Music Monday Artist
A Dominican Republic native but raised in Bronx, NY, Emil is a forced to be reckoned with. Although, he appeared on the music scene back in 2018, Emil has accomplished many things. Making his presence strong throughout social media and serenading the world with his astonishing voice while on his “Here With Us” tour. Songs such as “Important” and “ Dnd (Do Not Disturb)” are both hits that synthesizes a new music trend. The young artist has been compared to the legendary “Drake” and it’s safe to say that even though he has a similar vibe (Rapper and Singer-Songwriter) we must admit that he’s telling us a different story. The “Emil” story.
Fe: Tell us about yourself. For those that aren’t familiar with you, give us some context about who you are and your music
Emil: I grew up in the Bronx, New York. I’ve always considered myself to be that witty, romantic kid from the Bronx. No matter how far away I moved from it. A lot of my roots, my stories, and memories are rooted there. So, a lot of what informs my music pulls from things that I experienced. I want to give a voice to places that I come from, like give a voice to the Bronx. Also, give a voice to Dominicans and people who feel they aren’t represented in music yet. It goes a long way.
Fe: Although some legendary artists have come from the Bronx, who are some of your musical influences?
Emil: I grew up on pop music so when I think about my influences, I think about people like Michael Jackson of course. We all grew up on Michael but also people and bands like Backstreet Boyz. People who that came out with really good melodies. That was what I was listening to growing up and then as I got older, I started listening to Hip Hop more. Where artists like Kanye West stood out to me, Drake stood out to me and I think it was more about these people to me in Rap or Hip Hop, they felt like underdogs. Even though they are so good at what they do, they weren’t the majority of what was around at the time so we weren’t seeing a hundred Kanye's or we weren’t seeing a hundred Drakes. It was the opposite. I'm somebody who didn’t come from a rap background it was what I was attracted to.
Fe: Yeah definitely. I understand what you are saying like they almost came at the perfect time. They switched up the sound for the next generation
Emil: Yes and people were ready to see that happen
Fe: Yeah Absolutely. Do you feel it is something that people are restless about? Hearing the same kind of music being put out or do you feel like they are just enjoying it still?
Emil: That's a good question! You know what, I feel like now more than ever people can find and support the artist that they want to more than before. So you can still get somebody that may not be as currently relevant today but have a loyal fanbase that's getting them lost of plays.
Fe: Yeah, that's true!
Emil: I think it's gonna go back to a time where the music that is relevant now will fall out of grace and we will start going back to hearing more soul samples. Hearing a lot of the stuff that inspires the music that we’re hearing today! It is being reinvented and that's one of the things I'm looking to do with my music as well because I pull from so many of those older influences. I want to find a way to bring all of them together and create that next new sound.
Fe: Yeah, so I really like your response because being a musician and songwriter myself one of the things that really gets my creativity flowing is coming up with new sounds. The party music and the repetitive "bops" are cool for the moment and the fun! However, the music that really resonates with me is the music where you can actually hear the thought, integrity, and skill put into the music. So when I say that it's like you can hear the actual components of a great song, the combination of lyrics, melody, chords, and even how it's recorded and mixed! It's music.
Emil: Right, You can feel it
Fe: Right, you can feel it and I think that’s what this generation is kind of missing now. Everybody is down with the bops that get everybody dancing but we are missing, and I think that it's also what makes artists like Anderson Paak, H.E.R & Bruno Mars stand out because they actually keep the integrity of their sound with what they put out. I think that’s a major key for artists because you really have to find your sound.
Emil: That’s a big part of it. When I looked at music today. It’s two folds, it’s a lot easier to get discovered because you can just put music out wherever you want but what may have been "poppin" ten years ago, twenty years ago - might not be what gets it done today
Emil: So like, the artist today are put in a position where they just gotta play the game. That's the way it is but I think that you can't fault them too much for it because we are all trying to make it at this exact same time and there is a lane for all of us. It's just about making sure that you do everything you can to stick out in your lane.
Fe: Yeah. Speaking of sticking out, one of the things that I believe help artist to stick out, and I read this in your EPK, you said that you’re passionate about storytelling. So my question is, As an artist, how important do you think storytelling is in songs writing?
Emil: I think that is huge. Honestly. One of my favorite albums is My Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West. He is one of my favorites but I do think he is one of the best lyricists ever. That album was such a great story from beginning to end. So I think the writing like you said is an important part. Party music is good for the moment like if you are at an event and in that vibe it’s perfect for that. However, if I want you to reference a song of mine to get the likes, or if I am doing a song to get you through some moment, I gotta write about something real and I have to make it relate to you. The lyric is what does that. When people are listening to music all of last year through covid-19, where everybody couldn’t go anywhere, we were listening to the music that stuck with us! Usually, the lyrics and the context are major keys. Like the lyrics tell a good story and that is easy for anyone to understand and relate to.
Fe: Absolutely, I definitely would have to agree with you on that. I do artist management consult on the side and I tell artist all the time talking about what you have, having fun, and stuff, that’s cool but if you want a song to be mainstream you have to sing a song that people can relate to. Usually, that's Love, Sex, Money, and even Drugs.
