Today sees the release of another fantastic song by the incredible Nashville-based artist Emma White who we are long-time fans of here at Belles and Gals. In an exclusive interview, Emma tells us more about the song’s evolution, plans for a debut album and how she is planning to visit us again here in the UK as soon as she can.
1. LH Congratulations on another great new single…..but actually ” Can I Call You Then” isn’t a brand new write is it? It was a contender for your EP’s track listing I gather?
EW Thank you! “Can I Call You Then” was a contender for my EP and we recorded a few versions of that song, but none of them felt like we had nailed it yet. I just felt like this song had so much potential and I wanted to get it right. Sometimes the creative process of producing a song can be just as critical as writing the song. To me there’s the composition version of the song; nuts and bolts – lyric, melody that can stand up on its own, and then there’s a separate version and process that comes with the recorded version. This song took time and it was really experimenting that led to this final version. I had kind of put it away and oddly found clarity on it right as we went into lockdown.
2. LH So how did you get to finish recording the final version during lockdown? That can’t have been easy…
EW It wasn’t so bad because the bulk of the work had been done over the course of 2 years. It was really just sitting on my bedroom floor listening to all these versions of the song and figuring out where the song felt best, production wise. I did have to record a few times during lockdown, but felt comfortable at my producer’s studio because it’s just the two of us. When I’m recording vocals, I’m also in a completely separate room, so we were able to play it safe.
3. LH Where did the inspiration come for it initially? Was it a situation you or either of your co-writers Andy Skib and Emily Earle had actually experienced?
EW The inspiration came from someone I was seeing about two years ago. People don’t always come to a new relationship with fresh eyes. They can assume that this new person might do the same things or hurt them in the same way as their ex. It’s unfortunate because it’s easy to do – they’re really just triggered by some kind of trauma and you end up paying for it. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to convince them otherwise. So for me, I just had to say, call me when you’ve really moved on. It just felt like his excuse was always this previous relationship.
4. LH You’ve said it’s possibly your favourite song you’ve put out so far, what is there in particular about it that makes you say that?
EW I’m really proud of the recording. It reminds me of how I felt as a kid when I heard a song for the first time that I fell in love with. I’ve often worried that what I want to do in country music is too different, or too pop (at least that’s what people say in my youtube comments ;). I’ve realized that just because what I want to bring to the genre might be new, that doesn’t mean it’s not country. With this song, we blended a lot of different sounds into one, and it’s still country, and very much me. I was overthinking this song because I was worried it wouldn’t “fit,” but I had this clarity during lockdown that I don’t want my music to sound like everything else in Country. I want it to be unique, and move the genre forward, not replicate something that’s already been done.
5.LH You’ve been playing a few other as yet un-released songs during your live streams…can we expect another EP ( or maybe can album?) from you when you can get back to recording?
EW My goal is to make an official debut album, so right now I like playing these new tunes live to see what people react to. I will definitely be releasing more singles over the course of the next few months.
6 .LH It seems to me that songwriters are finding this current self isolation situation either totally stifling or very inspiring creatively. Which side do you fall in?
EW Both! Ha. Honestly though, it has been both. I live alone and haven’t been able to see my family yet, so the isolation has really gotten to me some days. But then, I have days where I feel really peaceful and productive, and songs start to come. I keep trying to keep a good mindset creatively…
7. LH You’ve been mentioning that “That’s Why I Drink ” ( from your last EP “The Actress” ) may be getting some radio play soon! That’s fantastic news, you must be so excited about that?
EW Yes! My label is officially doing its first radio push. I’m trying to learn what I can about the process.. It’s definitely exciting. Going to country radio has always been a dream.
8. LH And when things permit, are we going to see you back here in the UK?
EW Yes!! I love the UK so much and feel a really special bond with fans there. That might be first on my list post-pandemic.