Photo: MADISON FIORENZA

We caught up with Derby’s emzae and had a chat about everything from her brand new video to her future plans

Derby based singer-songwriter emzae has been slowly crafting a loyal following with her effervescent self-produced brand of electronic pop. Her atmospheric and ethereal sound has been gradually winning over fans throughout the midlands and beyond, and the release of her latest single ‘As This Day Fades to Another’ looks set to take her to new heights.

In the wake of this recent release, we sought to catch up with emzae and find out a little more about one of the ?Midlands’ most exciting unearthed talents.

Who TF is emzae?

I’m a singer-songwriter and producer from Derby, which is a city right in the middle of England.

How long have you been making music?

Pretty much since forever, but formally releasing it online since 2014.

Why do you make music? 

To make sense of the world, heal myself and try and help other people do the same. Also to find meaning in a fast-moving, disposable era. Sorry, that sounds really deep.

What are your biggest influences?

I’d probably say Damon Albarn, Lana Del Rey, Britney Spears and Solange. A good dinner party right there. I am influenced by lots of people and things.

Photo: HARRIET ENSOR

What would you say has been your best moment so far?

I had a really fun gig supporting The Seamonsters in Birmingham the other night. The crowd was really supportive. I also played at Nottingham’s Rock City Beta earlier this year, and at the Derby Christmas Lights switch-on to my biggest ever audience. I have enjoyed playing on local BBC Introducing stages too. Oh, and getting on two Spotify editorial playlists! There have been so many things i’ve enjoyed and been super thankful for – I love this whole music thing!

What do you want people to take away from your music?

It’s up to them – anything they like. I’d love to be making people think and feel. And sometimes dance a bit.

What’s your dream “I’ve made it” moment?

I honestly don’t have dreams of great stardom. I would be perfectly happy just to make a comfortable living from music. That would be my “I’ve made it” moment, when I don’t have to worry too much about money. But having said that, I do view the pyramid stage at Glastonbury to be the top tier of pop music…

You just released a music video for ‘As This Day Fades to Another’, what can you tell us about the track and its video?

With As This Day Fades to Another, I wanted to write something a little more upbeat because I had been writing and releasing a few downtempo, melancholic tracks and I didn’t want to get tied to one particular sound. I found an old beat i’d made and that formed the basis of the track. I wanted it to be ‘in your face’ and I liked the idea/challenge of literally just having a synth play one single note throughout the verse and bridge. Originally, the song was actually about a different subject entirely, but it wasn’t really gelling. I used to take walks through Derby city centre in my lunch break from work each day, and many of the lyrics depict a combination of those walks and what I observed. All of the songs I am writing at the moment are either about, or are set in Derby. It was important to me that the instrumentation of my songs Lucid Dreaming, Glory, Another Lesson Learnt and As This Day Fades to Another all sonically conveyed different aspects of what I feel living here and how I hear this place.

I also wanted to ‘zoom out’ and talk about the bigger picture of how I was feeling at that time (and still now) and how I felt my friends were all feeling. We’re all at a time when we’re trying to form the basis of our adult lives and work out how we can have a fairly secure future and be as happy and healthy as possible. Online and when we see each other in person, we tend to say that everything is going well. But at home, we’re looking at each other’s pictures and wondering whether we’re doing well enough. Most of us are working constantly on something or other to try and ‘keep up’ and we’re always tired. There’s a constant paranoia of failure in its many forms. But we just carry on. One day fading to another, as we hope that one day we’ll be able to work less and relax more!

I filmed the video with the help of my friend Maddy at locations in Derby city centre. We just got loads of footage of me messing around, basically. We had a lot of fun, although it was sometimes awkward when members of the public walked past.

Are you pleased with the reception that it has been getting?

Yes! People have been super kind about this track, which is reassuring because I get worried every single time I release a new one. This has been the most successful launch for a track i’ve had so far – I basically didn’t leave my computer on release week!

What does the near future have in store for emzae?

I’m playing a few shows in Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield and hoping to put out another track either before the end of the year or very early January. I’m just hoping to keep making music and sharing it with people, basically.

And finally, who is your biggest fan right now?

Haha, I couldn’t possibly say without fear of offending someone! Probably my mum and dad combined. Hopefully that counts. Also I like to call them listeners rather than fans because saying that word just makes me feel like I have a huge ego.

‘As This Day Fades to Another’ is available now