Releasing her debut EP ‘Same Stuff’ to a great reception last year, Bristol-based artist Emily Magpie will be launching her official new single ‘The Witching Hour’ a little later this month. We caught up with the artist to find out more about her sound, inspirations, ambitions and more…
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
Dream-pop, floaty, ambient layers of vocals and sounds, with some dutty bass and beats thrown in… And there’s a ukulele in there too! My aim is to create a space for the ineffable, to explore other worlds and communicate that.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
The industry has actually been pretty amazing to me so far. I think I’ve come into music with a very clear vision of what I want to create, but with no expectations of where it’s going to go, so by keeping my intentions very aligned with what satisfies me as an artist, working hard, and just being nice to other humans, the opportunities have followed, and I have no problem saying ‘no’ to what doesn’t work for me.
I would say however that in London especially, promoters need to pay artists more. Bristol is a lot better on that. I’ve put on my own night at The Louisiana and was going to pay the artists whether or not I made a profit. Thankfully I did and we sold out, but I feel there should be more respect for what artists do.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
It’s hard to say as I'm in the early and exciting stages of that happening. I think again it’s down to making art that you really believe in and not compromising, hard work, and luck to be honest! I don't focus on making a name, just on people hearing my music. I love hear how they resonate with it, and to have the freedom to create. That's the dream!
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
So important. It’s my baby! I taught myself to produce making the first EP, and had a friend mentor me, and it’s so exciting to evolve a song and your sound yourself. I'd hate to just hand it over as also I have a lot of pride as a woman that I'm producing my own music entirely, as it’s so exciting to see more women doing this. That being said I love to collaborate as I am on The Witching Hour EP with Anuj Robin. I love jamming together and sending ideas back and forth and getting excited about what each of us is bringing. And collaborating with other artists for album artwork, videos etc., really excites me too - it’s all opportunities to hear someone else's artistic vision, reaction and what it makes them want to create.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
From nature, travel, science, philosophy, music... Life basically haha! Music for me is a space to reflect and connect to something other- the universe around us is bigger, more beautiful and more magical than we remember day to day, especially in the Western world, so I draw inspiration from existential philosophers such as Alan Watts. I like where science meets spirituality and a lot of the discoveries in quantum physics. Music that explores this is the sex for me. Artists like FKA Twigs, Ibeyi, Tei Shi, Novaa are incredible. I've just discovered Lusine too, I'm in love!
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
Grimes! I can dream… She’s an incredible producer and a big inspiration; I’d love to learn from her.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
I’m pretty much a ridiculous human most of the time. My friends are constantly laughing at me. Not with me. I’ve repressed all memories of specifics.
Do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career?
My aim currently is to get the EP finished and out, always be improving as a producer, master loop pedals and keep writing the album, keep learning. Beyond that I'm thinking a tour, and to keep growing as an artist and my fan base.
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
Playing a s**t ton of festivals! I love festivals. In production for the album after this EP, hopefully getting some sync-deals going. Or maybe living in a van/in Bali… I have a lot of ideas…
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks?
My single ‘The Witching Hour’ is released on May 26! I'm excited about the video for that too, it completely embodies the song. Plus, some really cool gigs and festivals coming up, and more music from the EP to come. I've got some gigs I can't announce just yet so follow me on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram where I'll be revealing them.
Here are some of the gigs:
- May 29, Blue Lagoon in Bristol
- June 2, St James Wine Vaults in Bath – Get in the Tub night
- June 10, Home Farm Fest
Keep up-to-date with Emily on Facebook www.facebook.com/EmilyMagpie1, on Twitter @Emilyspetch and on Instagram @EmilyMagpie1.