Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Crimson Moon”?
Sure, it’s a little song I wrote with my mother and Fish Fisher. I wanted to write first off about a club I play that was actually featured already in a song by Ashley McBryde called “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega,” but it holds such a place in my heart for always allowing me to play early on. When I started writing my song, I wanted it to be more about the feeling the Crimson Moon inspires and how it’s okay for women to go out alone, and to be independent. Girls my age are all ready to be tethered to some guy, but I want them to see it’s okay to be alone for a while and find yourself. You have to love yoursef before you can love someone else.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Not a specific event, but a fan did ask if I might write a song about the Crimson Moon, so that’s really how it started.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
I would like to, but I’m so busy working on other projects right now, so I’ll have to let you know, later.
The single comes off your new album Family Wars – what’s the story behind the title?
The album title is also the title of the first song. I feel that’s the strongest song on the album, personally. My mama and I wrote it, with Fish Fisher. It’s about problems that a lot of families face, like alcoholism, drug addiction and depression. It is the bow that ties up all the songs on the album, because they are all about different kinds of conflicts.
How was the writing and recording process?
The writing was a joy! I didn’t set out to write a family album. I was actually working on a solo album, but the process was slow and my producer, Tony Brown,mentioned maybe we do one with my family. Two weeks later, we had picked the songs from my collection I had been writing from the past couple of years. We went into the studio and recorded it in three days, mixed and mastered in three more days, and we were done!
What role does your hometown play in your music?
I don’t think most people in my hometown realize I am anything other than just Emi, for the most part. People come into my boutique and don’t know me or anything about what I do. The people who do are respectful and give me room to breathe and be me. I love living in a rural community.
Which aspects of domestic violence and mass murder did you explore on this record?
I try to be as honest I can in my writing and stay true to my roots. I look at situations and draw from them with my other songwriters. Domestic violence is an issue I only relate to by eavesdropping or reading on social sites, butwriting about it I found was cathartic to so many people because they come to me and tell me their stories. Many people have told me that “Family Wars,” the song, could be about their family. As far as mass murder goes, I see things on TV and read about them on the internet. Most of the songs on my album deal with different kinds of conflict.
What made you want to tackle some of these very dark themes?
I’m drawn to the dark. I relish a good murder mystery or a ballad with sad storyline. You know, like, “He did her wrong and she took care of herself.” I’m all about the underdog!
How did you go about balancing the heavy darkness of the music with the more uplifting themes?
Everyone thinks I’m all rainbows and unicorns because ofmy name, and then they hear me and they are thrown. In all actuality, I am well-rounded, and I think that comes through in my music. At least, I hope so. I see the problems around me, but I’m also optimistic.
Where else do you find inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Travel and reading mostly, but I can find a song anywhere. It’s listening and seizing the moment to jot down a little note or thought!
Any plans to hit the road?
People don’t realize I’ve toured heavily for five years! I’ve been all over the U.S. and Canada. I even got to perform at the Cannes Film Festival in France, when the Elvis Presley documentary “The King” premiered there. I wrote and performed two songs in the movie, and the director invited me to the premiere, which was a real honor. I love touring!
What else is happening in EmiSunshine’s world?
Whew! Working on writing, a new album, and I have a boutique in my hometown and I’m opening a small music venue. Oh, and I bought my first car!