Emily Hackett, Nashville singer/songwriter recently released her new album By the Sun and answered some questions about the blended country pop album you’re surely hearing about at CMT. With honest lyrics and staying true to herself Emily is carving out a spot for herself among who’s who in Nashville music.
1.Which song from By the Sun is your personal favorite?
It’s so hard to choose, but I would probably say “Josie,” is my favorite because of the message. Sometimes you write a song and sometimes a song comes through you before you even know it’s happening. I was just a vessel for this song and what it’s saying to young people, especially young women, who are always the first to put their heart on the line in order to be accepted. I want “Josie” to have wings and be able to tell them all that they alone, are enough. Not to mention, it’s very fun to play live.
2. Were there any other album titles you considered for the EP? And why did By the Sun make the cut over the others?
So, the funny thing is, we finished an entire full-length record before I decided to release it as two pieces, and I did consider calling the album “Nostalgia,” because most of these songs are from moments in my first few years in Nashville–growing up, going through breakups and learning a lot about myself. But then ultimately, that meant it made the most sense to make my debut record a self-titled. As much as every artist wants to release their first full-length as a piece of art they’ve made, I wanted to expose the music in a way most people are consuming it these days, without jeopardizing the art. So this fist half of my self-titled record is the me you’d meet on the street–authentic, a little sarcastic, not hiding anything. Aka, Emily Hackett By The Sun.
3.I read you broke through the music scene singing Lorde covers, why did you choose Lorde?
That’s funny–it was just the one Lorde song, “Royals” that a friend of mine, Megan Davies, and I decided to do a cover video for on her Youtube page, which is now crazy popular. It just started as something fun to do. I’d never done a cover video before but I had heard “Royals” on Nashville’s local station Lightning 100 (shoutout, cause I love them!) way before it became the hit that we all know now, and I was like, “This song is special…” I could just feel it. So I convinced Megan to do it with me and next thing we knew, the Youtube video was taking off as the single began to blow up, ending up on Buzzfeed and Sirius XM and all kinds of crazy stuff. It was fun!
4. “Josie” is an interesting song, with notes of protectiveness and words of advice, it made me think of a letter to one’s younger self. Can you tell me about the inspiration behind this song?
Josie started as an idea for my younger cousin, who was 13 at the time. She was going through a hard time in school, being accepted, over-compensating for that, and I couldn’t help but empathize cause we have all been there. It’s so hard to remain true to yourself in those teenage years where you are trying to get a grasp on what seems like life or death in that moment vs. what’s actually going to influence you and the rest of your life. I have let my morals take the backseat on occasion and I did when I was her age too, and I never liked learning the hard way. So this was my letter to her, to my younger self, to girls (and guys for that matter) everywhere.
5. “Good Intentions” is a fun and easy to relate to song, life can certainly get in the way of what we would like to accomplish and that can be hard to deal with especially in a creative field. How do you, as an artist stay motivated and ensure you are reaching your goals and pushing yourself toward the next step in your career?
I make my own schedule, for the most part, which is an additional challenge on staying on top of what’s on your plate and time management is a huge element in keeping the stress maintained so you can enjoy the process of growth and achieving goals. I think it’s easy to stay motivated when you are surrounded by so many amazing artists, songwriters and musicians in this town, as well as the volume of talented people all over the world via the internet. I think the harder part is avoiding that comparison and telling yourself you’re not cut out for it, or the jealousy factor, so that your dreams remain your own and not someone else’s. That’s where you can get sidetracked.
6. “Waitress” speaks volumes to the struggling artist day job we all know too well. What is the hardest job you have ever had to do outside of making music?
I’ve definitely worked my fair share of hospitality jobs, and to be honest, have mostly enjoyed that process. You learn a lot about people and it’s always healthy to keep making friends in your life that don’t revolve around your career. The most difficult job for me though was when I first graduated college and took a job in PR for an Amy Grant release. She was a dream to work with, don’t get me wrong! Amazing influence, and I learned a lot from that job in general, but ultimately it was difficult because every time I watched her doing interviews and talking about the music she was writing, all I could think was, “I want to do that. I want to be on that side of the camera.”
7. If you could collaborate with any living artist from a completely different genre, who would it be?
I was just debating this the other day. It’s so hard to choose! I had so many influences outside of country, but I think I would die happy if I ever got to write or sing with Robert Plant.
8. What is next for you now that By the Sun has been released?
More music! I have a whole other batch of songs to mirror this one and a band that’s ready to come play your town. Hoping to see more of the U.S. than I ever have in 2019.
By the Sun is available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play and Streaming at Apple Music and Spotify.
photo Courtesy of Lindsay Grace Whiddon
Photojournalist – Jessi McKee