EMA – AN ARTIST, SINGER-SONGWRITER
EMA is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter/recording artist from Toronto, Canada. She has been performing across LA & Toronto for the past 8 years, singing live and releasing originals and covers on all streaming platforms. She’s been releasing her own original music since 2019, starting off with her hit single ‘Get It’ with over 50K streams on Spotify. EMA has also reached international listeners from Indonesia, placing #20 on Indonesia’s Top Viral Hits on Spotify charts.
Here is Ema in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
I fell in love with the idea of being a songwriter at a very young age. Growing up hearing celebrities such as Selena Gomez & Taylor Swift on the radio, I was quickly infatuated with their albums and singles. It had always inspired me to one day write my own songs, and I was lucky enough to have my dad support me with these dreams to become a musician. He had me enrolled in singing classes at a young age and kept encouraging me to learn more about music. This went on since I was the age of 7-8, and helped me grow as a singer and an artist.
2) Tell us more about your experience of singing song covers.
I’ve always had a bit of an issue on the production side of putting out a cover or original. I’ve tried time and time again to use applications such as Garageband & Pro Tools to try to create my own music, but it was always difficult for me. However, I got to meet my current producer, Mike Tompa, where I was taking vocal lessons; which allowed us to create amazing projects together. We released cover after cover, then eventually an EP, and so on. I already had a bit of a following on Instagram at the time, but since then, I’ve gained well over 3,000 followers & went from 0 subscribers on Youtube to 2k within the time we were working together.
3) Which has been your first track?
The first track I’ve ever written was my single ‘Get It’ (released February 1st, 2019. I wrote a handful of the lyrics almost a year before producing the song, with my vocal coach Aline Martin. Aline and I used to spend hours brainstorming different song lyrics to use in a song one day, so it made the process a lot easier. I’d write the chorus, flip back to the voice memos Aline and I recorded, then go back to finishing the verses. I couldn’t have done it without her!
4) Who has been your inspiration?
My biggest inspiration when I first started writing music was Gracie Abrams. I’ve been following her Instagram since 2017, keeping up with every new post she’d put out and saving it instantly to look back on when I needed inspiration for a new song. Her music has always been so unique to her own style, and I strived to find my own sound so that I can write the way she does.
5) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself continuing to put out music for my fans. By then, I hope to have grown a larger following, and be able to tour different cities to perform live for them! I love the idea of performing live – and I’m planning on putting out lots of new original music to put on my setlists.
6) How would you describe your music?
One thing about me is that I love to experiment. My album ‘Friendly Reminder’ features 4 songs that are completely different from each other. Some ballads, some R&B/pop style, all unique in their own way. Love Languages, my new single, takes inspiration from artists such as Olivia Rodrigo & Aurora – with minimal instrumentation throughout the verses but builds up during the bridge to last chorus. Unlike my other singles, this song relies heavily on my vocals to tell the story. If I were to choose a genre to describe my music as I would definitely fall under Pop/Singer/Songwriter.
7) Which has been your most memorable project or song?
My most memorable song to make was Missed Call on my EP ‘Friendly Reminder.’ Missed Call was originally a silly little beat me and my best friend, Maha, made in my basement. My friend wouldn’t pick up the phone so Maha turned to me and pulled out her phone to record the sound of the ringing. She pulled the sound into Garageband and worked up her magic to make a beat. The next month, I ran to my producer, and we laid down the production for the song!
8) How would you describe the feeling on Indonesias top viral hits on spotify?
It was an amazing experience being able to see my name up on editorial playlists on Spotify. Being as high as #26 on Top Viral Hits was something I never thought I’d accomplish. Heather was a cover I made in the comfort of my own bedroom, and I never could have known that a piece I was debating to even put up on streaming platforms could reach the numbers it did.
9) Share some of your achievements with the magazine.
My first proper Youtube video on my channel had reached 250, 000 views in a month – featuring one of my best friends, Alex Michelle. This encouraged me to put my covers on Spotify, which led me to grow a large audience internationally. My cover of ‘Heather’ by Conan Gray just recently hit 1 MILLION streams on Spotify alone, and is featured in over 10K playlists; including the Top Viral 50 charts (passing Conan Gray himself!) My original song, Honey, was also featured on the famous Korean boyband, BTS’s ‘Top favorite songs’ for all of their fans to see – which helped me again over 100K streams. This led to Honey going viral on Instagram Reels & Tiktok as well.
10) How was life in quarantine?
Quarantine has been hard on all of us, seeing so many close friends and family be affected by the virus was definitely something I never thought I’d experience. It was also extremely tough to be isolated by my friends and my team – but luckily, things quickly shifted online to zoom calls and more. During quarantine, I had the amazing opportunity to work closely with Ghosthands to put out ‘Places We Used To Be’ – a piece about feeling nostalgic about past relationships and friendships. The lyrics were all written on Zoom calls and emails, and I even had to record my vocals at home and send them over to Nick to produce the track. It was a different experience, but it was definitely unforgettable.
YOUTUBE: EMA QADRI
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