does she is critiqued. So I cut myself off while starting to say “whore” and instead I say I’m going to hold on to who I am, meaning that I’m just going to be myself because in this society, I can’t win even if I tried. But poetically I think the lyrics to “Where The Moon Hides” (my collaboration with Garza) are stunning and some of my favorite. The first verse opens up with “Lost in disbelief in things you couldn’t see but I’ll never falter. Tilted house of cards built with all our scars but I’ll never fault ya” It paints these visuals of a relationship and the physicality of objects inside of the story. I love writing about the moon. I was thinking about a line from Shakespeare when writing it. Where Juliette says, “O swear not by the moon, th’inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.” The sky is never the same just like people, but it’s a beautiful thing to look at to be retrospective with someone or about someone.
Has 2020 and the pandemic changed your approach to music at all?
Making music during a pandemic is definitely strange. It can be really difficult to have a physical disconnect when making creative work. The good thing about this year is that since I’ve had to do so much solo recording I’ve been able to dive deeper into growing as a producer. What I’ve ended up making is really raw and true to myself. I think everyone had to face the past year more alone than expected, and with that came lots of unpacking instead of distracting. I spent a lot of time reconnecting with my guitar since I stayed out of the studio. I’ve found a lot of inner strength and you’ll be able to hear it in the new music.
Talk about your new single, “6 foot deep.”
I wrote it during a really dark point of my life. “6 foot deep” isn’t about finding happy endings, in fact, it’s about finding solace in a state of numbness. It was inspired by struggles I’ve experienced being a woman particularly in the music industry. I’ve felt quite objectified and belittled time and again and it caused me to hit a breaking point, which is when I wrote this song. Creating it with Oscar Neidhardt and growing with our art and friendship was really beautiful. Making all that we did helped me re-realize my worth and that everything will be okay. I love throwing a bit of my humor into the music I make. I want the listener to be able to hear my eye rolls through the track when I say things like, “does it feel good to be so tall? I know you like the view.” While it’s a very vulnerable song and story I still manage mock the people who have hurt me, which is especially fun to do when they’re probably too dumb to get the joke.
How does it feel to be branching out in your solo career?
It feels really powerful and full circle. Especially because I wrote “6 foot deep” during a time where I felt numb, almost like I didn’t exist. When it hit me that my new music was in the world, I had never felt like I existed more.
The song seems to center around another person enjoying having power over you. In your experience, how have you broken free from these dynamics?
Now that I am branching out as a solo artist I have been able to have full control of who I work with and who I keep around me. It’s definitely been a journey to find my people and team and I’m grateful to be here. However it is an industry of weird power dynamics so I think there is a bigger conversion to be had. How do we make sure that women feel safe and welcomed into this world where there is no HR department, union, or support team? I am always open to being a mentor for young girls, but I feel like we need to make systematic changes to the industry.
You have big plans for 2021! Give us a sneak peek of what’s to come.
In terms of my future music, I have a lot of it lined up! I will be releasing many singles this year with a series of self-directed videos, following “6 foot deep” to accompany the music. I couldn’t be more excited.
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EMELINE Pushes Back Against Industry Sexism with New Single, “6 foot deep.” Photo Credit: Courtesy of EMELINE.