Well, it’s just about Memorial Day weekend, so it’s nice to know, according to Emlyn, that we officially have a “song of the summer.” Earlier this month, the LA songwriter (who has co-written with the likes of Kiiara, Brook Williams, and Hailey Knox) released a sample of a new song of her own on TikTok in which she proclaimed, “Guys, I think I just wrote the song of the summer.” The post got over one million views and the song quickly got a proper release, followed by thousands of playlist adds and tens of thousands of streams. That song is “B.O.M.B.,” or “Back on my Bullshit,” a breakup song that serves as a kiss-off to everything we’ve dealt with in the past year.
June 4th will see the release of Emlyn’s debut EP, “Confessions of a Drama Queen.” In addition to unreleased material, the EP also includes “B.O.M.B.” and a handful of other previously released songs, like “Cruel World” and “Change for Me,” all of which could easily soundtrack your summer. Although Emlyn’s getting to be best known for alt. pop jams, she’s also amazing at shelling out late-‘90s TRL ballad vibes, for the slightly more introspective listener. I recently got a chance to chat with Emlyn about summertime, breakup anthems, and how it feels to be in the spotlight.
Izzy: So, you’ve recently transitioned from a songwriter to a musician and performer in your own right. How has that process gone so far? Did it feel like an organic next step, or is it still a little weird?
Emlyn: Honestly, it’s been really exciting! I’ve always been an artist in the way that I write, even when my focus has been on writing for others. My experience still permeates through that process, even if it’s just empathy for what the other artist is feeling. But the major difference has been getting to use my own voice now and say what I want to say. It’s been crazy connecting with people, and it’s felt organic because the only thing I was waiting on was the confidence and the right timing.
Izzy: Have you had any favorite reactions to your own music so far, whether things you’ve read or just things you’ve heard from fans or friends?
Emlyn: My favorite thing so far has been messages from fans that just connected with a song for a specific reason or “needed it” at that time in their life. In particular, with “B.O.M.B.,” I’ve had so many people reach out and say that it came at a perfect time after a recent breakup or personal hardship. Having personally just gone through a breakup when I wrote it, those messages mean so much to me. I had my own “breakup anthem” in those following weeks that impacted me, so being that for someone else is an unbelievable feeling.
Izzy: What would you consider your most significant influences? Are they notably different when you’re writing a song you’re going to perform yourself than they are when you’re writing for someone else?
Emlyn: I would say my number one influence as a songwriter, whether writing for myself or another artist, is Taylor Swift. I learned how to write songs by studying her chord structures, use of imagery, personal story-telling and melodies. Most people I work with point out my little “Taylor tendencies” no matter the context of the session. However, when it comes to my own music, my influences typically come into play sonically with rock edge or grunge. Paramore, 5 Seconds of Summer, and even Miley Cyrus’s new stuff have been major influences in my sound.
Izzy: Do you have any significant influences, or even just things you really like, that you suspect would surprise your fans?
Emlyn: I think people say this a lot, but I genuinely listen to and love so many different types of music. My taste will shift from a Kacey Musgraves song, to Nirvana, to Britney Spears, to Pop Smoke, to Noah Gunderson in one playlist. I love so many elements of music that it’s easy to appreciate a song for its instrumentation or lyrics or melodies regardless of the genre.
Izzy: “B.O.M.B.” has already been a huge success, but you also predicted it to be the “song of the summer.” So, I have to ask, as a songwriter, in your opinion, what does a song need to be a contender for “song of the summer?”
Emlyn: For me, a “song of the summer” is one that I want to turn up in the car as loud as it goes and scream at the top of my lungs. I think “B.O.M.B.” is especially the song of this summer, given all we went through in the past year. With a lyric launching the chorus like, “I’ve had enough of that sad shit,” it feels like an anthem for all of us ready to be back on our bullshit, reclaiming our lives, and enjoying everything that comes with it.
Izzy: On a related note, I’m curious if you have any particular favorite summertime jams, whether they be songs that dropped in the summers of your youth, or songs that just seem to fit your summertime mood especially well?
Emlyn: My summertime anthem, or really anytime anthem, is always and forever “Lucky” by Britney Spears. I grew up listening to it and will still blast that song anytime, anywhere. More recently, I’ve been loving “sadder badder cooler” by Tove Lo, “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo, “BOYSHIT” by Madison Beer, and my own song “Confessions of a Drama Queen,” coming June 4th!
Izzy: Finally, what are you most excited about in 2021? What can fans expect from you in the coming months? (I guess those are really two different questions, but I think there’s some overlap there…)
Emlyn: I’m so excited that my record “Confessions of a Drama Queen – EP ” is finally going to be out in the world for everyone to hear. I’ve spent so much time pouring my heart into this project and pushing myself out of my comfort zone in my writing to say things I’ve always been afraid to. So mainly, I can’t wait for the world to hear it, but I hope as things begin to open up more, I’ll get to tour not too long from now. I have some songs I’ve written coming out with other artists this year that you’ll have to stay tuned for! On a personal note, I’m also attending Bonnaroo this year which will be my first ever major music festival and first concert post-covid. I hope to play one year in the not-too-distant future!