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INTERVIEW: EMIKA

In today's interview I'll present you the queen of pop dubstep. Emma Jolly, or better known by her stage name Emika, will surely win you over with her idiosyncratic style and funky beats. Emika is a classically trained musician (she's studied classical piano and composition) with a twist. Growing up in England, she started to make her own music at school, where she couldn't be bothered with teachers speaking all that nonsense. She waitressed in high school to save up for her first Apple Mac and a copy of Logic Studio (a music production suite), with which the real music business started. 

In 2006 she took the plunge and moved to Berlin, where she worked as a sound designer. In the mean time, she was developing her uniquely haunting musical style on her laptop, in her own world. It wasn't until 2011 that her debut album Emika came to life. It was described by many critics as the mix of "bewitching, atmospheric melodies and glicthy electronic beats". 

Her second album Dva (Czech for the number two) carries on the sound which she established on Emika. She created a mix of classical, icy electronical beats, with its fair share of pop noises. I've had a chance to ask her everything about her newest album, her experience as a solo female artist, and much more. Don't miss out and keep on scrollin'!

Hey Ema, how's everything going?

Good thanks. Just got back from a massive tour in Russia and we launched the Russian Edition of Dva

As a solo female musician, do you sometimes find it hard to make music and survive in this competitive environment? I bet many people still assume there's a man behind the scenes, at least a manager or something similar. 

The main driving force for my project now is my audience. They make the project come to life and they are addicted to my music. We share the same frequency, they are my source of love, joy, and protection. Each time I feel weak my fans remind me they are with me and we are all sharing this music life together. 


I'm a very passionate person, I have strong feelings in my soul and I have huge desires with music, sound and performance. I find it annoying when people in the music biz are lazy and act cool, pretending to have good ideas, walking around with massive egos. I can't stand people with bad attitude problems who expect people to treat them like they are kings. These people make me angry, because for every one of them, there are thousands of other people who would love to have a job in the biz and would probably work much harder. I know that the new blood will push through and this generation of music industry people (the people closer to my age), are fighting hard for a change - just like I do. I feel the change happening already. 


The oldschool system of a girl or women having this group of middle men sat behind her treating her like a cash cow. But this is already old news, and these middle men are being exposed. New music industry is being made for women and it's super dope and fresh and exciting! All indie women in music should be mega excited right now. 


The transition from drum'n'bass to dubstep was already in full swing when you moved from Bristol to Berlin. Since Berlin's music scene (and art in general) always seems to be one step ahead, has moving to Berlin in any way influenced your development as a musician?

Sure, it's difficult to say how exactly, because I'm influenced by everything from the weather, people's faces, the trams, city smell ... Berlin is in my blood, it's my home and it feeds me with new music. Every time I walk around or ride my bike, there are new melodies in my heart. I always have a new song in my imagination when I'm in Berlin. 


You've released two albums, Emika (2011) and Dva (2013). What are the main differences between the two?


Emika is like my baby dream. My first steps. I wanted to prove myself as a music producer and make bad-ass beats and be cool, sexy and deep. I was trying to create a world in which I could exist. It's a record producer album.


Dva is my first piece of art. Now I'm an artist and I understand my value in the world. This happened from discovering my audience, performing all over the world, experiencing many different cultures and contexts for music. Dva is born from my audience and travels, family. Its story is what is in our hearts. I didn't need to prove myself with Dva, I simply made it from love, from the voice in my heart. Dva is true art. Emika is simple beats and bass.

The first thing I've noticed on the new album is its title - Dva (meaning "two" in Slavic languages). Was this title meant to be a statement about exploring the "second side" of yourself, or did you choose the name simply because it's your second album?


Dva is the journey of me discovering the other person that I am, my Czech side. It's my second album yes, but it's also my roots, so Dva became the perfect title for the work.


I've noticed that your voice on the second album sounds far more natural and less polished. Will you pursue this  style in your future work? And what was the response of the critics and audience to this change in your sound? 


Well so far my audience seems very respectful of my choices and really pleased with my growth as an artist. And there's some small minded critics which like to put things into boxes and categories, but they don't really get what I'm about. I just decided that compression and auto-tune is really bad for the soul of music. And I hate the way dance pop electronic music in going. I am doing something different. I am not afraid of my natural voice. I have learned a lot about my voice from performing and I wanted to expose this "real" voice in the record as well as the show. I don't want to be divided into perfect album me and natural live me. The whole body of my work should be real. The squeaky clean production style that so many producers follow it's so dated and backwards. I love how wild and raw the voice can be, so why not leave all that in the record?!


Do you think electronic artists often put insufficient emphasis on the lyrics and the use of vocals in their music?

Yes. 


At some point in your career you also recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. What was your motivation behind it? Was it a great experience?


This was a dream of mine, so I worked hard to make it come true. It was an amazing experience. I felt so right, in the control room being the producer in the chair, watching so many talented musicians bring this amazing energy into the room with such focus and attention to detail. For one day, I felt right. I felt like I was in the right place for me. I felt like I was home. It was so powerful.


Would you say that rhythm represents the basis of your musical ideas?


No, melody for sure.


As an electronic artist, which musical gadget do you use and love the most?


Logic's FM synth. 


Thanks so much for your time, Emika, it was an absolute pleasure. 


Thanks for the great questions!!! <3




My dear Slovenian readers can check out Emika this Wednesday (21:30) at Kino Šiška.
I'm already warming myself up with some dope dubstep beats! 

xxxx

15 comments:

  1. Never heard of her before, but it was nice reading a little bit about her :)
    And her pictures are stunning!

    mykindofjoy.blogspot.com

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  2. Another great interview! Love this!
    xo TJ

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  3. This is such a cool and aspiring interview! I have never heard of this singer before, but I will definitely check her out on youtube! :)
    Really great job on the interview!

    callmemaddie.blogspot.com

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  4. Awww I was hoping there would be a YouTube video of her performance :o( I even waited till I got home for this :o( never worry, I'll try Google it anyways hehehe! Your description of her music sounds right up ma alley girl! Loving these posts of yours!

    SDMxx
    www.daringcoco.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. great interview!! thanks for sharing. i'll have to look up her music.

    xoxo Sarah (xlicious girl)
    Japanese Gyaru Makeup Blog
    Enter My $75 Halloween Costume Giveaway (Ends 10/10, worldwide ok)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really enjoyed reading this post and I will definitely Youtube the singer x
    Much love for the inspiration and for the lovely blog design xx
    bohobun.blogspot.co.uk

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  7. nice interview, we didn't knew her before. We will check.
    shall we follow?take a look at our posts
    greetings from Holland
    http://www.we-heart-fashion.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. So many exciting interviews! Super cool :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  9. I think you are becoming my top favorite girl. Cool, fashionable, music lover, what more can we ask?
    Miss Margaret Cruzemark
    http://margaretcruzemark.blogspot.com/

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  10. Love the makeup ! cute blog and style

    www.izzehfashion.blogspot.com

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  11. lovely bog <3

    Lets follow each other in GFC, Bloglovin and FB :)

    Kindly let me know where all you are following and I will return the favor :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. oh wow, what a lovely interview! she is so pretty!

    lindsey louise

    hellomrrabbitblog.com

    ReplyDelete