Emilia, thanks so much for chatting with us today! It’s a difficult time for everyone at the moment, having to deal with all the COVID-19 restrictions. But it’s especially difficult for people like yourself who need to be out gigging. How have you adjusted to the situation and what have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
It’s been difficult, there have been a lot of stressful moments and doubts, but now the dust is starting to settle and I think everyone is finding new ways to carry on performing such as livestreams. I’m also keeping busy setting some projects up behind the scenes. With the downtime, I’m finding myself motivated to work on bringing some releases forward and arranging some promo for when the lockdown is lifted.
We’ve seen lots of artists doing writing sessions together on Zoom, and even teaming up for some home-recorded collaborations. Just how important can music be at times like this? Have you found that, if anything, this period has brought you together with other artists better than ever before?
I think it has brought us closer together, in solidarity almost as everyone is pretty much in the same boat. The downtime as well has given more opportunity for collaborations simply because we have more spare time on our hands. I’ve been trying out some cowriting and collaborating on live streams and such.
Music is incredibly important, as are all the arts right now. These are things keeping people sane, entertained and keeping people company, musicians and audience alike. Without these creative works, normal everyday life would be very dull so I don’t even want to imagine what lockdown life would be like!
So for anyone who maybe isn’t too familiar with your background, tell us a little bit about your musical influences and how you got into the world of country music. I feel like there’s a broad range of influences in there!
I think I kind of fell into the world of country as that just happened to be the style I felt most comfortable in. My first ever song was a country song (it will never see the light of day though). That ‘three chords and the truth’ ethos connects with me a lot, I have a story to tell about my life and the world around me through songs and always have.
My musical influences range a lot, I don’t think I consciously draw from other artists much but I kind of absorb elements of what I listen to. So my playlists consist of Jill Andrews, Johnny Cash, Pasty Cline, Becky Hill, Mabel, Meat Loaf, Motley Crue, Eminem, Logic, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert and so on. Just a little varied haha
You mentioned at our ‘Nashville Sounds In The Round’ gig that you’ve got a full band recording coming very soon – tell us about that one and how it all came together in the studio.
I do and I am dead excited to get it out into the world. It’s a song I wrote a couple years ago, and it’s the first badass gritty song I’ll be releasing. I wanted to record it full band because it’s a little on the rockier edgier side and my debut EP is kind of nice and acoustic sweetness.. Those are my two sides essentially haha nice and sweet or gritty and raw.
It was recorded and demoed out at Big Smoke studios, where I recorded my debut ep, with my producer Arjun. Then pieced together by musicians across the country. I like working with all kinds of musicians to really bring some unique and interesting flavours to my songs. Like a patchwork of influences and vibes.
Introduce us to your band members, and where you discovered them all!
So my live band is actually different to my recorded musicians as I recorded before I had a live band fully set up.
The record features drums by Steve Matthews (aka I Heart Drums, which he is often referred to as in my house haha) and Lloyd Griffiths on lead guitar. I met Steve through Katy Hurt while on tour with her and he was kind enough to help me out as I didn’t have a drummer available to record with at the time! Lloyd is Glasgow-based and an old uni friend who is insanely skilled, so he was my first choice for the final version of ‘Mistakes’!
My live band, which I’ve just done a feature on my social media pages with, consists of Mike Addy on bass, James Newsome on drums and Zach Longstaff on lead guitar. I met Mike and James through an online shoutout looking for local musicians and we gelled well after a couple of rehearsals together. Zach then came along and completed the line-up, as recommended by my partner; they’ve been friends for a few years and she knew he was a very talented guitarist. (Thanks Tammy!)
You released your ‘Wrote Off’ EP last year, which would have been the first introduction to your music for a lot of people. Tell us about how special that project was for you, and the reaction you’ve had performing that material on the road.
It was a very special project as I spent a lot of time finding my sound when I developed the songs, worked with a lot of people and from the beginning of production to release, there were a lot of changes and shaping over the course of a year. It’s a very acoustic, sweet introduction to me and an opportunity for me to process things happening in my life as well and finding my feet within country music. I’ve had great feedback about the EP both at live show and from radio plays and playlists and blogs. It’s been well received and, as different as my next record is, I’m excited to introduce the other side of me…
Moving forward, what’s the long-term plan for new music? Are you looking towards another EP release or possibly an album at some point?
Right now I’m recording my next EP, details are still under wraps but will come this year. My next release is Mistakes, which will be featured on the EP. The whole record is full band, sassy and raw. I’m very very excited to release it!
Putting the current situation aside, it’s an exciting time to be a UK country artist right now with more and more events and festivals popping up all the time. What have you made of the development of the whole scene over the last couple of years since you’ve been involved?
It is! The scene is growing and growing fast. I think it’s a good thing and I hope more people discover it as it’s still relatively hidden. There’s so much variety included in the scene and I do believe here is something for everyone. I’m excited to see where it goes and what new events, festivals and other things we see pop up!
It’s also lovely to see the community pulling together and being so supportive during this uncertain time and still giving artists so much love and showing so much generosity.
You’re were planning to hit the road with Emma Moore but obviously that’s had to be postponed – tell us about how that collaboration came about, and if any progress has been made on re-booking the shows?
We are still heading out together despite having to reschedule the tour because of the lockdown. We’ll be announcing the new dates as soon as we can! We’re aiming to keep all the same cities so those are London, Blackpool, Scarborough, Glasgow and Manchester.
Emma and I met when she played a Whiskey Kisses round and Leeds and we got on really well! She’s now become one of my best friends so I’m looking forward to spending time on the road with her and collaborating on some projects!
If people would like to follow you on social media, whereabouts can they find you?
They can find both my facebook and Instagram under Emilia Quinn Music and my website is www.emiliaquinnmusic.com