The Breakthrough of Powerhouse Emmy Meli

Emmy Meli is a powerhouse with a powerful voice, so impactful in fact that you may recognise her voice before you even realise you know her as an artist. Her track ‘I AM WOMAN’ sparked virality last year through TikTok and allowed Meli to fully explore the music she’s been craving to make. The success of ‘I AM WOMAN’ is just a building block compared to where she is now, having taken the time to craft an EP that feels authentic to her journey thus far as a musician. 

It has been two years since ‘I AM WOMAN’ was released, and the making of her upcoming EP is not a process she has rushed. Chatting about her upcoming EP out on the 10th May, she shares just how true it is to how she’s feeling and how she has felt. “The EP is my story, my journey from darkness to light.” “A coming of age chronicle”, if you will. 

Her immediate influences are hard to miss, given that her vocals resemble and emulate the jazz greats she admires. Jazz and R&B are hard to miss markers of her sound, even as she blends them with pop. “Nothing feeds my soul the way those genres do.” Having grown up in California, she takes “a lot of inspiration from the nature, ocean, and pace of life as well.” It’s evident as she has taken her time to release this next body of work, not feeling the pressure to release single after single, instead focusing on the quality opposed to quantity. “I definitely think a lot of people think I am a TikToker who made a song one time.” But Meli is dispelling such a notion. “ I am a multi-faceted professional musician who’s worked a lifetime to get here. I think people will see that very soon.” 

Breakthrough‘ was the first track after I am Woman that evoked a powerful need for it to be released. ‘Silence’ is the next track that follows, written when Meli was going through “one of the hardest times in my life mentally.” The way the two tracks evoke such opposing feelings is a testament to her range. ‘Silence‘ is far more stripped back compared to ‘Breakthrough,’ so the only way to truly know the sound of her music is to listen to the EP when it comes out. 

The debut EP ‘Hello Stranger’ is out May 10th. ‘Breakthrough’ and ‘Silence’ are both available now. 

How did the track ‘Breakthrough’ come about? How did you know this was the track people needed to hear from you next?

It was the first song I’d written since ‘I Am Woman’ that truly gave me the tinglies, which to me means it’s “the one” if you will. It came about in such an easy way, it was my first session with my project partners, and when they played the beat I said it felt like a “Breakthrough“. The rest is history!! 

Tell us about the new single ‘Silence’ and your upcoming EP “Hello Stranger’ out on 10th May

Silence is about one of the hardest times in my life mentally, as I struggle with severe anxiety. I wanted it to be the first full track of the EP because it sets the beginning of the story of my coming of age chronicle. The EP is my story, my journey from darkness to light.

What inspires you lyrically and sonically?

Sonically, I am heavily influenced by R&B, jazz, and experimental music. Lyrically, i’m inspired by rhythmic writing, poetry, and metaphors. 

How did growing up in California influence your sound?

I grew up on a lot of rap and reggae, the latter being prominent in my childhood. A lot of beach music and doo wop was pretty frequent as well, and I think I take a lot of inspiration from the nature, ocean, and pace of life as well.

Jazz is a clear inspiration in your music and vocal delivery, what made you decide to take the elements of jazz and join them with pop?

I grew up listening to old school jazz and R&B, and to be honest nothing feeds my soul the way those genres do. They make me feel complete… like nothing else in the world matters when jazz exists. I am music and music is me. Its like my soul is comprised of a horn section, good bass lines, and kind words that rhyme. It was only natural it became a part of what I make.

Would you say that listeners have a preconceived notion of your music based on the viral success of ‘I AM WOMAN’?

I definitely think a lot of people think I am a tiktoker who made a song one time, or that my music is consistently feminist anthems. While my music will always be empowering, both of those notions are false. I am a multi faceted professional musician who’s worked a lifetime to get here. I think people will see that very soon.

Why did it feel right to release ‘Breakthrough’ first before anything else you’ve been working on?

Since it was the first “this is it” song I’d written since I Am Woman, about 6 months apart in time, it felt like it was only right for it to be next. I will say I’ve continued on to write things that are more evolved so it was hard at times to stick to that decision! 

How do ‘Breakthrough’ and ‘Silence’ prepare listeners for what’s to come on the Hello Stranger EP?

They set the stage and open the story for growth! They tear the hole for the light to shine through.

How did the music video for ‘Breakthrough’ come into fruition? What were some of the visual inspirations behind the loud and bright video? 

I worked at a golf course while I wrote ‘I AM WOMAN.’ A golf course in which many of the golfers would jest about my career choice and essentially tell me I’d never make it. It seemed only fitting to have my first big production music video to be set at the place that tested my strength, as I have made it out the other side. It’s an homage to that version of myself. 

What have the past two years since your viral success taught you?

Patience. Everything happens when it’s supposed to. Be kind to yourself always.

How has this upcoming EP allowed you to grow and change as an artist?

It gave me the outlet to get through a very difficult time in my life, and gave me a goal to work my life towards. It also gave me something to beat! AKA a high standard set for my music making to continue improving!

Follow Emmy Melli on Instagram

Words: Janita Purcell
Photography: Ashley Osborn