We recently had a chance to get to know Emmy Bachmann, an Ohio native who moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. Her debut EP Stranger has been charting well and making some noise on many of the charts, including ReverbNation.
Sean Elliot: How did you get started with music? Who or what initially put those instruments in your hands?
Emmy Bachmann: My life has revolved around music ever since I could remember. As a kid, I was that girl who put together neighborhood show choirs and wrote songs on the back of all my homework assignments. I remember asking my entire 7th grade class to sign a petition to stop the school from canceling the annual talent show. The night before the show my guitar player backed out so I grabbed my dads old Martin and stayed up all night teaching myself how to play. I haven’t been able to put it down since.Singing on that stage, guitar in hand was a significant moment for me because it was the moment I realized that music wasn’t just a childhood hobby for me. It was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Sean Elliot: Have you always been a singer, or did you find that you developed into a singer after learning to play the piano and guitar?
Emmy Bachmann: It all started with singing. I went to a performing arts school and learned music theory and all the basic vocal techniques. Then I took a few piano lessons and taught myself guitar mainly to accompany my voice and I also picked up the violin and ukulele. One day, I got tired of singing and playing the same sheet music so I started switching up the notes and writing my own songs.
Sean Elliot: What’s your hometown like? And how was it transitioning from Stow to Nashville?
Emmy Bachmann: It was definitely a big change for me. In my hometown, dreaming of being a musician is unheard of. When I moved to Nashville it seemed like everyone I met had some connection to the industry. Stow, Ohio is one of those towns that everyone can’t wait to get out of but the life I built there inspired my music and I go back and visit every chance I get.
Sean Elliot: Why Nashville?
Emmy Bachmann: I recorded and released “Stranger” here and I’m constantly surrounded by music. I needed a fresh start and I was ready to take my music to the next level so what better place than Nashville, Tennessee?
Sean Elliot: In your video for “Stranger”, there is a lot of imagery based around fire and gambling — were these ideas from you or your director, and how do they tie into “Stranger”?
Emmy Bachmann: My director (Fairlight Hubbard) and I talked and bounced ideas back and forth about “Stranger” months before we actually filmed the video. I wanted it to be symbolic. The flames represent burning the past and finding strength and power in letting go of someone who wasn’t good for me. I’ve realized that many of the songs I write are inspired by the element of fire. The gambling and king of hearts imagery was included in the video to show that cheating and lying is a risky game that rarely ends well for anyone involved.
Sean Elliot: You list a lot of artists that you feel your music is similar to (Lana del Rey, Adele, Alanis) but who are the artists that inspire you? Who did you listen to growing up?
Emmy Bachmann: I don’t want all of my songs to sound the same so I draw inspiration from several artists of different genres. Listening to country music has inspired me to add more specific detail into my lyrics and Christina Perry and Kelly Clarkson’s haunting melodies inspired the depth and darkness you’ll hear in my songs. I was only exposed to christian music as a kid and I find myself still pulling inspiration from Michael W. Smith and Toby Mac’s music even though listening to top 40 radio stations has made my music fit into the “pop” genre.
Sean Elliot: What has been your impression of the music industry so far? Is making music professionally how you imagined it would be?
Emmy Bachmann: It’s a roller coaster but I love the ups and downs. The music industry is always changing. There isn’t an exact science or a right path that leads to stable success or “making it.” It’s nothing like I imagined but totally worth it because after all the rejection and competition, I’m still making music everyday and I don’t love it any less just because it’s become more challenging.
Sean Elliot: With the success of your Stranger EP, what are your next steps? Are you planning on staying in the Nashville scene?
Emmy Bachmann: I’m kind of just going with the flow right now and following the music and opportunities as they come up. I’m performing a bit and writing a lot! I’m recording more songs and another music video soon and I’m hoping to travel and tour more in 2015 but Nashville is home for now.
Sean Eliot: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us!
Emmy Bachman: Thank you, too!