Hello! I’m Emilia and welcome to my new blog in collaboration with Belles and Gals! Before we dive into the world of music, anecdotes and general sass, I want to give you a bit of background about me.
I am an Alt. Country/Americana artist based in Leeds, England. I’ve been playing music since I was 6 years old, starting with piano at school. A few years later I started getting more contemporary and tried my hand at guitar, which has become my main instrument now! As well as being a singer/songwriter, I also have qualifications in Audio Production and Music Business. (between you and me, I get bored easy so I’ve tried out a lot of different roles in the music industry and being an artist is the one I love the most).
I won’t waffle on because you’re probably not here to read my life story. The purpose of this blog is to look at different aspects of the music industry and throw in my two cents or share how I’ve overcome certain hurdles or how I approach various situations. I am by no means saying my way is the best way, but sometimes a new perspective is just what you need to make your own path through this crazy crazy world!
If you have anything to want to read about in particular do feel free to get in touch with me and let me know how I might be able to help. But overall, I hope these blogs will help entertain and provide a pretty candid and honest point of view.
To ease us both into this new feature, I’m going to start off with a couple of things I wish someone had told me when I was a younger musician.
The biggest lesson I learnt, particularly as a young, female musician, was don’t be intimidated. It can be very very intimidating going to those first gigs or into studio sessions when it’s totally unfamiliar, but confidence is key and working on ways to feel more comfortable, while pushing your comfort zone can help the process move along.
Maybe the solution is take a friend or member of your family with you, who you trust and feel comfortable around. Particularly at gigs, it’s nice to have someone familiar there who’s just there to support you. It can provide some form of comfort while you’re putting yourself out there quite literally on a platform for everyone to see. Or maybe it’s in the clothes you wear? Does an outfit make you feel sassy and confident? Or are you like me, and hate travelling in gig clothes and loads of make up. I usually wear a comfy hoodie and trainers when I’m travelling to gigs, because I’ve found if I feel cosy before heading in, I’m less anxious. There’s always going to be a bathroom or green room to change in and get ready, plus that uses up some of the time spent waiting around during soundchecks and load in!
Preparation can also help. Make a checklist of what you need for your gig so you don’t have any added stress of not knowing where your kit is or what you need. Get load in details, soundcheck schedule and information about the venue from the promoter if it’s a gig. Or visit the studio before-hand if you’re going in to record, meet the engineers who will run your session if you can, get to know them and the environment you’ll be in. The unknown can really heightened nerves and make you feel more intimidated if you throw yourself into a new situation with no prep. I know I always feel a little nervous going into a new space, but walking around getting to know where things are and the people you’re with can really help.
And hey, if you still feel intimidated and nervous, fake it til you make it! If you manage to pretend that you’re super confident and know exactly what you’re doing, you might just start believing it yourself! No one’s ever 100% perfect in gig situations or studio environments, especially at the beginning, but with time and practice you’ll settle in and start feeling right at home. Promise!
Another, fairly important thing to be mindful of, is be nice, but don’t be too nice. As in don’t be a pushover. I’ve definitely had experiences where I have been too nice in a project split or session and that kindness has been taken advantage of. Your work is your work, make sure you keep your priorities at the forefront of your mind when it comes to your career and be happy with your decisions. You won’t get anything out of being a pushover.
Having said this, don’t use your career and priorities and excuse to make everyone else your doormat. There is a balance between taking what’s yours and treading on other people to push yourself up.
For example, your career and another artist’s career are heading the same direction at roughly the same speed. That is good for both of you. Well done! Music is not a competition, no one is only into one single artist. You fans can be fans of someone else and still love, download, stream your music, buy your merch and come and see you in concert. In fact, collaborations are great ways to share these fans bases as well as open yourself up to new fans! So don’t be a pushover by any means, but don’t be disrespectful either. We’re all part of the same industry, trying to do the same thing after all. Sharing is caring and all that.
I’m going to end this one here but I will be going into more detail about various topics now I’ve done a little intro to this new Belles and Gals feature. Again, this is only my two cents on topics and issues I’ve seen during my time as an artist but if there is anything you want my opinion on, give us a shout!
Thanks for reading x