Emma Kelly: learning to live under pressure
If, on the one hand, female empowerment has made many more women risk releasing great albums for some time now, the wide offer ended up generating more competitiveness, not only between them and the overwhelming universe of male artists, but among themselves. It is in this fierce context that the very interesting pop EP “Life Vs The Internet” by the young british singer Emma Kelly emerges. “I do feel there is underlying competition in everything which is a shame because I do like to think that everyone working in the music industry is bringing something totally unique as each personality is different“, she highlights.
However, although she admits to being the type of person who gets stressed about everything, she tries to take the challenges of her artistic career more lightly.
You can write a great song but without all the promo there’s chance it won’t get anywhere (…) For me though, one person coming up to me to say they enjoy my music makes my day and nothing can ever change that.
Although some of the biggest festivals in the world still require the presence of men on stage, we have the privilege of observing some such as Primavera Sound São Paulo, which features Lorde and Björk as its headliners. For Emma, the presence of more women in the line ups is one of the goals set for female artists. “Women are still fighting for gender equality within the industry, we’ve come a long way however, there is still so much more to do; festivals need miles better splits of headliners/ female fronted acts in general and many more aspects“, she says. And festivals certainly need Emma Kelly in their line ups. Who knows in Brazil?
Life Vs The Internet
With many insights into current dilemmas, such as the amount of time we spend viewing the Instagram feed, “Life Vs The Internet” goes far beyond good pop compositions that hook us from the first track to the last. “Under pressure”, for example, although it refers to the Queen classic – a reference to Emma since always – talks about the importance of maintaining mental sanity in these days when we have an excess of stimuli. Basically, a life under pressure.
More about Emma
Born and raised in a small town in Surrey, Emma inherited her mother’s musical genes. Growing up surrounded by the sounds of Queen, her father’s favourite band, led her to attend Italia Conti from the age of 11. Since leaving the London-based musical theatre vocational school at 16, she has now spent the last few years perfecting the art of creating a record that encapsulates both her desired sound and material lyrics.
2 5 Things about Emma Kelly
RC – Hi Emma! How is it going? Browsing a lot on the internet, living life or both?
EK – Hey! It’s good thank you!! I’m really trying to live life at the moment but always guilty of an internet scroll especially when you can’t avoid it.
RC- Your new EP “Live Vs The Internet” is one of those that hooks you on the first listen…. It’s only 3 tracks and it’s impossible not to listen to the end. What’s the secret to this type of composition that knows how to captivate its audience?
EK – Recently I’ve been working on songs that end up around the 3 minute mark or less and I personally think that’s down to both my own attention span when listening to music and knowing that there are probably loads of other people that are the same so I wanted to create an EP where a listener doesn’t switch off.
RC – In your bio, you say you grew up listening to Queen because of your parents. That’s where the tribute to track 2 of the “Under pressure” EP comes from? Is it your favorite of the band? By the way, tell us what pressures you in the world today.
EK – It actually isn’t a tribute although you’re not the first to ask as Queen are usually all I bang on about so maybe it was self-consciously. They were without a doubt my favourite band growing up and people who I would say heavily influenced my style of writing now. Things that are pressuring me right now, well, I won’t lie, I’m a massive stresser so there is a lot I don’t stress/overthink about, but I am trying to learn that most things are completely out of my control which is why I wrote this EP… almost like something I can listen back to when I am feeling pressurised and learn from things I’ve written about.
RC – You come from a generation of young singers like Olivia Rodrigo and Holly Humberstone who, regardless of music genre, are aware of the female strength. Is there competition for the market’s attention, or do you see collaborationism in music?
EK – I’d love to say there isn’t competition however, I do feel there is underlying competition in everything which is a shame because I do like to think that everyone working in the music industry is bringing something totally unique as each personality is different. Women are still fighting for gender equality within the industry, we’ve come a long way however, there is still so much more to do; festivals need miles better splits of headliners/ female fronted acts in general and many more aspects. I do think however, collaboration is so important because without women banding together we wouldn’t have achieved all this change to where we are now.
RC – Talking about making music, how hard is to release a good pop song like yours?
EK – The actual writing/ recording part I find quite easy however, it’s all the elements behind that which is where it gets hard. You can write a great song but without all the promo there’s chance it won’t get anywhere. These days it’s all about playlisting in order to get more streams/fans/engagement and unfortunately getting all of that is hard and debilitating because it doesn’t mean you haven’t put out a great track, it just hasn’t reached the right people this time round. Some people have had success on songs years after initially releasing, so it’s all about the hard graft and believing in the quality work you’re putting out. For me though, one person coming up to me to say they enjoy my music makes my day and nothing can ever change that.
And what do you think of Emma Kelly’s work? Tell us in the comments!