Joining us at EDM Charts is Emma Hewitt! As one of the best vocalists in the world, we catch up with this Armada all-star on her recent album release and other happenings! Take a few minutes to see what she has been up and what a day is like in her shoes!
Emma, thank you so much for taking time out of the hectic schedule to sit down and visit with EDM Charts! Take a moment to tell us some more about yourself, such as where you’re from, how you got involved with music and how you are where you are now.
Thank you so much for talking to me!!! Music has always been a big part of my life. I grew up listening to my Dad’s record collection from the 70’s, at a very young age I was heavily inspired by bands like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Pink Floyd. Then when I was at school all the bands from the nineties formed the memories of my early school years, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Garbage etc. This was when I realised music could really get inside your head and affect your life in such a profound way, as all the memories you have are formed around the music you are listening to at the time, I realised this is such a powerful thing, and I wanted to make more music to create memories to!
I sang different kinds of music over the years, rock, folk, pop, in cover bands with my brother and with the original songs we wrote. We spent our early twenties figuring out how to write songs and playing cover gigs around Melbourne and the town where we grew up in Geelong, Australia.
We travelled to London to work with writers and learn more, then we sold all we owned to move overseas and pursue things further. We had deals with labels over the years, some that fell through or some that happened but didn’t work out as we hoped. All the time and energy for us was spent on pushing forwards further into trying to get our music made and heard, and figuring out the right direction for that.
It turned out dance music was the right direction. It just took quite a few years and many twists and turns in the path to find it. Now it seems so natural I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
You recently released your new album “Burn The Sky Down”. What was it like producing a full length album? How did you come up with the concept?
The process of making a full album is a strange one, it is often the most exciting time where you see all your ideas come out of your head and form into tangible things, it can also be stressful and plagued with doubts at times too. It is very different to releasing single by single. It is difficult to know where to start when you are looking at creating 13 or so tracks and you are just starting with a blank canvas. Once the musicians start coming in and putting down their own ideas and the songs start taking shape it is very rewarding and enjoyable, and then there are times where you feel you have to fight and push the music to squeeze it into shape and make it sound the way you pictured in your head.
With this album we wanted to create something more conceptual that was like a journey through different moods. We decided early on there would have to be a dance album, of course we needed to create something up tempo that would work in clubs, but we realised that if we could achieve this through doing a remix album with different producers it created a space for us to also make an original album that would allow us to be a little darker, and to make some more down tempo or moody songs too. I loved the way that bands like Pink Floyd used to use segues, little half songs, to link one song to the next in places, so we wanted to include some of these too. The title “Burn The Sky Down” comes from the opening segue of the album.
Two of the songs from “Burn The Sky Down” made EDM Charts Top #5 Chart recently; “Colours” [Armin van Buuren Remix] made #1! Explain the magic specifically behind these two tracks and what it was like collaborating with Armin and Dash Berlin.
I was really blown away when I discovered Armin had done a remix of “Colours” I have been a huge fan and admirer or Armin’s work for a long time, so this was a real honour for me. I think Armin really took this song to a beautiful place, a very different place than the original, while still remaining true to the emotional intent of the song. I really hope to work with Armin again. (of course! 😉
It was wonderful to collaborate with Dash Berlin again, this time on a very different style of song. This cover of Radiohead’s “Spinning Plates” is a haunting song and we are all big Radiohead fans. I was very happy to work with Dash Berlin on something a little darker this time, seeing as we have released a few tracks in recent years it was nice to throw a spanner in the works and do something a little out of left field. We actually recorded this version in their studio together back when we worked on Disarm Yourself, I wasn’t sure the version would come out, but I am glad they decided to release it.
You’re widely considered in the EDM community as a top #3 vocalist. Describe why your vocal style separates you from others.
Well I guess it is difficult for me to describe my own style in comparison to others. I have never really focused on comparing myself to other singers as there are many talented vocalists out there and everyone is unique in their own way. I really just try to create songs that mean something to me, and to give the best representation of these songs that I possibly can. I try to put as much honesty into the songs as I can, and I just hope that they reach the people that might feel something when they hear them in the way I am constantly inspired by the work of others…
The EDM Charts crew was in Denver last year for Global Dance Festival 2011. What was it like perfroming at Red Rocks?
It was my absolute dream to perform at Red Rocks!! One of my favourite venues in the world by far. I had never been there before, but I had seen so many dvds of performances by bands that I loved there. I remember watching a Placebo concert that was held there and just wishing I could some day be at such a place.
There is something very spiritual and surreal about the setting. It was a full moon on the night too which made it even more so.
Right now you’re currently under Armada, widely considered the #1 dance music label. How did you get connected to this label and what are the advantages of working with a powerhouse?
Having released “Waiting” through Armarda with Dash Berlin i was able to see first hand the effort and love Armada put into the release. The way they support and market their artists is extremely forward thinking. They have an excitement about music and possibility within the company that I haven’t seen with traditional record labels, and they are really using the changes in the music industry to their advantage, while some of the older, more traditional models of how a record label should be are beginning to fall apart.
For me Armada was a very natural fit and the label I most definitely wanted to be with, so I was very happy that they wanted to work on the album with me. It was a very gradual evolution and Armada never tried to rush the album release allowing me full creative freedom to work with several producers until I hit on the concept and feel that really felt right to me…in my opinion, Armada are the most forward thinking label on the planet and deserve every ounce of credit they receive. I couldn’t be happier with the relationship and the way it is evolving.
EDM Charts staple is our Top #5 Weekly Chart. Like we ask all guests: What are your current Top #5 Songs?
Some new and some oldies that I have been playing in the last few days in no particular order…
- Over The Rainbow – Cosmic Gate feat J Something
- Suddenly Summer – Armin Van Buuren Feat Ana Criado
- Fever Ray – When I grow Up
- Nine Inch Nails – Hurt
- Shake It Out – Florence and The Machine
Where will you be touring this summer?
I am in the Philippines for Sensation White, then off to California this weekend, and Calgary in Canada again next weekend. After that it is a return to the scene of the crime in Las Vegas which is always great! I have lots of shows coming up in the U.S. Canada, Cyprus, Ibiza, Israel and more. For the full tour schedule check out my facebook page – facebook.com/emmahewittofficial
A fun question for you: What is on your rider?
Red Bull for those sleepless nights!!! And I always drink a neat whiskey before I go onstage…fro my voice! 😉
Tell fans where they can listen to and purchase your music. Also do you have anything else to tell your fans?
All music can be found on itunes or Beatport and the physical double cd is going to be released on July 27th and I’ll be posting more info about that on my facebook page very soon with a full list of all the remixers…I’m really excited to share this with everyone!! 🙂 I’m also on Spotify so people can subscribe and check all the songs out there too as well as my personal favourite tracks by other artists…
I would love to say a huge thanks and lots of love to anyone who has ever taken the time to listen to the music I make, or to come to a show. I only make music in the hope it will resonate with someone out there, this is the most I can hope for and my true inspiration, so I truly appreciate you listening…this is what makes it all worthwhile 🙂