Interview with Emily Lockett

Emily Lockett is a young, rising star on the UK country music scene, an artist we’ve featured twice before on Belles and Gals. A couple of weeks ago I caught up with Emily in Manchester to have a chat about her music and career!

Hi Emily,Describe your sound to somebody who hasn’t heard you before?

Well I would say country pop from my recordings, but live, I’d say acoustic singer-songwriter. I don’t really sing with an accent, so people wouldn’t necessarily associate me with country – maybe British Country Pop?

I’m always interested in how an artist goes about song writing! Have you got a set song writing process?

I always come up with a guitar chord progression first – it usually involves me sitting down and messing about and coming up with little bits and pieces. Melodies usually come quite naturally to me, it’s not something I need to think about, as I’m not very good at ‘theory’, so I don’t sit down and think about what is the perfect note that goes around this chord and all of that stuff. Then the words kind of fit themselves together, especially if the guitar progression is quite ‘sad’ or it’s taken a slow tempo. I kind of make it up on the spot or come up with a few lines and think I can make a story out of this. The bare bones is to get that chord progression and see where it goes from there!

In terms of writing, is co-writing something you’d be interested in?

I am interested yes, it’s just something I’ve never fallen into yet. I’ve never found someone who has liked the exact same music as me, and who will write similar to me. In a co-write it would be good to bounce off one another – if you got stuck on one line, the other person could come up with an idea. It’s similar when you work with a producer, when you bounce off one another with different ideas.

Who would you say your inspirations in music are?

Definitely Taylor Swift. Also, Ward Thomas got me into wanting to be a country pop singer and wanting to have a go at it for real. I quite like Kacey Musgraves – her recordings are different but not too far away from country. The Shires too.

What is it about Country Music that grabbed you?

Well I hate most chart music! The production ruins it for me – I don’t like the idea of ‘let’s write a quick 3 minute 15 seconds song that repeats 5 times’. I get it, it’s catchy and they want you to remember it. But I like a story. I think a story in a song is the most important thing. If you don’t connect to the song or whoever you are listening to, I don’t really see the point. I like the instrumentation, like banjos and mandolins, and the story telling in country.

Did you always want to be a singer?

Yes, because the only thing throughout my entire life I’ve been good at is music. I wasn’t into science, I wasn’t good at maths – there was nothing else I wanted to do. But it was probably not till just before I did my GCSE’s that I realised I could be a musician. I was one of the only girls who played guitar at school and certainly not playing ‘thrash metal’! I struggled at first to find a genre to play/write within but then I discovered country-pop so I thought why don’t I just go and do it and commit myself and see where it takes me.

Have you got a particular highlight in your music career so far?

Probably receiving a five-star rating in Maverick magazine, which was special. I’ve been lucky enough to play at the 110 Above Festival, playing alongside the likes of Jade Bird. I’m excited about supporting Canadian duo Madison Violet on 14 May (Manchester) and 22 May (Leeds) and have a number of other exciting things that I’ve lined up, but can’t tell you about those right now !

If you could host a fantasy dinner party with three celebrities (dead or alive), who would you invite?

I’d have to say Taylor Swift for a start! And then I think I’d have to invite Catherine McGrath too. The final seat is a tough one! How about Elvis Presley?

Final question – Desert Island Discs! If you could take just one album on a desert island with you, which album would it be?

Catherine McGrath’s ‘Talk of this Town’ just edges out Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless’.


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