The newest emerging talents often carry the promise of fresh sounds and uncharted creativity. Among these rising stars is Emei, a name that has been steadily making strides in the world of pop music. With a captivating voice, compelling lyrics, and a unique perspective, Emei has quickly captured the hearts of music enthusiasts around the globe.
Rising pop star Emei has 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify and released her debut EP 'End of an Era' in October 2022. She recently released the new pop hit 'Cynical' which has accumulated over 900,000 streams on Spotify. She has also just released her newest single ‘Don’t Know About the World’, and is set to release her sophomore EP 'Scatterbrain' on October 20th
Image Credits: Brooke Shapiro.
Ahead of her EP's release, Emei spoke to The Teen Magazine about her latest single, the upcoming tour, and her musical journey to come!
Her Single 'Cynical'
Cynical is about Emei's need to constantly be in a state of discomfort. She describes the inspiration for the single as her "finding a way to ruin something with my mental state, or just stupid dumb things I accidentally do, when things are going right".
In terms of the catchy melody, she tries to strike a balance between creating meaningful content and crafting music that resonates with a wide audience. She believes that it's extremely important to write relatable songs instead of creating music for other people: "I think, as a listener, oftentimes you can tell when the artist really means her words or not!". In general, she tries to be as honest as she can because "it tends to lead me in the right direction".
Image Credits: Brooke Shapiro
As well as incorporating new lyrics, Emei began to work with new producers Boyblue and Skyler Stonestreet to create 'Cynical'. "We walked into the studio just knowing we wanted to make some sort of self-frustration anthem.", she explains, "I came into the day with the phrase 'why do I have to be so cynical,' and that directed us towards the song it is now." The dramaticity of the session made her want to fit the sentiment of "that meme of a dog in a room on fire".
Alongside the song, she released a music video that perfectly encapsulates the song's meaning and its visual dimension. She was able to give The Teen Magazine a glimpse into the process of her ideas while creating the video. Being obsessed with the music video and its director, Aser Santos, she was immediately ready to release the song! Emei and Aser had previously worked on her single 'That Girl' , and since then he was continually able to finish her visual storytelling sentences. "I knew the video for this had to have a live element; I also knew it had to have this off-tilt strange feel to the textures and the world the song lives in.", she states, "So, when I sent him 'Cynical', he immediately ran into action with his vision for the video and somehow it exactly aligned with mine." She also speaks on how they will continue to work on projects together: "We've got a lot in store for the rest of the year as well and I can't wait for everyone to see it!"
She announced The Cynical Tour alongside the music video, notifying her many fans that she'd be touring the U.S. and Toronto during November. Live performance being the whole point she does this, she's ecstatic about going on her first ever official tour! "I've always been a performer first, and an artist/songwriter second, and though I love all the parts of being an artist, performing is my very very favorite." She can guarantee there'll be shows that fans will walk away sweaty. She also guarantees that there'll be some fun surprises and unreleased songs in the setlist. "My goal with live shows has always been to give my 100% on stage and have the fans who come walk away excited about live music as much as I am."
While touring can be exhilarating, it can also be quite challenging. Emei tries her best to preserve her energy when she's not on stage, which, as she states, "includes less talking (which will be very hard for me) and sleeping as much as I can on any mode of transportation." Though this tour will be challenging, she is excited to travel around the world with people she loves to work with and her lovely fans.
As a rising pop star with a growing fan base, she tries to stay connected with her listeners and create a sense of community around her music. She especially loves using her discord since she's able to plan monthly events, and she has a lot in store for her EP. "I think it's important to not just focus on growing the fan base, but to also focus on putting love and energy into the people who've been there for me this whole time." she remarks, "With this EP and tour, we have some fun things coming up for them!!" It's really cool for her to see fans meet each other at shows and actually make friends in the context of her music: "I definitely want to do all I can to keep that up!".
The Music Journey and What's Next
Emei's debut EP 'End of an Era' received a fantastic response and, since its release, her music has evolved with production and lyricism. Having loved that EP due to it's phase in her life, she was excited to create a new one. "That [EP] covered the transition between college and adulthood for me, and now on the [new EP] I'm writing about finding myself and who I am in the real world." She has had fun experimenting and exploring with different sides of her music taste, so the difference between the two EPs would have to be the sound: "I think with my first EP, I was drawing a lot from pop rock and 2000s energy, whereas this new EP is more focused on electronic sounds!"
Image Credits: Brooke Shapiro
Ending off the interview, we asked Emei about her most memorable experiences and her words of wisdom for aspiring artists. Her most rewarding performance was "my first headline show in London. I've been playing shows all my life in all sorts of settings, but I've never played in a room full of people who were there just for me and my music.
It was really surreal. My parents flew in and came to the show. My manager and drummer were there to support me. There was just a lot of love in that room and it was definitely a night I won't forget."
"My advice [for young artists] would definitely be to keep writing and writing and writing and writing. Write until you're so proud of your music you want to show everyone and scream it off the rooftops!" she exclaims. "It's so much easier to work so hard when you truly believe in your project and surround yourself with a team of people who believe in it as much as you do too." Her first trip to LA, she must've spent weeks scrolling through editorial playlists and collecting a list of artists, writers, and producers. She got started by cold-DMing as many people as possible, taking every session she could get, and emailing her music to as many people as she could find. "It's definitely hard to get moving in this industry with no foot in the door, but with social media now, it's more possible than ever to find a way in!!".
Now, with a new single, tour, and EP in store this year, it's safe to say that Emei has reached new levels within her short period in the music industry!
10 Quick-Fire Questions
1. Dream career?
Being a touring musician
2. Dream collaboration?
3. Dream travel destination?
4. Your favourite song you’ve written so far and favourite lyric from it?
Unreleased... and "my hidden cameras are activated by emotion"
5. Favourite go-to meal?
Adobo chicken and bok choy
6. Top three favourite songs of all time?
- Bruises by Chairlift
- You Belong with Me by Taylor Swift
- Green and Gold by Lianne La Havas
7. Something you never leave the house without?
My phone, of course
8. Your hobbies aside from music?
9. What type of dog do you think you are like most -personality wise?
Someone literally described me as a bull dog in a chihuahua's body and I was very offended. So I'm gonna choose to say a GOLDEN RETRIEVER.
10. The best piece of advice you've received as a musician?
Ed Sheeran said in an interview once that writing music is like a rusty hose, you have to get all the gunk out before the clear water flows.
Image Credits: Brooke Shapiro
Keep Up With Emei
'Don’t Know About the World’ is out now.
'Scatterbrain' is out October 20th.