We spoke with Nashville artist Emily McMichael, asking her to lay out for us the inspiration and hopes surrounding her debut record, I’m Happy Now, a work that dives into very personal topics for the songwriter. Find her answers below and get to know the indie pop artist.
What does this project mean for you as an artist and songwriter?
This project means so much to me as an artist and songwriter. It’s the first full length I’ve put out so just in that it feels like a big deal. But besides that these songs mean so much to me. These songs feel like the first large collective taste of how I truly want to sound as an artist and also as a songwriter. These songs are raw, at times messy, confusing, and authentic. These songs are me.
How do you hope these songs reach listeners and impact people, specifically in the LGBTQ space?
First and foremost these songs define my youth of growing up in the church and trying to fit into this perfect box. They tell the stories of heart break and manipulation of being torn between being fully myself and who others have wanted me to be. So, I hope these songs specifically reach the LGBTQ space in a way that promotes these feelings to be shared and heard. For so long, I felt I couldn’t tell anyone I liked girls and music was all that I had. This is where these songs were born. So, I want others to see that these are normal feelings, and they should be shared because being authentically yourself is so important. This is where I really believe happiness stems from.
What are the key elements you would say define your sonic style?
Definitely manipulated vocals and lots of ambient synthesizers. I love the mix of raw and manipulated vocals that make you almost hold your breathe for a second cause you have to just take it all in. Also, I love mixing lots a production with hints of raw takes. So, some of these songs have a lot of production and others are more raw. Almost like a conversation with your best friend.
What can listeners expect following this release?
Following the album, I have a music video that will follow shortly after that I’m so excited about. It shows the stark contrast between me being fully and freely myself with a girl and feeling such a different way with a man. I’ve been stoked to release it for so long.
“I’m Happy Now” release date: 05.27.21
Image credits: Jessica DiMento