When you read Emma Remelle’s bio on any of her social media accounts, you don’t get too much. She lets you know, “If I wrote a song for you, it would sound like this one.” The phrase comes from an unfinished song that she’s written and hopes will one day finish (soon). “The words are meant to be a sort of, ‘you know who you are’ in context,” she explains their sentiment.
The Washington native has recently released a new single, “One Last Drink.” A pop/R&B-esque track, the sound of the song is pretty similar to the sound that Emma hopes a song written about her would sound. “If someone wrote me a song, I would hope that it would be airy, slow, and probably a little moody too.” She pauses before continuing. “So basically an alternative R&B joint that’s soft but hits hard during the hook,” Emma concludes.
If “One Last Drink” reminds you of long summer nights where the air feels blissful and your mind allows itself to wander, that’s intentional. Inspired by Savannah, Georgia, Emma wrote the song there about how her time in the city made her feel. “I think that location is super key to the narrative of any song or storyline. As a writer, I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings and that whole city is like an enchanted garden,” she exclaims about “sense of place” in her music. “There are just those places that have this certain mood and energy in the air, Savannah is definitely one of them!”
Along with place, time also plays a role in the way she looks at her music. “Well, I guess to state the obvious, it’s biological mating season,” Emma laughs about how spring and summer as seasons stand out to her and are used as romanticized elements in the song. “But, I think for me, I love spring and summer because it’s a rebirth, a renaissance. Life is literally blossoming all around you!” She adds, “I’m also not so big on cold weather, hence why I went to school down south. The air is warmer and the nights are longer, plus the evenings are just so naturally intoxicating and enticing. It’s easy to get seduced by Mother Nature that time of year!”
I think for me, I love spring and summer because it’s a rebirth, a renaissance. Life is literally blossoming all around you!
“It’s always important to me that I’m super honest with my lyrics as well as in real life…which sometimes can come across as a little too blunt for some people,” she talks about the openness in the song. “I think the most important thing that I wanted to get across in the tone and the lyrics of the song was a feeling.” Emma cites the opening lyrics “I’ll set the mood, I’ll get to you,” to set a cinematic scene for the listener. “As a designer, I’m a very visual person, and that’s key to my writing too! As well as a hint of sass and sarcasm,” she winks.
Looking back on her past singles “The Damage” and “Drowning,” Emma explains that “One Last Drink” offers the fun and flirty side of her that we can look forward to in her upcoming music. “With writing, I think it’s sometimes easier to tap into all of your deep emotions and write really meaningful songs, which is the reason I started songwriting in the first place–but it’s good to tap into your inner Carly Rae sometimes too and just write a fun girl anthem!”
“Typically, when I write I just sit down and start playing a simple melody on my guitar and if I’m lucky, words just start flowing out of me. That was the case for ‘One Last Drink’ too,” Emma says. “I didn’t even have to think about it! It’s usually I hear the words in my head before they even come out of me–maybe it’s my subconscious thinking for me,” Emma adds.
Currently, Emma has a lyric video for the song set for release soon. Similar to the album art and promos, the lyric video carries the same ‘Georgia peach’ aesthetic.
Meanwhile, she’s also busy working on her EP that’s potentially set to release for the end of the year or early next year. “I’m so excited to continue to work with the talented producer and all around awesome guy, Jake Vicious, for a few more of the tracks and finalize the lyrical story for everyone to hear!”
She talks about her excitement over the recently written song, “Over You” that she plans on releasing as her next single. “I think it’s a super powerful message for anyone who’s trying to get to know themselves again after someone they loved has changed them.” Emma shares the end of the chorus: ‘Accepted my truth and I chose me, over you.’
“It’s a reminder that all the love you need is within yourself. Self-care and self-love, that’s what your happiness stems from and nothing else!” She considers the lyric her most autobiographical at the moment as well. “The song holds a hell of a lot of meaning to me and I’m hoping it will do the same for a lot of people! It’s basically this coming to Jesus moment I had within the past few months–that I’m no longer this naive young girl, and that I know and deserve everything and anything I want in the world. And that I made the conscious choice to drop what was holding me back and get after my future. I think that lyric will really connect with people,” she reiterates. “It’s a good reminder to always choose yourself first, it’s not selfish, it’s self-care!”
As for other projects she has coming up, Emma is also featured on an upcoming EDM song with the artist and producer DeModa.
["Over You"] is basically this coming to Jesus moment I had within the past few months–that I’m no longer this naive young girl, and that I know and deserve everything and anything I want in the world.
Emma knew she loved music since she was a child, never really taking it as more than a hobby or a creative outlet until graduating college. “I grew up swimming pretty intensely and at one point had aspirations of qualifying for the Olympic trials–so my time was pretty much divided between swimming and school, growing up. I was always into art and fashion though,” she explains. “I pretty much decided in 8th grade that I wanted to go to SCAD, get a swim scholarship, and major in fashion.”
