When did you first begin playing music?
I’m pretty sure that my first experience with music was long before I was ever capable of remembering such an experience. There are videotapes of me just jumping on stage when I was a toddler, and I would just start singing. I pretty much say that I started singing when I came out of the womb, and as soon as there was an instrument put in front of me, I was attempting to play it. Sometimes I still attempt to play instruments (laughs).
You just released two brand new videos for your songs “Time To Move On” and “Freakier Freak”. Can you explain the concepts behind these videos a more?
The funny thing was that we filmed “Freakier Freak” first. When we did “Time To Move On”, we wanted to do a prequel to kind of explain the events that occurred in “Freakier Freak.” I’ve always been a gamer, and I’ve always been a huge sci-fi fan, so I thought that it was time to incorporate that into the videos, which these videos show very well. My character in “Time To Move On” is moving on from a bad relationship. You know, you meet that special guy, and then there’s that bitch who has to drag him away from you. It’s just the normal shit that happens. Of course (in the video), you get into to bar fights, the intergalactic police beam you up and then they make you fight to get back what you wanted in the first place (laughs.) That kind of sums up both videos. It sounds pretty crazy now that I’m saying it like that (laughs).
I like that your music and your videos have a sci-fi vibe to it. Where did that inspiration come from?
I’ve grown up on science fiction my whole life. I would watch Star Trek: Next Generation with my dad. I’d watch Sy-Fy channel, Star Wars. My favorite book is Ender’s Game. I’ve read it about twenty times. I’ve read about every Star Wars book there is! That’s definitely where the inspiration comes from, and it’s definitely been an interesting journey trying to incorporate my love of sci-fi and video games into my music. Pop music and the sci-fi, comic book world don’t always immediately mix well (laughs). So in the beginning, there was some resistance, but luckily my team is as geeky as I am, so it worked out well (laughs).
Other than Ender’s Game, what other kinds of sci-fi novels and comic books have you taken an inspiration from?
There’s actually a series of books called Otherland by Tad Williams. It’s extremely long, but it’s such a good series of books. Marvel Comics was mostly what I grew up on, but I’ve also started to get into DC Comics as well. They’ve really been upping the ante on the movies. I have not seen Superman (Man of Steel) yet, so I’m basing a lot of this on Batman, but I’m really excited to see the movie!
In your opinion, what would you say separates you from any other artist out there today?
It’s funny, but I don’t know if I pay attention enough to really make that decision. I think that I just keep doing my thing. The whole “being true to yourself” aspect rings true. I used to get a lot of shit for being open about my love for comic books and sci-fi, and even martial arts! When I started pursuing music, I was told, “Don’t do martial arts. It’s not feminine enough, you need to concentrate on dance.” I thought that was a lot of bullshit, so I kept concentrating on martial arts, and I’m very glad that I did. It’s been a very important part of my life. I’m just me. I’m just Emii. That’s who I am. I don’t know the other pop-stars or singers well enough to know how different I am from them. It’s all good though. I just hope that people are nice (laughs).
What would you say is the typical songwriting process for you?
I would say that there is no typical songwriting process for me (laughs). I mean, you can start off in the studio, or with a track. You can even be at the top of the mountains with a song idea. Anything can trigger it. Sometimes it’ll start with a few lyric ideas, sometimes it will start with a feeling, sometimes it will start with a track, or “Crap, we need something amazing! What should we do?” The process is very sporadic, unexpected, and very interesting.
How would you say that the adversity you experienced growing up has helped you grown as a musician and artist today?
A lot of it helped me become more resilient to the bad parts of the industry. Like if someone wasn’t being nice, or I didn’t have money to do anything, or if I had to spend a month living on Ramen noodles. It didn’t affect me as much because I grew up developing a much thicker skin. I definitely wasn’t spoiled. My family also moved around a lot, so I became very accustomed to traveling as well. I learned to deal with unfortunate happenings at a young age. The whole starving artist “cliché” is true; it happens. I would say that you kind of pay your dues. I definitely feel like I’ve paid my dues (laughs). But you know, it’s a process, and I’d be happy to do it all over again.
I read that you have two science fiction movies that are set to be released this year. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
That was definitely the highlight of the dawn of 2013 for me. The first thing that happened was that we decided to do those two music videos for us with a sci-fi theme. Ultimately, it led to me auditioning for these films. Initially, it was like “okay, he’ll give me an extra role so we can cross-promote and have this little bit part”. I went to this audition, and I read the lines, and the director gets really quiet. I thought “Oh my god, I really screwed that up. He’s not saying anything, how embarrassing”. But then he had me do it again. Apparently, I didn’t suck that badly because he called me back and he said, “Listen, I want you for one of the lead female roles in the movie”. It was absolutely awesome. Filming is so much fun. It’s a lot of hard work, but I really enjoyed it a lot. I hope to be doing a lot more of that!
What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
I want them to be inspired. I want them to know that there’s always hope for better things. I know that we all get into bad spots, and sometimes it really drags us down. I want people to fight for better things, and work for what they deserve. I want people to find happiness, and be themselves.
What are your future plans right now?
The next song that I’ll be releasing is a duet with Chris Willis. He is most well known for working with the Black Eyed Peas on a few songs. The song is called “Somebody Like You”. We’re going to be doing a music video for it, and we might be doing an additional song. There’s just so much going on! I’ll be at Comic-Con in San Diego, and it’s going to be huge. I can’t wait to unveil the costumes for it and the concept. I’m working on a comic book, and all sorts of stuff. There’s definitely going to be tour dates as well! They’re working on it right now, at Emii.net. We’ll post updates there and all of the social media sites. I always respond as well, it just might take me a little while!
You can keep up to date on all of the latest music and news from Emii on Facebook (www.facebook.com/musicbyemii) and Twitter (@emiimusic)!