If you are unlucky enough to be unfamiliar with Emmy The Great, or Emma Lee Moss's music then boy are you in for a treat. With her second album 'Virtue' out earlier this year and being described as 'accomplished', 'breathtakingly intimate' and 'finely crafted', Emmy The Great, or Emma Lee Moss, has certainly bounced back from 'First Love' with a vengeance. With beautifully brave songs and intensely poetic lyrics it's not one to disappoint. I caught up with Emma to talk growing up in Hong Kong, inspiration and writing on the back of cereal packets...
Where did the name 'Emmy The Great' stem from?
It came from a University project. I made a demo for it, and used one of the names we'd been playing around with at our University gig nights, not thinking it would go anywhere. The demo got around the Internet and here I am.
You grew up in both Hong Kong and in the U.K, how do you think growing up in these places has inspired your music?
I have an American cultural background, because I grew up in Hong Kong with American TV, American bands etc. My entire upbringing was built on MTV, Nirvana and Seventeen magazine. Because I spent happy summers in England, I was always in love with the idea of the perfect English scene - like a William Blake, Jerusalem type thing - but when I went to execute that in my first album, I still had this strong, semi-ironic foundation that I'd learned from US slacker rock of the 90's.
When and why did you start playing music, what inspired you to begin?
I got involved in the music world when i was at school, through my best friend whose dad was in it, and then through guys that I met while hanging around. When I hit 18, I decided that I didn't want to be one of the people who hung around, I wanted to make the actual music.
Which artists would you say inspire your music most?
Over the years I'd say Suzanne Vega, The Shangri-Las, Nick Cave, Diane Cluck.
Apart from other artists and music, where else do you gather inspiration from?
Photographs and loose concepts that I've written down in my notebook. I get a lot of headspace to come up with stuff when I'm either driving or running.
Both First Love and Virtue are both somewhat personal albums, how did your engagement and following break up affect the writing of Virtue?
It just happened that I was writing an album over this incredibly curious period, and if I didn't address that in the songs, it would have been a wasted opportunity to deal with and make a record of my experience. It's so strange because a lot of things came out in the songs which I didn't even know I was feeling, and I sometimes felt like my subconscious was sending me messages. It was an effective form of therapy as much as anything else.
What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't making music?
Writing stuff. Maybe the back of cereal packets. Something like 'We at Good Honest Cereals believe that fresh air is the key to all health, and cereal. Smile! Win a bike!;
What can we expect to see in the future of Emmy The Great?
Christmas album. Christmas 2011. Mayan Apocalypse. Christmas 2012.
'Virtue' is available now to buy, as well as tickets for her upcoming U.K tour here.
I’ve always been interested in clothes, whether it be dressing up as a Princess in extravagant gowns as a baby or braving luminous jeans as a teen, my huge love for fashion has always been evident. Saying this, my huge love for fashion properly emerged when I was about 13 years old. I adored seeing such stylish celebrities such as Sienna Miller in her ‘boho’ phase, and remember falling head over heels in love with Matthew Williamson’s rainbow dress, so much so that I began designing my own clothes and making endless scrapbooks showcasing my inspiration and love for these gorgeous new creations embellished on every magazine page. Year after year, I find myself scouring Look for post-show coverage, making wish lists and folding pages of my favourite fashion weekly, in order to have those shoes and that dress, to make for a perfect seasonal wardrobe. Since then I have only become more interested in the industry. Working in one of the UK’s biggest high street shops, completing work experience at one of my favourite magazines and aspiring to complete an English degree in the coming years, not only has my love for fashion grown but my love for writing too.
As well as having a love for fashion, I try to exhibit my love for music, cooking and beauty on my blog, which I hope reaches out to a wide audience of readers, similar to that of Look magazine. I like to think I have an eye for style as well as well as fashion, and, being a perfectionist have a great eye for detail, so you can guarantee those details won’t be forgotten when writing up my experience at the Look show.
I always find it incredibly hard singing my own praises, especially when it comes to why I should win something. However, what I do know is how much heart I put into my little blog, and how far I go to aspire for engaging content that I myself would enjoy reading. I try to bring my followers something they haven’t seen before and if that means interviewing Mark Ronson or Cherry Healey than I will go out of my way to do so. My blog is my pride and joy and I hope that by potentially being one of Looks Fashion week bloggers I could help to capture the event in all its beauty, through my love of writing and photography and channel that through to the readers of your magazine. Ever since dedicating a great deal of time to my blog, I have become far more confident with my sense of style and have gained a wider spectrum of the fashion industry, and a huge interest for personal style as well as fashion. Since writing I have gained a series of loyal followers and been lucky enough to meet some incredibly talented people, something I feel completely honoured to have been given the opportunity to have, and only strive towards more success for my growing blog.
I’m a confident, hardworking and driven blogger, who takes pride in her writing just as much as her dress sense, and could honestly think of nothing more rewarding and deserved than blogging from the front row at the Look show at LFW. I know, for certain that fashion and writing are things I want to commit myself to and drive towards a career in in the future, and by choosing me as one of the lucky five winners would be more than a dream come true, but a key to my future and the opportunity of a lifetime.