It is safe to say that many of us have struggled to keep our spirits up over the last year and we are all guilty of letting the bad vibes take over at times. Should you find yourself feeling like that again, singer-songwriter emie nathan is offering an experience-driven remedy with her debut single. Entitled “noman”, the alt-pop track features the singer’s ethereal vocals and a pensive beat as we hear the lyrics “I don’t want to be another noman” echo throughout. With a theme of self-reflection taking centre stange, the lyrics take us on emie’s journey towards overcoming her inner saboteur.
“The song stemmed from a conversation I had with my boyfriend who is inherently a much more positive person than I am,” states nathan. “I started to notice a default negative response within myself sometimes evading accountability and worst of all not giving myself credit where credit was due. It’s true that if someone were to give me a list of one hundred compliments and a single criticism, I would fixate on the negative point and disregard all the other lovely things. I wanted to break down this approach because sometimes I find myself to be too unforgiving, so I am a work in progress!”
The singer, who splits her time between both London and New York, has a past deeply rooted in music. From looking up to her musically gifted father to acting as a member of the Capital Children’s Choir, it is clear that her muscial talents have been nurtured by her childhood experiences. With this display of pop perfection standing as the singer’s debut offering, it is clear that this is only the beginning of a truly successful musical career.
Check out our interview with emie below….
Hi emie – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
Hey! That’s a layered one I think – I had major ups and downs through last year. The first lockdown came a week following my first and only show, so as you can imagine it all fell at the worst possible time – as I’m sure it did for everyone! I went through a creative lull where I felt really directionless staring at the same four walls every day. I also felt quite a bit of projected pressure as a ‘creative’ to utilise the sudden block of time to produce my best ever work. That was quite hard to move past, I got very down on myself for it when inevitably – that didn’t happen. The silver lining for me was towards the end of the summer of 2020. I remember I had a sudden burst of energy for songwriting, all my ideas finally came into fruition and the sonic was working. I was lucky to meet some incredible producers and writers who all helped the stars align as they have. It was a pretty special few months that wouldn’t necessarily have happened the same way if I had been actively writing for the entire year. It gave me time to think, regroup and work it all out.
Where did you grow up and how did it influence your music? Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
I was born in New York and raised in London, though I think the biggest impact on my relationship with music was my family irrespective of where we were. My household is, and was always filled with music – my brothers and I all played instruments and both my parents are very musical. My dad is an amazing pianist and would accompany me on the piano while I sang whatever show tune or pop song I loved at the time. We still do this, sharing songs we’ve found and rearranging them. I grew up with jazz standards and the female vocal standouts like Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones. I also heard a lot of Queen and Elton John around the house which was a nice bridge to my own discovery of pop. My biggest musical inspirations would likely be Coldplay and Bon Iver. I remember driving around listening to all of Coldplay’s records with my Dad and recall being very taken with the unmistakable piano parts. I grew up to appreciate Bon Iver a lot more in my late teens and early twenties. The weird and wonderful soundscapes of these records gave me permission to try things and supported my pursuit of making music that feels most like me.
How would you describe your genre?
I’d say my music is left-leaning with pop undertones. I think my melodies are rooted in pop, twisted slightly with darker production and coupled with sincere, visual-heavy lyrics. I’d like to think my songs sit somewhere between Maggie Rogers and The Japanese House.
Congratulations on your new track “noman” – why that name?
Thank you! I wanted to come up with something snappy, a one-liner that fully embodied what the song is about. To me, noman represents the opposite of a yes-man. Someone whose default response is “no”, and describe through the song how their approach to life unfolds as a result.
You wrote this song when you were a few months into a new relationship – what was it inspired by in particular?
The song stemmed from a conversation I had with my boyfriend who is inherently a much more positive person than I am. I started to notice a default negative response within myself sometimes evading accountability and worst of all not giving myself credit where credit was due. It’s true that if someone were to give me a list of one hundred compliments and a single criticism, I would fixate on the negative point and disregard all the other lovely things. I wanted to break down this approach because sometimes I find myself to be too unforgiving, so I am a work in progress! This song marked the willingness to try and see things through a more positive lens, to allow me to feel celebrated by those who love me and to hold myself to a higher standard.
Do you have a lyric in particular that you hope listeners will resonate with?
“Guess I never saw it, its easier talking to myself” are the lyrics I hope listeners will resonate with the most. I think when you’re on a path, it’s tricky to deviate from what makes you comfortable. It is far more gentle to go with what you know, but sometimes being kind to yourself means pushing those boundaries and encouraging self-reflection. It just takes a small light-bulb moment to realize you need to redirect that path to grow further.
Missing friends, navigating family, tragedy, heartbreak, falling in love – you’ve always explored really human things – how is it revealing such a raw part of yourself in your music?
While I draw from personal moments in these songs, the broader subjects aren’t new to anyone. I write what I know and am happy putting myself out there with the hope that someone along the line will resonate with the same story, or identify through their own derivatives. These are real things that everyone goes through at some point in their lives – I’d like to think that I’m just revealing my small piece of the and hope it invites others to do the same.
How does it feel releasing music at such an uncertain time? What do you hope it brings you listeners?
Truthfully, I feel relieved! I’ve been waiting for the ‘right’ moment to release these songs and while the world remains an uncertain place, it will always be so in one way or another. I feel really lucky that the moment has arrived and I’m just of the mind now that I may as well shoot my shot and see what happens. I think it goes without saying that I am so excited for this music to be out, and I really hope it brings listeners their own sense of relief and escapism. I want my songs to feel like the hug from friends we’ve all been missing this year.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
With life slowly opening up again, I would kill to play some proper shows later this year and be able to share in the experience with people in the same room – how amazing would that be!? I’m feeling really good 2021 momentum so far, and am still writing loads of new music which I’m excited about. There is definitely a lot coming so keep those eyes and ears peeled.