Hello. I stopped blogging well over a year ago, but I’ve decided to take it up again. Now seems like a good time because there’s things going on that I’d like to share with you.
Last weekend I returned from three weeks in Nashville where I got to experience some great music and meet some amazing people. I went last year but I felt like I achieved more this time. Although I only played twice whilst there, I got to speak to a lot of interesting people and it really felt like the first step towards where I want to be. One of the places I played was the legendary Bluebird Cafe, which was especially awesome. I’ve recorded an EP of 5 songs, which I’m in the process of putting online. There are clips on soundcloud already www.soundcloud.com/emmawinstanley take a listen, tell me what you think. When I figure out how to get them on facebook I’ll let you know. (which is www.facebook.com/emmawinstanleymusic if you haven’t liked me already).
Whilst I was in Nashville I got my university results, and after deliberating I decided to let my mum open the letter for me. I got a 2.1! So happy with that
So I guess now comes the inevitable question of ‘what am I going to do now?’. In all honesty, I don’t have a set plan and I’m glad of that. I’ve been so inspired recently, by something/someone I will talk about in a minute, that my plan is just to keep writing and book as many shows as I can to let people here my music, and see where it goes from there. Probably local at first but I’d love to just drive around the country with my guitar and play in wherever I can!
So my EP has 5 songs on it, 4 of mine, one a duet I wrote with a good friend Kieron Riley. Who was also kind enough to lend his voice for backing vocals, and did me an awesome photoshoot…thank you! But on counting earlier how many songs I’ve got including the ones that are in the process of being completed, the total was 10 maybe 11! I didn’t realise until then. So why this inspiration? Well I think it’s partly with going to Nashville and sort of discovering myself, but also because of an artist called Marina and The Diamonds. Maybe you’ve heard of her, maybe you haven’t. I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of her until a few months back, and I really wish I’d discovered her 2 years ago when her 1st album came out. But being the type of person I am, if I really like an artist, I go back and listen to older music and read their story etc. And I’m so glad I did. Basically the point I’m at now, is where she was at about 6 years ago…making homemade EPs and playing any venues she could, didn’t rate herself as a singer but just had a message to share and knew this is what she wanted to do.
I’ve been inspired because I regard her as a much more intelligent and original songwriter and performer than a lot of artists around at the moment. And it’s not her musical sound that inspires me per se, it’s more her style and approach to writing. There wasn’t one clichéd love song on the 1st album. Instead she chose to write about issues that mattered; the presentation of females in society, the music industry, gossip in magazines, being your own person etc.
Though she’s adapted a new image and her 2nd album is a lot more mainstream, electronic pop, the idea behind the whole thing is amazing and she hasn’t lost sight of who she is, despite what people might say about ‘selling out’. I won’t go into details because it would take too long, but if you’re interested she briefly explains it here: Electra Heart Interview. Though I’m not sure you get the full concept from that. In the playlist videos to the right, there’s a track-by-track breakdown of the album explaining each song, which is really interesting also.
The reason I’m all hyped up on Marina and writing this blog tonight is because I saw her live last night. Not to exaggerate but definately one of, if not the best live show I’ve been to. A nice mix of the new album plus all the singles from the first one. For anyone who is a fan or interested, this was the set list and links to the ones I videoed:
I Am Not A Robot
The State of Dreaming
Power & Control
How To Be A Heartbreaker
She’s definately an artist you have to see live in my opinion, amazing performance.
After the show she came out in the rain to sign autographs as well. I have a lot of admiration for artists like her who are self made musicians who once had nothing or not a lot, and are now especially appreciative of their fans, and she definately is. Can’t wait for October, Lonely Hearts Club take 2!
But yeah, her as a person and her music has been inspiring me an awful lot lately, and I’ve come up with a new bunch of songs, all about personal things that I now feel I’ve got the confidence to present to the world and hopefully I will get to. It’s such a free feeling being out of education for the first time in my life. Knowing I can just work and then in my spare time I literally can just write music all day without the added pressures of uni. Definately glad I went, but glad I’ve left now to start the next chapter of my life. And I’ve got a really good feeling about it!
Thank you for reading. Go listen to Marina if you haven’t already! And keep checking back for updates about my songs going online. Also working on some youtube videos of originals and covers!