Interview: Singer & Songwriter Emily Weisband Releases ‘New Salt’

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LOS ANGELES – Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Emily Weisband’s stellar track “New Salt” is being released on February 19th, 2021, via Apple Music, Spotify and deezer. Prior to stepping into the spotlight and writing her own story, Emily was renowned for writing songs for prominent artists BTS, Halsey Maddie, Sam Hunt, Keith Urban, Lady A and others.

Emily’s acoustic EP released in January, “Not Afraid to Say Goodbye (Stripped)”, features stunning stripped-back iterations of tracks off her fully orchestrated EP “Not Afraid to Say Goodbye”, highlighting her confessional lyrics, intimate instrumentation, and nuanced storytelling.

’New Salt’ by Emily Weisband Releases February 19th, 2021
Photo credit: Facebook @EmilyWeisbandMusic

She first stepped from behind the scenes and into the spotlight as an artist in 2019, making her debut with “Identity Crisis”. The EP earned praise from the likes of ELLE, BILLBOARD, NYLON, and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY for songs that played like diary confessions, but were somehow instantly relatable. But if that EP grappled with its title subject, “Not Afraid to Say Goodbye” takes a different track. The confidence she gained by hearing her work out in the world is palpable, using her nearly lifelong study of songwriting to transmit raw emotions that revel in shades of gray, while also maintaining empathy and a searing wit.

Jeff Doles of talked to rising star Emily Weisband in anticipation of the single release “New Salt.” You have successfully transitioned from being primarily a songwriter to becoming a performer in your own right. On a personal level, what has that process been like for you?

Emily Weisband: A total mind f-word. [laughs] I have terrible stage fright, there are videos of me as a kid belting out the ‘Beauty and The Beast’ theme song, facing the wall with my arms crossed, because it was the only way I could sing for people. In writing for other artists, I got to hide in a room and if people didn’t like the song, I could hide behind the artist I wrote it for. Now it’s just me. Whether people connect or don’t connect with my music, I have nothing to hide behind anymore. It’s my face, my experiences and my voice.

On a less creative and more practical note I was building a lot of momentum as a writer. I started on music row in Nashville as a little fish in a big pond and I was growing into a bigger, healthier fish. So when I started a new segment of my career as an artist I found myself back to being a little fish in a big pond again, and this time an even bigger, more intimidating pond.

If I’m being really honest it was a really uncomfortable blow to my ego, since I realized I had to start small and celebrate the little victories again. It’s a process I’m really grateful for though, and I’m growing more and more into who “Emily the Artist” is with every song I release. How would you characterize your single release ‘New Salt’?

Weisband: It’s my first release off of a new project I’ve been working on. Every project I put out has had an overall message and theme as a whole … so I’m excited to reveal the first piece of the new puzzle.

An ex called me a few years ago in the middle of the night and was just trying to get me all wrapped up again… it was so validating to hear the things he was saying to me, but when I got off the phone and snapped out of it, I was pissed. So I went home to Nashville, vented to my co-writers on Monday morning and “New Salt” was born.

I’d never been angry in a song before. I’ve been apathetic and I’ve been cold, but I’ve never confessed that I’m mad because it always felt dramatic and catty. I’m learning that being angry isn’t dramatic, it’s a part of being fully human. I explore the acceptance of that fact in this song, so I’m really pumped for everyone to hear it. I think that moment is a really relatable one.

’Not Afraid to Say Goodbye’ (Stripped)
Photo credit: Facebook @EmilyWeisbandMusic How does singing your own songs and lyrics compare to seeing someone else performing them?

Weisband: Seeing someone else sing my own song lyrics is wild. My dirty little secret is that I always loved it. I’ve often stood in a crowd at a concert and watched the people around me singing along to a song I wrote and thinking, ‘if only they knew that the girl standing next to them right now wrote this song.’

Singing my own songs and lyrics is a little less wild and little more intimate for me. You know how they say ‘puppies are at their most vulnerable when they’re sleeping?’ I’m a sleeping puppy when I’m on stage singing my own song. Does the writing process change for you when you are writing for yourself as opposed to writing for another artist?

Weisband: Definitely! I see songwriting as a service industry… I’m there to serve the artist by listening to them, asking them questions, being familiar with what they’re drawn to musically and ultimately helping them tell the truth through their own voice. So besides relating however I can to them, I’m not really focused on myself in those situations. There are also certain boundaries for different genres that you kind of have to play within when you’re writing for artists on the radio.

When I’m writing for me though, there are no rules. The song is about MY experience, told in MY voice, set to melodies that capital ‘I’ love. At that point I’m not serving another artist as much as I’m serving the people I know will be listening to this music when it is presented. It’s like being a painter and only being able to use the primary colors … and then someone hands you a key to the closet where they keep all the paint and tells you that you get to have at it. That’s really FUN!

GO TO PAGE TWO to get Emily Weisband’s perspective on BTS, and find out her surprising musical influences.

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