Emiko gets deep about music with Sammi Swinton
Emiko gets deep about music with Sammi Swinton
Sam: Where are you from and how did you get the name Emiko?
Emiko: I am from West London! I got the name Emiko shortly after I left university, I had completed university with a law degree and was supposed to start working for the European parliament in Brussels. However I came out of uni depressed and unhappy, I decided that I needed timeout to focus on building back a stronger state of mind but most importantly find peace. I declined the Brussels offer and started working on music. One day I asked my mum the meaning of my middle name ‘Emiko’ and she said ‘peace of mind’ I knew then that there was only ever going to be one person to provide me with that happiness and peace, me. I just had to switch off from the world and go back to basics. I have made it my artist name since then.
Sam: Your style is heavily influenced by RnB and soul yet very much street, I would love to know who your inspirations were growing up and what elements of their style/sound you like to incorporate in your music.
Emiko: Growing up I listened to a lot of old school soul, the likes of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, and Al Green. As I moved into my teen years artists such as Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Adele, Brandy, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder heavily influenced my style of singing and control over my vocals. I studied the greats !
Sam: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Emiko: If we are talking about the UK I would say Mahalia. I think she is such a breath of fresh air and comes across as an artist who is truly invested in her art. There is this innocence to her music which I am drawn to. A great songwriter too.
Sam: Your EP launch party successfully sold out, can you tell me a bit about what went down?
Emiko: Yes it was a dream come true! I was overwhelmed, 300 people came to see me perform and sing songs that I wrote that ultimately helped me to heal. The best feedback I got was from people who later opened up to me after the show about their own mental depression and how my words helped to heal and reassure them. I decided before each track of my EP to read extracts from my journal, pieces of mind at its happiest moments, to its most darkest, to falling in and out of love and dealing with internal pain. I wrote into my journal from a place of vulnerability so if one person told me that they could relate and take away something positive from it that is enough for me. I took a risk as I am only an up and coming artist but I was overwhelmed by the turnout and the genuine love in the room.
Sam: With 360 deals being relied on in the music industry and collaborations with the fashion industry being key, are there any brands you would like to work with?
Emiko: I would not say I have a specific brand that I am just dying to collaborate with but I am open to collaborate with any brand where I truly believe in their ethos, and genuinely like their clothes and it’s bold statements in relation to popular culture. I love the collabs Supreme do with music artists. A collaboration with supreme would be interesting.
Sam: Your ‘Piece Of Mind’ EP is out now and it’s an amazing body of work, do you have a favourite song from the EP?
Emiko: Thank you! Funnily enough I don’t have a favourite song on the EP! They’re all special to me in a very unique way. Although I would say that at the moment I particularly enjoy performing ‘old school lovin’. I love acoustics, I can get my words and messages out in a very heartfelt and present way. Everyone seems to love that song.
Sam: I felt really connected to your latest release ‘Youth (Of Better Times)’ as it really is a story of our time, what does it mean to you to be able to spread your message through your music?
Emiko: I have always strived to be very intentional with the type of music I make but also the content of what I am singing about. Growing up I listened to and was inspired by artists that truly had something to say about the current state of their mind, society and home truths that we often run away from. I think it is important that you give your listeners something to be hopeful for whilst also not hiding from the realities of the truth. Youth (Of Better Times) focuses on some hard truths about self-hatred, insecurity and fear but also it is underlined with a message of hope and determination, something we all need in these uncertain times.
‘Youth (Of Better Times)’ is out now and you can watch the video right HERE.
Alternatively, have a listen to Emiko’s EP ‘Piece Of Mind’ on Spotify.
Post by: Sammi Swinton