NewTracks New Artist: Emie

NewTracks New Artist: Emie

England-born Kiwi artist Emie has been writing music since she was 11, refining her sound towards the 2022 release of first single Serendipity. Gaining traction from performing covers of songs on Youtube, she’s now on a songwriting journey highlighting the change from adolescence to adulthood. NZ On Air Music added her debut single to the NewTracks compilation this March.

What’s your name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My name is Emily Hazell. I am originally from England. I moved to NZ when I was 11, and became a citizen here in 2018! I sing, play the guitar and a little bit of piano too! 

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

I’ve always loved music, especially at school. High school was where I really started writing songs and becoming confident with performing. My high school music teacher was such a blessing!

Any previous projects might we know you from?

I started making covers on YouTube back in 2012, and one of my videos got a million views. It felt so unreal that a cover I made of a Taylor Swift song in my bathroom was watched so many times!

What’s the background story of how Emie came to be? 

I loved making covers, but my passion was songwriting. I wanted to distance myself from the girl who made youtube videos, so I decided to use a nickname instead of my full name.

What led to the choice of name for this new project?

I spent years on social media using my first name, making Youtube videos, and I felt it was time to change my name. To me, it’s the start of a new chapter!

How has your writing evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

I wrote my first song when I was 11 years old, which is crazy! I have so many notebooks filled with songs of love and heartbreak from throughout my teenage years. Looking back, those songs were so literal, just capturing the emotions I was feeling, but they also highlighted the artists I was listening to at the time. Now I’m so much more confident in who I am that I’m not looking to see what other songwriters are doing, and just trusting my own instincts with where I feel the song is going.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date?

I think one of the biggest highlights for me, in terms of music, was having the radio station in my hometown in England play one of my old original acoustic songs. This was years ago, long before Serendipity, back when I would make acoustic songs with my guitar. I remember my grandparents calling me up, telling me how proud they were. That is something I’ll never forget.

What makes Serendipity stand out for you as a single?

To me, Serendipity signifies change, growing up, the ups and downs of life. It felt like the perfect single for me to release as my debut because It highlights that change from adolescence to adulthood. 

What is the story behind Serendipity?

I started working on Serendipity all the way back in 2017. I was going through grief. My grandfather passed away and I needed a way to heal all the emotions you go through when you lose a loved one. I wasn’t ready to deal with all of those emotions yet, so I just started writing, and Serendipity is what I came up with. 

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

I love the opening line, “Finding myself, loving myself, losing myself,” and then in the second verse, it re-arranges to “Losing myself, loving myself, finding myself.” To me, that is growing up. When I started writing Serendipity I’d just turned 21, and I thought I had everything figured out. It wasn’t until I actually revisited the song at the beginning of this year that I realised just how little I had figured out, haha.

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? 

Just me and my partner! I was feeling a bit low, and he was trying to cheer me up one night, and we started making Serendipity in my dad’s garage studio in England. I couldn’t think of the word I wanted to use for the chorus, and so we sat there for a little while just listening, and he quietly said, ‘serendipity’. I knew straight away that was it, that was perfect, and the rest of the song quickly followed. I love working alongside him. He’s such an amazing musician, and he really made Serendipity everything that it is! 

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

Life isn’t linear, you go through good times and bad times, but there is always a way to get through the hard times. It may take a while, and you may not even realise how far you’ve come until you look back!

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

I have absolutely no idea, haha. I just go off what I like and what I think is good! This is my first single, so I’ve not got many answers, but hopefully, I will continue to learn as I keep creating!

Who else is in your team?

My producer Leo and that’s about it! I reached out to Edy, and he mixed and mastered the song for me. It was great to work with him! Other than that, it’s just me!

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

I am working on more singles that will be dropping throughout the year!

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

  • Leo: Merry Go Round 
  • Edy: Gameboy 
  • 33 Below ft. FiveofiveNext to me  

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks?

I’ve never actually applied for funding before because I struggled to meet the criteria as a new artist. I am looking forward to the future, where I can hopefully apply!

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