Singer Emmy the Great talks to Charlotte Pearson about heading home to Sussex for her latest tour and connecting with her fans.
Music can be a very powerful thing taking you to places and giving you the opportunity to meet people who are passionate about the same things you are. For singer Emmy the Great, also known as Emma-Lee Moss, she says that ‘the biggest gift I’ve received from music is the experiences it’s given me’.
“The people who come to my shows enrich my life,” she smiles.
“I’ve learned so much from them and they’re one of the main reasons I keep making music.”
Earlier this year saw Emmy release her third album ‘Second Love’, five years after ‘Virtue’ and seven after her debut ‘First Love’.
“The journey that I took making Second Love was a growing experience,” explains Emmy.
“After I finished it I felt like I was in a new phase of life and music and I wanted to mark that.”
When it came to the title Emmy admits that she liked the ‘goofiness’ of referencing her own work when she has only released three albums.
“It brought to mind Mike Love’s solo albums (Love co-founded the Beach Boys),” she begins, “which were all titled after puns on his name like ‘Mike Love Not War’.
“The current album cover is much more in keeping with the vibe of the album but in my head the cover is me draped creepily on a 70s shagpile rug in a disco jumpsuit with medallions.”
This playful ‘goofy’ side of Emmy is something that she showcased when she joined fellow singer Kate Nash on stage to recreate ‘Once More With Feeling’, the musical episode of cult 90s TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“It was one of those ideas that was discussed very late at night after much wine,” laughs Emmy.
“But the next day she had actually organised it.
“It was a beautiful leap of faith, I still wear my bunny suit now.”
Last month saw Emmy embark on a UK tour which sees her play Green Door Store in Brighton on December 5.
“I grew up near Brighton in East Grinstead so it is a chance for me to catch up with friends and eat at my favourite places,” she says.
“It is close enough that my relatives can come so it means that the audience is going to meet my family, which can be interesting.
“Some people come to my shows every time so it feels like I’m sort of visiting.”
Heading out on tour Emmy is keen to see the places she visits rather than just stopping by, performing and leaving.
“I’ve been touring a lot in the US recently and it’s fascinating and new,” she says. “I always ask a lot of questions when I arrive somewhere - ‘what is the history of this place? Where is the Wholefoods located?’.”
Touring is something that Emmy clearly enjoys doing connecting with her fans, which in the past has seen her do a request show.
“It was a fun way to interact with people who have been coming to my shows this whole time,” she smiles.
“We had no guest list, no press, it was just a very intimate, fun, unforgettable experience.
“I got the songs in advance and there was one song ‘Winchester’ that I didn’t even remember writing.
“I had to Google a bunch of lyrics because I couldn’t find copies of my early stuff in my house or on my laptop.”
At the moment Emmy says she is living two lives spending half the year in Brooklyn where she feels she is ‘the epitome of a millennial’, whereas the other half?
“In various part of the UK where I mostly stay with my family and my social group is either two to 11 year olds or baby boomers,” she adds.
“It is very weird transitioning each time.
“I have never seen Doctor Who but I guess this is what he feels like.”
Emmy’s next album is already in her sights, so does she find writing songs gets harder the more albums she does?
“Easier thankfully,” she says. “I’m going through a phase where writing songs feels really fun at the moment, but maybe that’s because everything is in the early stages.
“There’s always an element of pain during the process but maybe that’s why I keep doing it.”
For more information on Emmy the Great her music and the tour, visit www.emmythegreat.com And for the Green Door Store in Brighton, visit www.thegreendoorstore.co.uk
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