Emma ended up studying Fashion Marketing at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia where she also wrote “One Last Drink.” “Songwriting had always been my form of therapy throughout high school and college, but by the time I was graduating, I lowkey started freaking out, as most almost grads do! I finally realized or at least stopped lying to myself, that I wanted to try to pursue my true passion: music,” she connects the two parts of her.
“I’m so incredibly grateful that I went to school and gained the knowledge and friendships I did though–it makes being an indie artist a lot easier when you can do your own A&R! It’s so easy to have multiple passions in life, especially in the arts, it’s hard to decide what you want to do, what your true purpose is. I think my most important epiphany was deciding that I didn’t have to choose anymore,” she reflects.
Aside from getting to study her other love of fashion and gaining new skills, taking classes about fashion and branding helped her develop as an artist in the same way that being an artist helped influence the way she looked at fashion and branding. “Writing throughout growing up really helped me see the big picture with projects within my major and especially with branding–as you’re telling a visual story to connect to your audience.”
“And with marketing the biggest take away I learned that goes across all my artistic endeavors, is that you never sell a physical object but rather an idea,” Emma continues. “I think that knowledge has definitely altered the way I paint my storylines in my own music.”
When you’re sad and down you have so much to say, like you want to rip a band-aid over and over to get it over with, so I wrote a lot.
Along with her work, understanding branding and design clearly show in her overall artistry and personality. “I think your branding and message as an artist definitely takes some time to come full circle, just as it takes time to grow and really come into your own life,” she explains about how she is displaying her image. “My aesthetic and branding are genuine to my personality, soft and sweet, with a little salt too. I’ve also always been fascinated with history and art history in specific, so that comes through in a lot of my imagery, too.” Artsy aesthetic and the incorporation of graphic design in her visuals and artistic expression shows clearly.
For sure, Emma’s career is just getting started despite music being a part of her life for a long time. Reflecting back on her songwriting when music was predominantly a hobby versus now, the biggest thing Emma has realized is that self-care and being in a safe/healthy mind space carries just as much merit in artistry than being hurt.
“I don’t have to be depressed in order to write good music. I sort of laugh when I say it, but it’s seriously so true,” she starts. “In high school when I started writing, a lot of my lyrics were super depressing as I was depressed at the time and have battled with depression ever since. I started writing when my dad got diagnosed with cancer and it really was my therapy, an outlet for me to hit pause on life and figure all my thoughts out.” After a three-year cancer battle, her dad passed away which led to her depression worsening. “I truly believe that music is the number one reason that I was able to pull through that depression, and the other times it’s hit me too.”
It took Emma needing to find a release and a way to get her emotions out that greatly influenced her songwriting at the time, “When you’re sad and down you have so much to say, like you want to rip a band-aid over and over to get it over with, so I wrote a lot.” However, as she’s gotten better and grown, Emma realized it’s not the sadness that made her music worth it, it was the expression. “When I’ve been at my happiest, I’ve written some of my best work too! So that’s what I would want to tell that young girl, that you can be happy and still create meaningful art!”
Closing out our interview, we discussed Emma’s dedication towards promoting the message of girls supporting each other. “It’s so sad that from such a young age society ingrains in young girls minds’ that we need to compete with each other for men’s attention and approval. That we need to get our validation from them, which is absurd but hey that’s what thousands of years at the bottom of the food chain will do for ya,” Emma exclaims.
“I was never one that was boy crazy at a young age, in fact, I would always hardcore judge girls in middle school and high school for changing the way they acted around boys–but as I’ve gotten older I realized that I can’t judge them for something that society has taught them to do.” This realization also helped Emma discover how she was influenced by men over women during her formative years.
“I’ve only recently realized how much I sought validation from men in the past, and especially in my past relationships–my father was my idol and greatest role model growing up, as was my swim coach. So two of my biggest influences and mentors were males.” She continues, “I think without knowing it, I always sought their approval and validation, which carried over to my intimate relationships as well. It takes a lot of time to really get to know yourself and your wiring.”
When it comes to girls supporting other girls, Emma shares that the motto needs to extend to girls supporting and understanding themselves as well. “I think that it’s important that girls spend more time with themselves, and trust themselves and their own voices,” she says adding that trusting and understanding yourself is more important than seeking approval from others.
Emma Remelle’s Mini-Playlist for Readers [Listen Here]:
■ Oh, What a World – Kacey Musgraves
■ Roses – Carly Rae Jepsen
■ Power Trip – J. Cole
■ Never Let Me Go – Florence + the Machine
■ New Slang – The Shins
“One Last Drink” is available anywhere you listen to music.
(photo cred: Ornelle Chimi)