Crushing Dixie with Emma White

When Emma White’s “Not That Into You” first came into my life, I was like, this belongs on some show on Freeform. It’s got this fresh and fierce vibe to it that you can’t deny. Which is comparable to the woman it comes from. Talking to her, you can tell that she’s a girl who knows exactly what she wants whether it’s touring with Beyonce if given the chance, letting someone know they ain’t for her or making her latest EP pop. Now get to know her more, because if this single’s any indication – you’ll be hearing more from her very soon!

Kendra: Thanks to artists like Shania and Garth, country music was able to crossover and has been a mainstream stay ever since. Are those the types of artists you were listening to music and got inspired to start singing your own?

Emma White: When I was growing up, Shania and Garth were definitely the biggest country artists I knew at the time. However, Dixie Chicks were really my first love. I always say they taught me how to sing because I used to listen to their Wide Open Spaces record – that was the first album that I really just remember being completely obsessed with as a kid and devouring every song. I would have to go somewhere in the house where no one was, put their CD on and just sing along. They were like my first singing lessons – trying to hit and match all the notes Natalie Maines (the lead singer of DCX) was singing.

Kendra: Because today you’ve got some eclectic taste from Kacey Musgraves to Katy Perry to Beyonce. So now it’s time to play a quick game of Duet, Cover and Tour With with these three lovely ladies – pick wisely!

Emmae: So fun!

Duet: Kacey Musgraves because I think our voices may complement each other well. I really admire her artistry and songwriting.

Cover: Katy Perry because I always cover her songs at my shows already. They’re just perfect pop songs. Her second album had so many songs that to me, are the peak of Pop songwriting. Like I would only be so lucky to write or perform songs that are written that well. It’s like the modern day standard – “The One That Got Away,” “Teenage Dream,” “ET,” “Firework.” These are songs that weren’t just an artist singing, but they defined a period of time for Pop music (in my humble opinion 😉 To me, they were so much bigger than just someone telling a story or singing about their life – they managed to not only connect to millions of people in an honest way, but she and the songs were larger than life. They were songs that everyone could share in – relatable, while being highly entertaining visually (in her music videos) and also in the production, musically.

Tour: Beyonce because that would be epic. She’s probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest entertainer of our era. I love her and her music so much that I can only imagine being side stage watching and learning in awe. That would be insane.

Kendra: Now moving on from the days. Did you make the move to Nashville for your career or were you lucky enough to be born and raised there?

Emma: I was born in Baltimore and moved here for my career in 2011. I left for New York City for almost a year but was continually flying here to record during that year.

Kendra: Now let’s talk about your music that’s out and about. A new EP dropped in February. When you were recording, did you listen to anything else or did you cut out all other sound to focus on your own thing?

Emma: Just as I was writing and recording for this EP, I was listening to Katy Perry’s first album actually, “One Of The Boys” and loved the production value in that. So for one song (“Not That Into You”) we kind of went there on purpose and pulled from that influence. But for the most part, a lot happened in the studio that just felt natural and like we were creating our own sound. So rather than trying to know ahead of time what the sound would be, I just decided to go with what felt right in the moment and what felt right with what the other musicians and my producers were doing.

Kendra: You just mentioned in, but your latest single, “Not That Into You,”made me think of a crush finally asking you out and having to tell them, nah…not interested. Best case scenario, how would you let your crush down…other than perhaps writing them a song?

Emma: Hm…my song is a little harsh, I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t usually let a crush down that harshly. If you’re not into them, I feel like things typically just fizzle out or someone knows how you feel without needing to say much. If someone is direct and asks me out, I like to be open to it but very transparent with them if I know that I just want to be their friend. I like when people are direct – saves time and feelings.

Kendra: Moving away from the guys but sticking with the music, my mind actually went to embarrassing fashion when I was listening to “I Thought You Were The One.” It made me think of those horrendous fashion choices one makes in their life they thought were great at the time, but looking back were not ideal. Is there an outfit or piece of clothing you once rocked that you look back on as a huge mistake?

Emma: When I was in my senior year of high school I wore my field hockey sweats and Uggs probably every day – until my friends were like – you need to stop. I was also very preppy in high school and wore Lilly Pulitzer golf pants with tiny pink and white golfers on them with pearls. A boy who was a senior (and who I had a major crush on) was walking down the hall and told me I looked like a jolly rancher. So that outfit I regret (only sort of though).

Kendra: Let’s talk touring now. Are you planning anything on a national level or are you sticking close to Nashville at the moment?

Emma: I want to tour so badly it hurts. I’m trying to figure that out now. I’ve been submitting to some festivals and trying to plot out some new shows. I normally play Nashville, LA, New York and Baltimore the most, but I’m working on adding some new cities.

Kendra: Say you were into someone and wanted to give them a mixtape to show them. What five songs would have to be on it?

Emma: Omg – there’s nothing worse than recommending a song to someone and them being like “ya, I’m not really into this.” But, if I had the courage to make them a mixtape, I would put:

Tell Me” by Groove Theory
Your Love” by Rayland Baxter
Frontin’” by Pharrell featuring Jay-Z
(I Like) The Way You Love Me” by Michael Jackson
Late To The Party” by Kacey Musgraves


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