Moms, mysteries, & L.A. drives.
Emma Stuart is a soul and R&B singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. She debuted her first single this past January, following it up with her second single “We” which premiered on Valentine’s Day. More music on the way.
You released your first two singles this year. What was the hardest part?
Letting go. I got so in my head about it and the big ‘first impression’ as an artist. About what kind of box people would put me in. But I realized those were just limitations I created myself. Letting go and just letting the world hear me felt like a weight had been lifted.
Can you tell us a little bit about the inspo behind your playlist?
I wanted the playlist (selfishly) to number one, be all songs that I love and move me in some way. But also to be kind of all-encompassing of what the women on it represent. It’s soft, strong, gentle, outspoken, sexual, raw, vulnerable, warm, resilient. The list could go on. I think it gives every kind of feels on the feels spectrum.
How have these artists influenced your work?
They remind me to be myself. So much of the industry is a comparison game, but they are so uniquely their own. Why would I wanna do it like anybody else?
Why do you think handpicked playlists are still important and fun?
Handpicked playlists are THE most fun. I make a playlist once a month with the songs I'm listening to at that time. They serve as a time capsule. When I listen back a year later I’m like holy shit, I'm instantly transported right back wherever I was in my life when I made it.
What does “raise the femme voice” mean to you?
Raising the femme voice to me means shining a light on female artists. In making this playlist I realized most of my playlists or music I listen to is dominated by male artists. I love what you guys are doing because it gives us a space to be seen. To be lifted up and supported by other woman is a powerful thing. When I’m in the studio or performing, I’m usually the only woman. Recently I've had the pleasure of working with some bad ass female engineers, producers, sound techs, singers, and writers. I can’t explain it but something about that female energy around makes you feel even more powerful. We can accomplish great things when we give each other the space to be freely ourselves and celebrate each other for it.
You’re a lifelong Angeleno. What do you love and hate about this city?
I think growing up here, I didn't realize how big LA was. I was just hanging out at school and Taco Bell every day. There are so many different areas and endless options of things to do. But honestly what I love most is driving around. Late night drives with good music… you can’t beat that in my book. Hate? Hate is a strong word. My least favorite thing is finding parking. Hahaha the stress is real.
If you could give advice to 11-year-old Emma, what would you say?
I don't think I would say anything! I'm sure there are things I could say to make life a little easier. But then I wouldn't be exactly who I am today. Everything happens at the appointed time. The painful lessons have to be learned too. And what you choose to do with those experiences is on you. (I know that rhymed, I just can’t control it sometimes) ((holy shit I did it again)).
Who have been your biggest supporters in your journey so far?
I gotta give props to Mama Stu (my mom). She’s always been my number one fan. Of course the rest of my family too!
“We” is just on repeat, always. Did you ever share it with the person you wrote it about and did they hit you up immediately?
Oh he has no clue. Which I kind of love about this one. I like the mystery. But there are some songs I've written where I'm like, that dude knows for sure.
Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following yesterday, and why?
I’m high key obsessed with H.E.R. Her writing is just so damn clever it hurts. And she can sing her ass off. Also listen to KING. They make you feel like you're floating on a cloud. It’s heavenly.