Emma Stevens began her solo career back in 2012, bursting onto the scene with her distinctively catchy pop melodies, folk instrumentation and splash of country. Boasting fans such as Chris Evans and the late Sir Terry Wogan, four consecutive singles on Radio 2’s playlist and over three million Spotify plays, her effortless and uplifting voice accompanied by “an absolute addiction to string instruments” has led her to perform at numerous festivals, support tours with the likes of Passenger and Simply Red, and even soundtrack programmes on major UK channels.
We caught up with Emma in the midst of her second PledgeMusic campaign, to fan-fund the new EP Atoms, to chat about the influence that the current music industry climate has had on her processes, what to expect from the imminent project and her plans for the year ahead.
Atoms EP is your third PledgeMusic venture. What is it about the platform that brings you back?
I love being able to offer my fans and supporters unique and interesting experiences, Pledge is a great Platform to be able to do this. It is also a great way of raising money whilst still connecting with my fans and being able to give them something really special.
We know from your Updates that the EP will feature a string quartet, what more can you tell us?
The EP also features two songs which are co-written and produced by Kevin Jeremiah from The Feeling. Kevin has also agreed to mix the EP too! All the songs are quite different on the EP, so it’ll be really interesting to see which fans like what songs!
You mention that “the industry is changing so much with the emphasis now on digital and streaming”, and that has led you to make an EP rather than an album. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on this, and what other effects it’s had on your approach to music?
At the moment I’m focusing on bringing out music more regularly, rather than taking three years off to write and record an album. I think that the loyal supporters will always be there and wait for you to bring out music when you’re ready, but now that so many people are listening to Spotify/Apple playlists which may feature just one of your songs, they're less likely to listen to the full body of work – so the focus shifts more towards singles, and EP’s rather than full albums.
The title track ‘Atoms’ has been in the works for six years. What was it about now that felt like the right time to complete it?
I had the great privilege to write this one with Charlie Midnight. I had the idea and concept floating around inside me since my Mum died, and when I stayed with Charlie in LA last year I remember speaking to him about it. Before I knew it we were writing a song. He is a special person to me and has played a very important role in my musical career. Without his encouragement and advice, love and support I’d be in a very different place now I think.
Thinking back over those six years, how have your musical processes and outlook developed?
When I first started writing I was very much encouraged by melody first, and then lyrics. Over the six years of collaborating with different people, I’ve approached my songwriting in so many different ways – ie coming up with a concept first, or a title. Then brainstorming that before I even pick up the guitar!
You’ve updated Pledgers with lots of exclusive updates over the three campaigns, from behind-the-scenes studio videos to an “Ask Emma” Q&A. What is It about the engagement with fans that you really value?
I love being able to share my heart and soul with the people that support me. I am so grateful to know there are people in this world that enjoy my music. I value their support, but I also love to get to know them. These are the people that come to my gigs and they all have their own stories too.
You’ve included some really unique experiences in your campaign, such as Acoustic House Concerts, Stargazing with you, a Shopping Day and more. If you could choose any musician to spend the day with, who would it be and what would you get up to?
Taylor Swift – I’d love to persuade her to co-write my next single!!
You’re going on a UK tour in May next year, everywhere from Glasgow to Southampton. What else does 2019 have in store?
I’ll be taking a trip to China where I’ll be touring 7 cities in 11 days! It’s going to be amazing!