We are in a time where Independent artists can make it but I think some get drawn to the fame instead of putting in the ingredients to have a solid song. If you want a song that is going to grab people's attention, you have to have a song that tells a story. People want to be able to relate to a song! I'm not knocking anyone's music but talking about who you are in the streets, fancy jewelry, bragging, and all that is cool and gets people bopping but what's the story behind the song? Are we flashing just to flash? Go look at some of the timeless classics, they are remembered because a story was told even a song like Mary J Blige Runaway Love, it's not a club banger but it got its recognition because everyone was drawn to the story. Look in any genre too, any genre that you look at I think most of the greatest songs that came out, had a story. You mentioned Michael Jackson, a lot of songs in his catalog are stories
Emil: Somebody told me that it takes someone selfless to write from that from a perspective like that.
Fe: They are right. Speaking of stories and song writing, tell us about your song, "Important" it sounds like you're telling a story about how you got your eyes on someone (laughs) but we want to make sure we got the message right.
Emil: Yeah, Important is really like an ode to the influencers and everybody who is in love with themselves at this particular time. I wrote that song from my perspective looking at a girl who is an influencer and she has her cashtag in her bio and I am trying to figure out how do I approach her. That was where I was coming from when I wrote the song but then I started to realize that the story of trying to get with somebody who you feel might be somebody important. How do I go about this and I believe that is something that a bunch of people can relate to.
LISTEN TO "IMPORTANT"
Fe: I can relate to that. Being an artist, has it made your life more or less difficult?
Emil: It’s made my days more difficult. I think it’s made it more difficult in life because I’m a hyper maniac. Not only just the music of it but like the marketing of it and what are we doing next like I’m like a 12-year-old kid. I’m always trying to find out what is the next move. I don’t even know where I get the energy from but I would say that it has made my day more hectic for sure but I couldn't see it any other way.
Fe: Yeah, I can understand that. So when you're not recording, what are some things that you are into?
Emil: Well, I just moved to LA so I was living in Brooklyn, my manager and I moved out here to the West Coast so I’m trying to learn about the city. We were out at a recording studio Saturday but honestly, whenever I’m not recording I’m either trying to like do a lot of self-health stuff. I try to work out a lot, meditate, honestly I’m trying to find some sort of balance. I get so focus on this and that. It’s about maintaining some sort of balance to keep me grounded. Like talking to my family, talking to my friends, talk to people who have nothing to do with music so that I can still see that there is a world outside of yourself and there are other people to get in touch with.
Fe: I like that. I am big on Self-care and help! I’ve been on a personal journey since 2016 and I think I’m am finally getting to the point where I’m learning to master it. In my experience, I discovered what resonates with me and I can not stress how important and fulfilling it is. It is so important to maintain peace, balance, and maintain as you said, that connection with the outside world. I am a former workaholic. Real high-level performance. I can get to the grind and go for hours. I've done that since 18 always having multiple jobs, hobbies, and some sort of creative side project so it’s the norm for me. So when I am not functioning at that level sometimes it does feeling like I have too much free time and telling myself to be productive. However, I had to get out of that and learn to maintain a lifestyle of balance and taking off that added pressure I used to put on myself. I have more energy now I feel more fulfilled and aligned to purpose and that comes with the freedom of living and loving every part of it.
Fe: I realize now that what feeds my soul and want to spend the rest of my life focusing on what I am passionate about. Right now the goal is to stop working for the government and pour that energy into Indie Flex Music. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life! I can work, the resume is A1 but the goal isn’t necessarily money, the goal isn’t fame, it's living knowing that I am achieving everything that brings me inner fulfillment.
EMIL: We can’t let that get lost
Fe: No. Absolutely not and with everything going on it’s easy to get lost. I’m thankful that I have good people around me that can give me reminders of why it is important!
EMIL: Amen to that for real
Fe: Amen. Last question for you is, ‘ Anything the people can look forward to?
Emil: The single that I submitted is out at the moment however it’s going to be re-released under Jim Jones Vamp Life Entertainment. We possibly going to do a video for it. Aside from the single, "Important", we are working on a ton of new music and networking. Building relationships with producers and other artists here on the West Coast. I’m working on an album and hopefully done by the end of the year. That album will be called Bittersweet!
Fe: Alright awesome! Well I wish you all the best with your music. I will be following you and making sure I get that album when it comes out.
Emil: Thank You!
Indie Flex Music Contributors
Introduction written by Arica Tillman, Creative Development Director for Indie Flex Music. Social Media & Marketing Professional.
CEO of Indie Flex Music.
Music Industry Professional.
Musician, Producer & Songwriter.
Host of The Indie Flex Show- weekly radio broadcast aired on WILD 106.3FM
Every Wednesday @9PM.
Twitter & Instagram @Focusedfe_
Disclaimer: We do not own rights to this music. Music was submitted to us for promotional purposes as per artist and/or his/her management team.