INTERVIEW: Emily Warren
Emily Warren is a name you need to get acquainted with immediately. She is one of talented songwriters behind some of your favourite pop songs like the sassy ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa, the ridiculously catchy ‘Boys’ by Charli XCX, and the dance floor favourite ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ by The Chainsmokers. And to be honest the impressive list goes on and on. But 2018 is an exciting year for the Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter as she will finally release her debut album from her own solo project. Her new single “Paranoid’ is a little bit of a indie-pop gem and hears her continuing her pop vibe with a darker mood. The production is notably similar to Norwegian favourite Sigrid who Warren has also been working with recently and delivers that same mix of upbeat hooks with dark undertones. I recently chatted to her about the truth behind her new single ‘Paranoid’, how she manages to be so vulnerable as a songwriter and also found out where the weirdest place she’s heard one of the songs she’s written. Check out the chat here;
TB: Your new single ‘Paranoid’ has a bit of a darker indie-pop sound with some cool pulsating synths and vocal effects to help bring this vision to life. Do you mind if I ask what was the story behind this song lyrically and how you felt like it need to sound to represent how you felt?
EW: I think the idea of paranoia or jealousy in a relationship is quite common. We’ve all been on either or both sides of it and I just wanted to give a really honest and straightforward account of what it feels like to convince someone you really love that they have nothing to worry about. I think especially over the chords and melody and upbeat track, it gives it a sort of contrast to a quite sad idea with a hopeful feel.
TB: When you’re working on your solo material are you conscious of what you’re creating with other artists in the background or are you trying to separate everything sonically?
EW: I keep them quite separate, but it’s pretty easy to do. When i’m writing with an artist it’s their show. I bring my own personal experience into it, of course, like you do any conversation, but it’s their sound and their vision and I’m there to support. When I’m writing for myself it’s quite a different story all together. I’m drawing from my own personal experience so that changes the tone from the jump. I think both processes are equally enjoyable and challenging for me and at this point I’m not sure I could even do one without the other.
TB: You’ve recently been in the studio with one of pop’s most exciting Norwegian newcomers, Sigrid. How have those sessions been?
EW: I’m actually on my way to a session with her at the moment. Sigrid is THE BEST! I love her as a human so I love working with her. She is really creative and knows exactly what she wants to say so she’s pretty much a dream to work with. We’ve created some really special music and I’m excited for the world to hear it.
TB: When you are writing for/with someone else do you channel your personal experiences or do you try to leave your thoughts behind and try to story tell through them?
EW: Like I mentioned before, I think it’s hard to completely wipe your personal experience from any conversation but sometimes an artist is going through something unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and it’s really my job to support them and help them get their story out.
TB: What would you say has been your most vulnerable moment as an artist and songwriter?
EW: I will never forget the session I had with Astrid S and Nick Ruth when we wrote ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ on her first EP. Astrid and I both cried. It was cathartic and therapeutic and I love love love the song.
TB: Over the last year songs you have co-written like ‘New Rules’, ‘Boys’ and countless Chainsmokers tracks have absolutely taken over pop radio which is so exciting. Where is the strangest place you’ve heard one of the songs you’ve co-written?
EW: It’s been insane! I was with Scott Harris who I wrote ‘Dont Let Me Down’ with at Westfield in London getting some groceries for a BBQ and we walked out of the supermarket door and a girl was busking and playing “Don’t Let Me Down” on guitar and it was totally insane. Stopped us in our tracks.
TB: You are going to be performing a few shows and festivals soon. So what can people expect from your live show?
EW: I love doing shows and I don’t do them often so I try to give my best when I do. There’s a good combo usually of acoustic and full instrumentation as well as originals with some covers of songs I’ve written with other people.
TB: We’ve talked about some of the amazing people you have worked with but who is someone you would love to write with that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
TB: Lets play a little game when you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind.
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be…
EW: To fly
TB: Most people think I…
EW: Say “sick” too much *laughs*
TB: The emoji that best describes me is…
EW: The crying face!
TB: If I could form a supergroup with any other band or artist it would be…
EW: Rihanna *laughs*
TB: Most mornings I…
EW: Wake up happy