The Guernsey-hailed singer-songwriter talks about her empowering and raw new single “Shout”.
Gentle rippling guitars riffs and jaw-dropping, heart-rendering vocals populate the latest track from Guernsey-hailed queen Empara Mi – an empowering ode to self-acceptance and finding solace in heartbreak.
Taken from her highly-anticipated forthcoming record Suitcase Full of Sins, “Shout” sees her continuing her trend of combining pop, hip-hop and R&B in the most sensual and emotive way possible. Prepare for every hair to be fully on end.
We caught up with the singer and talked about her new track “Shout”, her creative process, and the surprising feedback she keeps getting from fans…
Where did the inspiration for “Shout” come from?
I wrote “Shout” with Jim Elliot and Seton Daunt a couple of years ago, actually. It was fun because at the time I was writing a lot of dark music and Jim suggested I try and write the absolute opposite of what I was doing at that moment in time, so immediately I wanted to write in a higher register than I would usually. Then it was a process of basically improvising on a small handheld in the studio whilst Seton played the guitar, and it stayed pretty much exactly as we had improvised that day. The ‘shout cos you hate me’ part I actually said as a joke, but we decided to keep it because we realised that it was exactly what I was trying to say in the song. I captured this feeling that I’d felt for so long, that I had almost gotten used to the feeling that I would get punished for wanting to do something different with my life if it didn’t suit the people around me. I realised that they weren’t happy for me and giving me ‘realistic’ advice. They just didn’t like me as much as they said, so it was a good lesson for me with such supportive people around me now.
The video is amazing – how did you come up with the idea?
Thank you! I had this idea of a conceptual way to promote a feeling of isolation and not fully feeling like you belong where you are, and then having that feeling evolve as the song continues and basically “finding your people” by the end. It was Ivo and Stip’s direction that took that and made something completely different and beyond what I was imagining of it. They also wanted to involve choreography to help act out the personalities of each individual person in the story, so we tried to let them express their individual styles to give the sense of freedom we wanted people to get from it. I was lucky enough to have my friend Ainsley Ricketts, who’s also in the video, choreograph and bring together some incredible dancers to feature in it.
Have your sources for lyrical inspiration changed throughout the years?
To be honest I don’t think I’m ever really aware of the inspiration I’m getting at the time. I feel like things just come out and if I think too much about them I’m not able to use my subconcious as much, which is where I’m hiding all the thoughts and feelings I didn’t realise I had until I put pen to paper!
Will you tell me about the process of putting together Suitcase Full Of Sins?
It’s been a long process, as some of the songs on the album were written five years ago. I feel like I’ve been everywhere and back since then. I wrote a lot of it before I signed to Sony, and when the music stopped sounding how I wanted it to I knew I had to take it back into my own hands and really put together the album I always wanted. I always saw albums in the old school way of having a beginning, middle and end. I wanted to tell a story. That’s why it begins with an almost accapella interlude track “Wanderlust” to allow you to ease into the album and ends with “No More”, for mostly just my own amusement with it being called “No More”, but also because I wanted it to end with a bang. This album to me is still showing my intentions of what’s to come. I wanted to give a bit of everything, almost like a musical CV, but it’s just the beginning.
What was the biggest challenge?
Consistency. To consistently be able to keep my head in a positive place when everything else is wavering. It’s not easy but it is all worth it when it starts to come together.
Do you have a favourite track or lyric?
It always changes but I think it’s got to be either “Shout” or “No More” at the moment. Favourite lyric from “No More” is “They want to see me at the gates of heaven, dressed to the nines, also known as little miss 47”.
What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve gotten around it?
“Are you ok?” Lol I get asked that a lot after someone has listened to my music.
What’s been your biggest pinch-me moment so far?
Love Island is my very guilty pleasure and seven of my tracks were used on this series, so every time another one came on it was crazy to me because I was already watching the show, so that was fun!
What are you excited for next?