Laugh with yourself.
By Jeanine Kim
Êmia is in the indie-pop project of Brooklyn-based songwriter/producer Anh Le. Honest & potent, her music explores the universal themes of broken relationships, almost-was romances, & identity struggles.
Can you tell us a little bit about your playlist?
These are my favorite women artists at the moment across all my favorite genres (Pop, R&B, Electronic, Country). It’s a mix, ranging from women I grew up listening to like Shania Twain and Rihanna to new artists I’ve discovered recently who are influencing me now to artist friends who I’m lucky to know and who inspire me to do better every day.
Describe yourself in three words.
Determined. Thoughtful. Foolishly optimistic.
How has the digital age affected or influenced your music?
I owe everything to the Internet. The digital age has created this era where my musical tastes and perception of what it means to make art are constantly evolving and being challenged. I don’t just fall in love with lyrics and melody—even though that remains the core of why I love a song—I fall in love with the world an artist creates through their visual work, their explanations of how and why they’ve created something, their personality. The fact that nobody needs a label to get their music out there means the weirdest stuff can reach anybody’s ears, and that’s the stuff that really pushed music in a cool direction.
What message are you trying to send with your music?
I want to create a space for the feelings and experiences that go unnoticed. I want my music to show that sometimes strength is owning up to our most vulnerable moments. I think there’s so much pressure for “empowered music” to be all “I’m single, untouchable and fearless”, but I find a lot of power in admitting when I’m weak.
What’s been the hardest thing about pursuing a music career?
Pursuing a music career means constantly taking risks. That could mean writing and releasing songs knowing that the people that inspired the song could hear it. Performing in front of strangers who couldn’t care less about your music. Reaching out to collaborators, publications, venues only to be ignored or rejected. You have to put yourself out there, and nothing is guaranteed. You have to embrace that.
How have your childhood relocations (from California to Florida, etc.) affected your music?
There are certain topics/feelings in my music that will always show up because of the experiences I had with re-starting my life. I think every album or EP I’ll ever release will be influenced by some sort of major change in my life, because that’s what drew me to music in the first place. If I hadn’t moved to Wisconsin and felt the bulky loneliness that I did when I was 13, I don’t think I would’ve had as much reason to write songs in my living room.
What’s your favorite part of living in Brooklyn?
Everything is so close! I can go to a thrift store, a donut shop, a pizza place, a sushi restaurant, and still be close to a park within a single block. It the perfect balance of having that “cute neighborhood” feel while still having that fast-paced atmosphere that I love.
What’s your favorite thing about yourself today?
I’m keeping it together! I’m at a place in my life where I’m finally starting to heal from things that have affected me for a while now. I’m laughing with myself and at things that used to make me so sad.
What keeps you motivated to continue doing what you’re doing?
Creating music feels a lot like getting a haircut or buying a new outfit. It’s a way to control how I view myself and my own life. I’m a hopeless romantic, absolute daydreamer at heart so being able to create a soundtrack that makes me feel like the lead in a movie is what makes doing what I do really fun.
Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following immediately, and why?
Sophie Rose. I think she’s gonna one of those artists that’s gonna grow and crush it in the future. Seriously, wish I was on her level when I was 19. She’s an incredible writer and producer.