May 12, 2021

Emily James on Singing, Songwriting, and Blazing Her Own Path in Nashville and Los Angeles

Singer-songwriter Emily James began writing her own music when she was 10 years old, inspired by such musical influences as Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, and Adele. At 16, Emily moved from New York to Nashville and, a year later, released her self-written EP, Emily James, produced by Grammy award winners Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves) and Jacquire King (Kings of Leon). She relocated to Los Angeles in 2017 and released her debut album, Til the Morning, produced by Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Vance Joy). Emily’s most recent EP, Wanted You To Know, was released in February of 2021.

Emily James Album Cover

What you will learn:

  • How growing up in New York City, having a close-knit family who valued the arts,  and taking piano at an early age started her on a path to success as a songwriter and performer. [0:00-6:27]
  • How performing at open mics in New York at the age 13 and being surrounded by supportive musical influences inspired her as a musician. Why she felt a connection to Nashville and why she moved there at the age of 16. [6:27-10:57]
  • How she first got the attention of producers and how singers/songwriters work and collaborate with producers. [10:57-16:16]
  • How Emily protects her work legally as an independent artist and the steps she takes to obtain licensing to perform covers of songs by other musicians. The importance of being in Los Angeles to make it in the entertainment industry, and how covid has changed that dynamic. [16:16-23:13]
  • The evolution Emily’s songwriting with her latest EP Wanted You to Know and what it was like making the music video for her song Back in the Summer. How her mother has influenced and supported her, and the challenges of being taken seriously in the music industry as a young artist. [23:13-31:00]
  • What is was like growing up in a post-9/11 New York, Emily’s plans for the future, and her take on the double-edged sword of social media. [31:00-39:12]

Resources: Emily James’ Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify Transcript of Episode


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