Content creator, singer/songwriter, author; our newest MISSBISH Emma Blackery pretty much rocks in each of these categories. She recently released her single "Agenda" which is about self-love, jealousy and comparing oneself to others, is a YouTuber and lastly, she wrote a book about living a happier life which became a bestseller! We spoke with Emma about how she got started vlogging, her writing process and much more...
Could you please give us a little backstory. How did you get started creating music?
I started writing songs when I was about twelve or thirteen. I couldn’t play any instruments, so really, the songs were more like poems, but even back then, I could hear entirely finished songs in my head. My dad bought me a guitar when I was thirteen and I taught myself some basic chords, and I’ve been creating ever since. I was in various local bands in my late teens until I made the decision to go solo in 2012. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t wanted to create music.
Writer’s block is inevitable. What do you do when you get a bad case of it?
My methods of coping change all of the time, ranging from going for a walk in a brand new environment to writing down every single word that comes into my head in a notebook. However, my current method is to “listen to Björk,” so I’m not sure how my future music will sound!
How would you describe your sound and voice?
I don’t know. I let others describe it for me. I’ve always tried to be modest about my voice and the music I create. While I love the music I’ve been making recently, the entire magic of music is that it’s interpreted by every individual that hears it. How I would describe it would be entirely different to how someone else would describe it, so I try hard not to force one biased opinion out there into the world.
“Agenda” is your latest single. What was the inspiration behind this track and how long did you take to complete it?
Agenda is about self-love in the face of jealousy and self-comparison. It can be so easy to look at your successful friends and think, “Why do people love them so much? What do they have that I don’t?” And it can become very toxic and destroy the relationship you have with them. It is better to say, “You know what? I’m great the way that I am.” It took me a long time to learn that. I started writing the song in September 2017, and it was fully finished in the studio by early February 2018.
Do you follow a specific formula when you write?
No, absolutely not. Some songs start off as mumbles into my voice recorder on my phone, some start as a few stabs on the piano before evolving into something months down the line, others just appear within a few minutes. It’s hard to say to anyone, “this is how you write!” when inspiration can strike different people at very different times. I would say the only formula is to believe in what you’re making.
You currently have three YouTube channels, Emma Blackery being your main one. What sparked your interest in vlogging?
Back in 2012, I was a waitress for a department store café. I would come home, stressed, exhausted, and one day I stumbled across people talking to their cameras. It became a hobby to just come home and binge YouTube videos by other vloggers every single night. When you fall in love with something, there’s always the temptation to try it for yourself. I bought a camera on my credit card thinking I would never be able to pay it off. I’m still making videos six years later.
So you’re pretty much a Jane-of-all-trades. On top of being a singer/songwriter and an avid YouTuber; you’re also an author. Feel Good 101: The Outsiders’ Guide to a Happier Life made it as a best seller. Where did the idea for this book come from?
In 2013, I started an advice video series on YouTube called Feel Good 101. I felt as though I could reach younger people going through struggles by giving honest, realistic advice from my own experiences. Shortly after I began the series, a lot of YouTube personalities were offered opportunities to write books, and I immediately shut the idea down. I didn’t want to write a book simply because I had a platform to sell one. I didn’t want to just make a publisher lots of money. I turned down several deals over the course of three years, but it wasn’t until the book hype began to die down that I realized just what an impact those advice videos had on people, and how a book could help even further. I began to publicly vocalize the idea of possibly writing one, and I met a publisher that was extremely keen to work with me - not because I could be a quick cash cow, but because they believed it could help others too.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
I’ve been the hugest fan of the band Placebo since I was around seventeen years old, and a few years back I was given the opportunity to talk to the band personally. I asked Brian Molko for advice as a singer-songwriter starting out. He literally said, “Do what makes you wet.” Make the music that you love, believe in your work - that is what it means to exist to me now.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
A woman who fearlessly and boldly stands by her work. Someone who isn’t afraid to create whatever makes them happy, in order to inspire others to do the same, in spite of any criticism she will encounter by doing so.
Who is your MISSBISH?
Hayley Williams, Taylor Swift, and Björk - all three women have received so much critique for being so bold and daring in the public eye, and so many others would have buckled under the pressure and thrown in the towel. These women inspire me to keep going in the face of anything that’s thrown at me.