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Introducing EMiDORA: the Emerging Artist Making Music With Honesty And Authenticity

Music & Podcasts

Fri, April 19

It was the eve of EMiDORA's 21st birthday. But this was not a happy birthday - it was a milestone that she had been dreading.

As a child, she had big dreams for what life might look like when she turned 21. However, with hours until this occasion, she was instead facing the daunting prospect of graduating from university without a plan or vision for the future.

“I was not feeling very inspired by my life. I was thinking I don't know what I'm going to do after uni - I'd thought by now that my whole career would be laid out for me.”

So, whilst her university housemates were planning for a birthday celebration, the now 24-year-old British artist from Nottingham was sat in her bedroom channeling the thoughts and emotions she was experiencing into the medium that she knows best: music.

And now, three years on, the lyrics and ideas that she compiled that night have become “Twenny One (Happy Birthday)” - her brand new single which has been released today.

“It's a very personal song,” she explains, “It's about that whole feeling of feeling stagnated in your journey. I'd never spoken to anyone about feeling like that, so it's very important to me - getting your feelings out and [showing] the personal side to the music that I'm making.”

With its release, the rising musician is also firing the starting pistol on a new era of her music career, with a new stage name (changing from Em to EMiDORA, which is an amalgamation of her first and middle names), as well as focusing on a new type of music.

“When I was releasing under my old name, I started off with songs with a completely different lyrical content,” she shares. “It was all based around love, and relationships, and all of that sort of thing.”

"And I've got to a point now where that's not really what I want to be writing about. Now, for me, it's this world inside my head where all these feelings are competing with each other - and all of the new music is about these really intense emotions condensed into two minutes of music for each song that's coming out. And I felt like something new was needed for that.”

Photo courtesy of management

Music has always been an influential part of her life. Inspired by listening to an eclectic mix of artists ranging from Arctic Monkeys to Troye Sivan and Halsey, EMiDORA showed signs of being a musical prodigy from an early age.

She began by playing the violin at the age of 7 (“I absolutely hated it as a child… threw it across the room when I was practicing”), before moving on to the more favored clarinet, piano, and guitar, and learning to write songs with electronic instrumentals.

She went on to study psychology at Newcastle University (and is a self-proclaimed “psychology nerd”), yet took a step back from music at this point in time.

Although when the pandemic hit in 2020 - forcing her back to Nottingham - the thoughts and emotions created by lockdown brought on a new wave of inspiration. Since then, she has gone onto achieve a multitude of feats: being featured on BBC Introducing, stepping on to the stage at local festivals, and even performing at the venue where her and her friends used to go clubbing. “That was really cool.”

Her renaissance was also helped along by her joining the music collective in the city, which “completely changed” the way she felt about the music industry.

“I thought it was all really competitive, and everyone hated each other, and that we're all just trying to compete for the same opportunities. It kind of is like that, but you can find these really nice pockets where people are really supportive.

“Since finding that, I'm so much more comfortable in the music industry space and I think I've developed my sound a bit more, developed my production a bit more, and just made really meaningful connections with people within the industry that helps to kind of bring all of that together as well.”

Photo courtesy of management

“Twenny One (Happy Birthday)” is a deeply honest and personal track. “It's got these kind of distinct sections,” EMiDORA explains of the creative process behind it. “The first bit is I don't want to get any older, and then the next is I don't have this sense of identity that I wanted to, and then the next bit is I'm really, really shy and if you look at me, I won't like it. It is this kind of thought dump of just getting these emotions out.”

Sonically, an infusion pop and EDM influences juxtapose its lyrics. “A lot of [my songs] have that sort of upbeat peppiness to it with the sad lyrics," she adds. "But it really is quite upfront and symbolic of how I was during that time - I was just trying to carry on, I was just trying to get my degree like, “let's do this guys!” But I was actually feeling not so great underneath all of it and I think that's a big thing.

“The other thing is, I think it's a great thing to have songs that have these deep meanings, but then they've got an upbeat section where you can just dance. Because you're having these deep thoughts about how you feel, but then you could just let it go in the in the dance section and just get it all out.”

As for what will follow after the release of this single, more new music has been recorded for a planned EP that will focus on “the transition to adulthood, and the blurriness between being a child and being whatever it is that I am now”.

A selection of performances at local festivals are also set for this summer - including on May 26th at Dot To Dot Festival in Nottingham, which brings together a range of touring artists and rising local talents.

But as EMiDORA marks the beginning of a new era of her music career, she shares that her aspirations for the longer-term future have also changed, as she has shifted away from quantifiable dreams.

"With my other project I've had success in numbers… with this project I've had success on stage, success on radio and all of these things going on. And that is lovely. I really, really appreciate that.

"But it's really interesting to put that into perspective with what it really means in the music industry. It's so difficult to make this a sustainable career and something you can actually live off - so people say the dream is to tour, the dream is to release albums, and do this, this, this and this.

“I think my dream would be to get the music out to people who want to hear it, who need to hear it. To young people like me who listened to music in their teens and it kind of changed how they felt about themselves and how they felt about life.”

“Twenny One (Happy Birthday)” is out now. Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

Sam Burton
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Sam Burton is the Managing Editor of Interviews at The Teen Magazine.