Hello and thank you!! Big shout-out to my friends at Vents Magazine! I’m literally on Cloud 9 at this moment in time (pun unintended)! It’s exciting to finally have some new music out there where I can grow new audiences within the trap and rap genres. I’m feeling confident to create music that reflects whatever I’m in the mood for. The Sass Squad is growing and I’m super grateful.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Cloud 9”?
Cloud 9 represents a few avenues that I have recently been experiencing – focusing on being my own boss lady; falling in love and learning to love myself, along with chasing my dreams. I wanted to write a song about breaking the status quo. I believe we have to jump out of our comfort zones in life, in order to achieve our best. For me, this song tells a very personal story of finding myself – people that know me well will definitely be able to read the codes behind the lyrics! It’s exciting.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I think the creation of Cloud 9 had been a gradual development process for me, both as an individual and an artist. I’ve always struggled with having self-confidence in the past and this story marks my music coming of age and celebrating the fact I have found myself. I’ve always wanted to do a trap/rap record but had previously been told I “couldn’t do it”. Ariana Grande has actually been the biggest influence for me over the last year. She’s a Sass Queen in her own right who isn’t afraid to mix up the genres. I definitely wanted to incorporate this mindset into my artistry.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I am proud to say the music video for Cloud 9 is now out on VEVO!! This was so fun to create and I enjoyed it even more because it was the most challenging process I’ve undergone for a video. I really wanted to portray a story about 3 different girls who I felt reflected parts of my own personality in some way. I had to whip out my acting skills from my college days but it reminded me of how much I miss this aspect of the industry. I spent a long time with the Director, ensuring the story line I envisioned, matched the song. I won’t give anything away during this interview before you watch the video, but I must say that multi-coloured wigs literally give me life!!
How was the recording and writing process?
This was definitely an adventure where I pulled myself out of previous comfort zones… and it felt damn good. Prior to the writing and recording process, I knew I had to be brave and make the lyrics perfect if I wanted to turn the sass on full volume. I write lyrics everyday so quickly began creating the storyboard for the song and believed in its direction. I tend not to think too hard about lyrics and melodies – it’s much more beneficial to let the sound come naturally. I’ve always got something to say so it just depends what fits at the time! The recording process was pretty quick – I completed Cloud 9 in 2 sessions. This is simply because by the time I hit the studio, I know my work inside out and back to front… my creations are like my children! Crazy but 100% true.
How have Post Malone and Zara Larsson influenced your writing?
I have been a Zara Larsson fan since the beginning. She is simply a goddess! I’ve always been able to relate to her music and admire the constant uplifting hits she feeds the world. I definitely want my fans to feel confident and believe they are the party when they listen to my music – the way I do when I’m listening to Queen Zara. Becoming the character that’s written about in a smash song is always fun, whether you’re on a night out or driving in your car! Post Malone is an artist I have recently become attached to. He’s the coolest guy on the scene right now. He’s got his own style of rap and it’s so effortless for him to portray all kinds of emotions within his work. I definitely want to mix up my classic Pop sounds with this Urban influence.
What role does Bristol play in your music?
Bristol is where it all started! Especially growing up, your hometown is where your adventures begin and it’s definitely the first place where I grew my identity. A lot of my songwriting has taken place in Bristol and it’s such a vibrant city to find inspiration from. I often spend a lot of time at home writing music with chords on the piano before I take ideas into the studio. I’ve had a big family influence from Bristol since I was a child – both my Grandad and my Mum are brilliant pianists, so this is something that happened naturally when I first showed an interest in music.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
There’s always potential new material in the pipeline! I cannot give too much information away at the moment but there may be a collaboration in the making. I’m excited to be working with my Publishers, Bentley Records in NYC and Sound Republica in South Korea. It’s the next step in my career, reaching out to audiences in the USA and Asia, as well as my Sass Kings and Queens in the UK! I’m constantly working on solo material and want to release a big dance hit next!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I can’t confirm any more release dates yet but these details will always be shared across my social media… especially when I’m a little too excited about new projects! As mentioned earlier, I definitely want to do a big Pop/Dance record next. Cloud 9 is more chill and edgy but I’m always up for bringing a new dance track to the table.
Any plans to hit the road?
Performing is definitely one of my favourite aspects of being an artist. I had a great time on my Radar Tour last year and can’t wait to get out on the road again. Right now, I’m still in the creating phase so as soon as I’m ready, head to my socials to check where I’m playing live!
What else is happening next in Emilia J’s world?
The most exciting chapters happening next revolve around a couple of upcoming collaborations and taking the Sass Squad across continents. I’m working hard behind the scenes to up my songwriting game and keep trialing different sounds. Since reaching Number 5 in the Official UK Cub Charts last year, I’m 100% focused on building my momentum. I aspire to be the artist that mixes things up a little, whilst offering my audiences surprises along the way. I’ve met some amazing people in the last year and can’t contain myself for the next step! Stay tuned on my social media where you will hear everything first from me! Massive thank you to Vents Magazine for the ongoing support – you have 100% passed initiation into the Sass Squad!