Interview: Emalia is making contemporary and conceptually driven R&B

Emalia is a fresh, feel good R&B/Pop singer from Sydney, who’s songs are thought-provoking, sexy and dominating – in the sense that her voice will grab you by the hand and pull you close towards the meaning and journey of the record.

The moment Emalia learned to talk, she learned to sing, finding her calling to music from a very young age and growing with it like you grow with a best friend – and now, her story and talent has been backed by Sony Music Australia.

“I’ve got the best team, everyone’s so passionate and on board with all of my visions and what I want to do. I’m super lucky to have a team that is really supportive and on board with me and they don’t try to change what I want or need in my music or artistry and branding. It’s awesome.” 

Currently, one of her favourite achievements is that she has released three singles with three videos, each intertwining and conceptually connected, mirroring a cohesive storyline. However that storyline is actually told in reverse; so you see the end of the story before you see the beginning.

Prima Donna was the first release, the video shows Emalia and a strange looking man in what looks like a weird relationship. In one scene he is surrounded by girls brushing each other’s hair (including his), signifying that he is a cult leader. Towards the middle of the clip, Emalia’s outfit change shows how she becomes dominating and powerful and the video ends with her killing the leader. 

2am Habit was the second release and Emalia explained that the track is about addiction and getting caught up in something you need at the time even if it’s not good for you.

Who explains the beginning of how everything came to be, as Emalia is in an evidently unhappy relationship and works all day. She ends up noticing a stranger outside of the office she works in and is drawn to the mysteriousness. 

“When it comes to writing, I do whatever I’m feeling at the time,” Emalia says.

“I’ll usually have a lyric idea or a title idea and if I don’t, it’s just what’s going on in my life, whatever I need to come out at that moment.”

“My own songs reflect back at me, it’s like a mirror of what I’m going through at that time.” 

Emalia is eminently down to earth. The direction she’s heading in is her own distinct direction, as she has seemingly known what she’s wanted to do for the longest time. She has had all sorts of inspiration and influences around her from her music loving family to the wide range of music growing up, however right now, it’s Kehlani, Summer Walker and Kiana Lede who she connects with.

The Sydney songwriter’s talent showcasing started when she was around ten-years-old and developed onto larger stages when she was just 13. It’s been a long time since she’s actually performed and this year was meant to be the year where she went on tour but due to COVID-19, it’s now put on hold. 

“It’s like my second home, I get tense before I get on stage because I want to do a good job and I want to perform well but once I’m up there I feel comfortable. I feel at home, it feels like it’s where I’m supposed to be. I love it” Emalia laughs. 

Emalia has had to improvise during the current pandemic. Instead of having the chance to perform in front of people on a real life stage, she has adapted to performing to a phone where her fans get to see her. Instead of the loud cheers, she gets to see friendly comments. 

“It has changed and it hasn’t but its been interesting to explore.. It’s given me an opportunity to just stop for a bit, rather than going to sessions and smashing things out. Sometimes I just spend a day writing and I’ll eat chips and be alone in my bedroom making music from home. I missed that.” 

But, she does miss her friends, she misses the beach, and she misses being around all the people that back her; having that human interaction.

As any other artist would, Emalia does feel the pressure of being in the music industry, especially since she truly cares what not only she thinks about her own music, but what others think about her music. She has been learning to have a positive mindset about it and tell herself that if someone out there likes her music and it helps them then that’s good. 

In regards to finally cacthing Emalia live, we can definitely expect a tour sometime after the current Coronavirus situation is over. 

“It will be happening. I can’t wait, I need to get out and tour, so definitely,” she says with excitement. 

Words by Tabitha Chapman


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