Interview: Emma & Jolie

Emma and Jolie

“I don’t need a man to sing my praises, hand me a mic tell me where the stage is”. 

This is the standout line for me in an era where songs about people making a stand is needed. This song is the ultimate in girl power from country crossover duo Emma & Jolie: the harmonies are tight, the instrumentation is spot-on, with a banjo and some beautiful steel guitar work, all instruments and production from veteran Johnny Douglas too. 

Lyrically it’s what’s needed, and shouts “respect me for who I am, I’m a woman who can stand up on my two feet, and I can prove it”. It’s one of those songs that makes you want to sing it from your belly. I have absolutely no complaints about this song, and I hope that Emma & Jolie keep doing their thing, this is their debut single and there’s a buzz about them already, I can’t wait to see what’s next for them.

Co-written in Nashville with Emily Hackett — herself no slouch when it comes to songwriting — and showing the shape of things to come it, Emma & Jolie have got something special going on here. They are my ones to watch and I’ll be keeping an eye out for their next release. Show them some love!

Emma & Jolie thank you for agreeing to talk to Fresh On The Net. How are you?

We’re feeling amazing thank you! The lead up to the single has been nerve wracking but such an incredible and exciting experience. We’ve obviously never released anything before this, so this has been something we’ve never experienced before and being able to do it together has been so wonderful! How are you ?

We are doing great thank you very much for asking! Congratulations on the release of your new single how does it feel?

Just incredible! We are so grateful and happy to be able to share this with the world it’s our absolute dream. We are so thankful to Triple Fret for believing in us from the very start, Emily Hackett for writing with us, and Johnny Douglas for producing this for us and really helping make the track come to life. This song wouldn’t be possible without all of these incredible people.

You met at music college, how did your love for music begin?

Ever since we were both young girls we had such a strong connection with music, it’s as if it’s built inside of you. We both learned the guitar and started writing songs in our very early teens. Obviously we never met until we were older, but even before we had met we used to listen to the same music and have similar musical inspirations so we feel so lucky that we were able to find each other as it honestly feels as if it was meant to be.

What artists influenced you? 

Our two biggest inspirations are Taylor Swift & Kacey Musgraves. Taylor is someone that we both grew up listening to and her first couple of albums inspired us to start writing songs and play guitar. She definitely influenced our writing style even from when we were teenagers. They are both incredibly powerful women who have not been afraid to break boundaries and create music about topics that can affect the LGBTQ community, which is extremely important to us. With Emma being a proud biseuxal woman and a lot of our closest friends being gay, the two of us have always spoke up about LGBTQ discrimination and we have always strived to express that we would like our fanbase to be a safe space for everyone and that should be able to be who they truly are without fear or judgment. So for them to come out and create songs about the community is incredibly inspiring (Taylor – You Need To Calm Down, Kacey – Follow Your Arrow) The Golden Hour album by Kacey is both of our all time favourite albums. Every single song is a masterpiece; from the second we became a duo we have always enjoyed doing covers of her music and we even travelled to Austin, Texas to watch her perform at ACL Festival last October. Both women have shown that they are not afraid to be their whole heartedly true authentic selves and that is something we strive to always show through our music also. They both are very versatile artists in the sense that each album brings something unique and different to the table.

You have written with Nashville songwriters, what was your biggest lesson that you learned during those sessions?

That the talent over in Nashville is just insane, everything is so polished and well crafted! It’s really started to shape us and influence our writing style while always having our own British stamp on it. I think the biggest lesson that we have learned during those sessions is that we should always be confident in ourselves as artists. I think going over to Nashville and writing with such incredibly talented people, it felt quite overwhelming for us, but they’ve always reassured us to trust in our own artistic vision. Writing with all these amazing people in Nashville like, Jenna LaMeester, Stevie Woodward, Lena Stone, Kalie Shorr and Emily Hackett, they’ve helped us be more versatile and come out of our comfort zone in certain songs which has been incredibly beneficial for our songwriting.

You have worked with producer Johnny Douglas on your new single and it sounds nice and rootsy, what’s the story behind this song?

We met Johnny last year and instantly he believed in us, which also gave us that extra confidence boost. Johnny is the most incredible and talented man and we are so lucky to be able to work with him! Johnny has had an amazing amount of success in the music industry so it really has been an honour to work with him on this track. He completely understood our vision and created the most perfect track for us that we could not be happier with. We are really looking forward to working with him again! We wrote the song in Nashville with Emily Hackett who is one of the most talented people we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Emily is one of our favourite people to write with because she has always made us feel so at ease. She always takes our ideas on board and helps us express exactly what we are trying to say, whilst of course bringing her amazing & unique songwriting skills into the mix. We wrote I Don’t Need A Man within an hour and it was such a fun experience writing this song!

What are the biggest things you’ve learned in the last few months during lockdown?

We’ve always been passionate about the importance of Mental Health, and lockdown has only highlighted its necessity. Everyone’s livelihood has been changed in some way or another so making sure that you are okay and being mindful of your needs and feelings is extremely important.

How does a typical writing session start for you?

We will normally go to a writing session with an idea firmly in place and title we want to name the song! Then the magic all starts from there. There are days where we may have a chorus drafted, or perhaps just a line, but we always like to enter the session with some sort of an idea of what we are going to write about. Normally before the session we will both have a chat and think about what todays idea will be, we will often bounce back ideas to each other as we both keep loads of notes in our phones of song ideas, lyrics, chords etc in our phone.

What artists are getting you excited at the moment?

We absolutely love Twinnie, Jess Thristan and Jade Helliwell So many incredible girls in the UK Country industry!

What are you looking forward to most post lockdown?

Performing live! We have missed performing together so much, we love being able to showcase our songs with everyone and being up on stage together is one of the best feelings in the world. We also really miss writing sessions face to face, we’ve done a lot of zoom writes which have been amazing and we’ve come out with some really great material, but we miss being able to sit in the same room as everyone so hopefully when its safe for everyone we can go back and do both of those things.

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Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

4 Comments

  1. charlie ryder

    Interesting read Del. Great to see how fresh on the net is supporting and nurturing talent. Wish them well in there careers.

  2. Hey Charlie thankyou very much! Check them out they’ve got big things coming! Hope you’re well!

  3. Great interview. Really interesting reading about their experience of Nashville. Similar pathway to Ward Thomas. Thanks for sharing it Del. 🙂

  4. Hi Neil thankyou very much! It’s quite exciting the amount of things they’re up to, and I’m happy for them!

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