I met Emma White not too long after I moved to Nashville and sat down with the singer/songwriter to chat over coffee where she filled me in on her journey to Music City. With a radio friendly voice and captivating stage presence, she recently played several showcases at SXSW where she surely won over many new fans. Below is part of our chat previously posted to You Sing I Write, as well as her video for standout track “Overthink It.”
Emma White was born into a musical family as both her mother and grandmother were singers and songwriters. In fact, Emma was named after Emmylou Harris while her siblings are named after a James Taylor reference. So, it’s safe to say that music has been woven into her life from an early age.
“We would have hootenannies all the time. My family got together and played and sang,” she says with a smile. “I was into pop music at the time. My family was always singing John Prine and Patty Griffin. They exposed me to something I might not have chosen on my own but it was always a part of me.”
White loved pop and R&B music while her family preferred country. Her music blends all three genres and she credits her time studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston for helping her evolve as a songwriter.
“I think co-writing has really expanded my sound and songwriting,” she admits. “You always learn from other people in the room. We can do so much more when we’re working together.”
She adds that she’s constantly trying to find a balance between success as a songwriter and simply doing it because she loves to write.
“You never want to have to compromise certain things. I think the biggest thing is staying true to what you think is good,” she says. “Being a songwriter is often a struggle but it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Performing, singing and music is woven into who I am. It’s always felt like it’s what I was meant to do. It chose me, I didn’t choose it.”
For more of my chat with Emma White, click here.