New York born, London raised emie nathan is putting her own unique spin on indie pop

emie nathan’s latest single, ‘Static’, is a vulnerable and endearing display of the singer's incredible talent and potential.

emie nathan is certainly an artist to keep your eye on. Born in New York but raised in London, nathan’s unique “dark but euphoric” approach to Indie-pop has made her one of the most exciting emerging talents of late. With a recent appearance at The Great Escape festival and upcoming opening spots for Lewis Capaldi’s tour, it seems like the only way is up for the London-based artist.

Today, nathan continues her momentous push into stardom with her new single, ‘Static’. With crystal clear vocals and a relatable, endearing subject matter, it’s yet another impressive and memorable addition to her discography. It’s evident that nathan undergoes a long and arduous process prior to releasing music, making sure it’s perfect before being handed to the world. ”The amount of work that goes into the writing & finalising of a song is so immense, you know it is the best it can be so it feels good to finally get it out and heard,” says the singer-songwriter. Here, HUNGER catches up with the rising star to discuss meeting Lewis Capaldi, dream collabs and her journey in the industry so far.

How would you describe your current creative process?

I’ve definitely settled into leading with concepts. I like to come into the studio knowing what I want to write about which usually means I have a lyrical hook or phrase in mind. That being said, I don’t really write lyrics without a melodic counterpart even if I’m just jotting ideas down or humming/ talking something through. The two go hand in hand in my head which my voice notes app can attest to… I guess if I know what I want to say, the rest sort of follows. 

For someone who hasn’t heard your music before, how would you describe it?

It’s lyrically driven, indie-pop music. I love making things sound a little dark but euphoric too, lots of juicy vocal arrangements… 

Have you had any surreal experiences/moments in your career so far? What were they like if so?

All of last year was about firsts – the first single, the debut EP, the first headline etc…I think it was strange to experience those things in a pandemic and not necessarily feel the full effect of putting out a project. This year has definitely already offered up a few surreal moments that tap into the lost moments of the last release cycle;  I played a BBC headline in March time and the room was full of strangers who had bought a ticket… Some of whom were singing my lyrics back to me. I think I laughed mid-song because I was so surprised. That was a really surreal moment. Booking my first few festivals was another – finally being able to look ahead to those career milestones has been huge. I just think this year will continue to offer up these gems moving out of Covid and into the swing of things. 

Congratulations on your new single, do you get nervous when releasing new music or is it mainly feelings of excitement?

It’s a funny one because there are absolutely nervous feelings around a release – you put your heart and soul into something and then let it go and hope it floats. When you think about it, it is a terrifying prospect. But truthfully, I’m so ready for the songs to be heard by the time they come out It boils down to feelings of excitement and relief. The amount of work that goes into the writing & finalising of a song is so immense, you know it is the best it can be so it feels good to finally get it out and heard. 

You’re opening for Lewis Capaldi on a couple shows soon, how did that come about?

It was definitely one of those “how on earth, surreal” moments –  Lewis showed up at a small gig I played in Hoxton earlier in the year with a few friends and asked me on the spot to open for him this summer. He had dm’d be right before I was going on so I didn’t have time to process much. I knew he had heard my music through his piano player (Thank you Aiden!), but didn’t realise he was thinking about involving me. Its been awesome working with Lewis, we’ve written a few tunes together recently as well and I couldn’t be more excited to play these shows with him in the next few weeks. 

Is performing live and seeing people’s reaction to your music in person one of the most fulfilling things about making music? 

Without a doubt. I am so happy that live music is picking up again and I’ve been lucky enough to play some shows. It makes everything worthwhile because so much of the time you’re working in stealth mode writing tunes or gearing up for a release that no one sees all the work behind the music, it can be quite insular. It is such a good feeling doing the work and being able to open it up and share it in real time with people. 

I know you’re very into art and painting too, would you say it’s just as important to you as music is?

I think they do different things for me. Painting is a switch-off, relaxing activity I do sometimes for hours and hours without having to pay much attention to how it makes me feel (or other people for that matter). It gives me an escape that music can’t offer when I’m making it with a goal in mind. They’re both great loves, but painting remains a pressure-free zone. 

Are there any other creative avenues you’d like to explore in the future?

I have a few…Notably, I’d like to get better at producing. I’ve always shied away from it and I work with such talented people I often feel in awe of their skill set. I think i’m due to challenge myself on that front soon! I’d also love to get into directing and editing for my own campaigns. This round of music videos were directed by my photographer, Jennifer McCord. She and I work very closely across all the visuals i’ve had to date, but this was a new experience for both of us and having a small hand in the process from start to end was so fulfilling. Being a naturally visual person, I think this is something I could easily (and in the best way) get lost in.

How have you found navigating your way through the music industry so far, has it been a tough learning process?

It has been a huge learning process. At the beginning I knew so little about how everything works and what the realities are of starting from scratch, no one really tells you what to expect. It has been tough to learn on the job, through a pandemic and still be a fully-functioning creative when I need to be. However, I am very lucky to have my core team around me who I’ve worked with pretty much since the beginning in 2019. I’ve got a lot of support and I’ve met some really passionate and accomplished people who I know are in my corner. 

If you could collaborate with any artist right now, who would it be and why?

Be it a recent cliché, but I would love to collaborate with Harry Styles on something. I may be influenced by having binged his album for the past week but I love what he has built and the quality of music he’s putting out at the moment. It would be amazing to pick his brain and see what we could make from a session. 

I know you include a lot of your own personal experiences in your music, would you say the process of making music is therapeutic to you at all?

It can be. I think I need quite a bit of time between experiences and writing to synthesise how and what I want to say in order to do those feelings and situations the most justice. So, if it is the right time then yes. If it is too soon or even too late, It can be frustrating. 

If you could pick one album to soundtrack your life what would it be and why?

My whole life!? – quick fire answer would be Bon Iver 22, A Million. I always find myself coming back to it and it has been a real soundtrack to my adulthood so I am definitely sentimentally attached.  I’m not sure my answer will ever actually change on that!

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

I’ve got quite a busy summer between the Lewis shows, a couple of festival slots and my releases! There might be a little mid-campaign headline show and there will definitely be an early winter/end of campaign headline show. I’m really looking forward to that, and of course to getting these songs out in the world and seeing what comes. 

  • Writer Chris Saunders

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