One of my personal sayings that will always remain true is “such a sucker for a pop song.” So when Emii came to my attention, I had to give her a shot. She’s got a pop sound with a layer of rock that’s enough to make her stand out from a bubblegum crowd. And other than having a hit on her hands with “Zombie Boyfriend,” she’s working with everyone’s favorite D-O double G and performing around the globe. But when the music dust settles, you will be happy to learn where Emii hails from, her nerd tendencies and how big her heart really is. That’s just the service, so scratch a little more and get down with the rest of the interview.
Kendra: Right off the bat, I was checking out videos and looking at pictures of you, and you seem pretty badass. Have you always appeared that way?
Emii: That may be subjective, but I do my best to stay in shape.
Kendra: So what’s the most badass thing you’ve ever done in music so far?
Emii: I’d definitely say the most badass thing is performing Beirut, Lebanon for NRJ Energy Music Tour. Flo Rida was on the bill, Inna, Iyaz was there. It was amazing and for 25,000 people; it was an incredible experience. I can’t wait to go back; it’s one of my favorite places now. And of course recording the music video with Snoop Dogg is pretty up there as well.
Kendra: Now do all the girls in Ohio look like you? Because when I think Ohio, you’re not what comes to mind.
Emii: I don’t think so. It’s really funny though because when I first moved to New York City people would ask me where I was from and they were expecting me to give them sort of exotic answer like somewhere across the globe and I’d say Ohio and they would just look at me like, really? But I’m as fair skinned as many Ohioans, but I don’t know. There’s many beautiful and culturally interesting people in Ohio but apparently I don’t look like many of them?
Kendra: Being in Ohio what kind of sparked your interest in music when you were younger?
Emii: Music’s always been an intransient part of my existence and I mean ever since I was very small I’ve always been singing and writing songs, even if they were about the latest stuffed animal to come into my, you know. But it’s just always been there and as a child for an example I would jump up onto a stage at age three. Granted the stage wasn’t mine and I wasn’t supposed to be performing, but I’d be performing anyways. So it kind of gave my parents an idea of what I’d be doing the rest of my life, but at least they had a heads up.
Kendra: You definitely have that pop sound, but you also have a rock edge to your music as well. Kind of reminded me of when Christina went “Dirrrty.” So where did that edge come from in you?
Emii: Well I’ve always been inspired by rock. I toured with my rock/alternative band for a quite a few years so it really is in my blood. Whatever kind of music I can be doing at that time in my life, I’m very, very passionate about. and I think people can tell, like you said, that there’s still a hint of rock in my voice and the way I present myself and that’s just natural.
Kendra: And what was your earlier bands name?
Emii: Daydream on Autopilot and also Cherry Picks but essentially the same people involved. It’s always been the same. It’s funny because I essentially came full circle because I started out in New York as Emii, as myself, and at the time I didn’t have experience making recordings. So I started working with bands and just getting as much experience as I could writing and performing with other artists and musicians. It’s really been good for me. I’m extremely thankful for those experiences.
Kendra: So we’ve already talked about how badass you can be, so if your music was to break a law which one would it be ticketed for, and you can make one up.
Emii: It would probably be “breaking laws of love” and I’m not really sure what that means, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind.
Kendra: I noticed you have a lot of singles, do you have an album that all these singles are gearing towards?
Emii: It is definitely gearing towards an album. I’m actually in the studio right now making little, final touches on it and hopefully in the next couple of months it’ll be finished. It’s just a crazy schedule but we’re getting it done as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. It has been single by single but now I want to release the best album I can for the fans and that’s what I’m planning on doing.
Kendra: and you mentioned him earlier but can you sum up working with Snoop Dogg in three words?
Emii: Charismatic, amazing, that’s an easy one and celebratory. I’m still pinching myself.
Kendra: Now you have a video for “Zombie Boyfriend” which is doing really well, congratulations. Did you write that one with the idea in mind that zombies were kind of doing well in pop culture?
Emii: Thank you, and it’s a really, really funny story because when I wrote that song it was a while ago and it was before all of the zombie things hit, so I was actually met with a bit of resistance regarding the song like, nobody’s going to be into this. I mean I’ve always been a fan of the old zombie movies and the zombie-esque video games, but then when Zombieland hit and all of the new zombie comic books and the new zombie video games I was like thank you! They totally reinforced what I was trying to do here. So then they were like, okay we’ll keep it. I did feel like I had to fight a little bit to get this song to a point to where it could get put out later because you know, I really love the song.
Kendra: I love that you made an actual video for “Zombie Boyfriend” because I love the art behind music videos and before MTV sold their souls to the Shore and Teen Moms, my favorite thing of all time was Total Request Live. Can you even imagine a show like that coming back or do you think it’s time to accept the internet’s taken over and we’ll never get it back?
Emii: It’s difficult to say because we know that people still have an appreciation for music videos because you look at the biggest videos on Youtube and they have millions upon millions of hits, but at the same time you can watch almost any TV show online now. So I think maybe things are gonna shift to where we’re watching TV on the internet anyways, so it’s not going to be so different. The entire game is changing in that respect.
Kendra: You have this dream of having an organization that takes artists and puts them close to young people lets them be a positive influence in their lives. How much closer are you to that right now in making that a reality?
Emii: I think it’s definitely something to consider a few years down the line. I’m really still discovering myself as an artist and just doing all I can for the fans. Every month or two I’ll make sure to do something that feeds my need to help out giveback to the community and the world because it is very important to me. But at the same time I have to build my career so that it can get to the point where I have the power to say, okay let’s get a bunch of amazing artists together and let’s see what kind of difference we can make. Also at the same time there are organizations that as well so it might just be a matter of joining up with one of those organizations and making sure I do my part.
Kendra: Another way you can build yourself up is through acting and I know you’ve done some theater back in the day but do you want to take more steps towards that?
Emii: Absolutely, I definitely have a thing for action/adventure films and considering my martial arts background, it’s definitely on the agenda. But music takes priority, so we’ll see what comes along.
Kendra: Do you have a dream role?
Emii: I would definitely love to collaborate with Marvel. I think that their movies lately have been so phenomenal and I grew up reading their comic books. It really does have a strong foundation in my life so eventually, we’ll see.
Kendra: To wrap this up, I’d like you to make me a mixtape of your top five songs you’d send to a young boy or girl in Ohio to inspire them to follow their dreams, like you did.
Originally published on Dec 6, 2011