Introducing…. Emilie Brandt
We got a chance to catch up with the multi-talented singer/songwriter Emilie Brandt this week as she talks about her new album 'Freeform', her music inspirations, mental health and more.
First of all, thank you for doing this interview and congrats on the new album! How has the response been to ‘Freeform’ – are you happy with the reaction?
Thank you! The response has been overwhelming positive, to say the least. I’ve been hearing from fans that they are easily able to relate to this album in such personal ways, which is always great to hear.
Can you talk a little bit about how you got into music, did you start young?
I have always been a creative, but I didn't start playing guitar and writing songs until I was about 15. Life is rough at that age and I was lucky that I had found something to cling to. There was a small window of time between when I got home from school and when my step dad got home from work where I could pick up his acoustic guitar that I wasn't supposed to touch. i taught myself a few chords and eventually started writing my own songs. I fell in love with songwriting; my love for art evolved from art with visuals to art with words.
Your new track ‘Grey’ is amazing, what was your thought process behind the track?
'Grey' stemmed from someone saying to me "Em, why do you have to be so black and white about everything all the time?" and I remember thinking to myself "wow I never thought grey would be so desirable". Thus my new single was born, initially as an acoustic song. One of the lines is "my brain is a blessing, my brain is a curse" which was a really powerful concept for me. I can't choose the chemical disposition my brain was given, but I can choose how I react to it. This past year was a year of learning to love myself and learning how to make good things come from terrible things. I call it 'magic'. Mentally, I was in a really dark place when I wrote this song, and it really just goes to show that metaphorically, flowers grow from dirt.
Who are some artists you would love to collaborate with and why?
Right now I would love to work on a track with Honne– their new record just came out recently and I'm sooo in love with it. I think its my favorite record of 2018 actually. I would also love to collaborate with Miike Snow, Phantogram, or Odesza. The list could honestly go on forever, there are so many amazing people I dream about working with in the future.
You’re quite open about mental health on your Instagram and in your music, how have you felt music has helped you with your own struggles?
I think the thought of making music to help others is an amazing bonus, but honestly I started writing music for myself. Hearing that I'm helping others through my art, while I use songwriting as a release for myself and my own mental health is such a gratifying feeling. I would encourage others to explore different forms of release, whether its art or meditation or physical activity etc. Those things have been the most beneficial for me but its different for everyone. Find what works for you; for me it was songwriting and poetry, but its definitely different for everyone.
What is some advice you would give to your 20 year old self?
20 year old me wasn’t very long ago, but I guess I would say to cut out anyone in your life who strips you of your motivation, confidence, or inspiration. Those things can be extremely elusive and are very pertinent to your career as an artist and just as a human in general; they are the most valuable aspects of your artistry and there is no room for anyone who doesn’t see it that way. Don’t let a day go by without putting energy into what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t set a timer on when its all supposed to happen because it will happen when its supposed to. Trust your journey and know that even if you’re not there yet, you’re definitely on your way. The only way you can fail is if you give up.