Meet EMM — an indie pop artist with a unique voice in the music industry, whose journey from a small town to major streaming success is as inspiring as her music. Her ability to write, produce, and master almost all the music she makes  sets her apart, making her 2016 album "Burning in the Dark" a testament to her talent and independence. Explore her story below and discover why she's not just another artist, but a trailblazer for the DIY music movement.

Let’s start at the beginning

EMM's musical journey began in the small town of Traverse City, Michigan, where she was born into a family of full-time musicians. This meant that melody and harmony were her playmates from the very beginning. EMM was immersed in music from an early age, beginning piano lessons at the tender age of five. Her innate passion for music soon became apparent as she began composing her own songs. By the age of eight, EMM had already formed a girl group and was determined that music would be her lifelong career. Autism shaped her focus, making music not just an interest but a deep passion, leading her to explore songwriting and production more seriously in the years that followed.

"It was just really natural for me to create my own melodies and lyrics, it wasn't really a choice."

Her journey reflects a blend of natural talent, nurtured skill, and a relentless pursuit of artistic independence, marking her beginnings as the foundation of a promising and enduring career.

"It was just how my brain worked from when I was extremely small," EMM recalls, highlighting her intrinsic pull towards music creation.

Moving on to bigger things

The leap from a small Michigan town to the crazy industry scene of New York City marked a pivotal chapter in her journey, catalyzed by an accidental discovery by an industry executive. 

EMM fondly remembers the mix of disbelief and excitement: "I couldn't believe my music was going to break out of my small town. Suddenly, I was planning my move to New York." 

This serendipitous encounter led to a mentorship that refined her skills and allowed her to produce her debut mixtape, "Burning In The Dark," entirely on her own—a testament to her self-reliance and classical training. However, her journey has not been without its tribulations. Navigating through several restrictive deals, EMM emerged with a stronger sense of identity, fueled by the realization that financial independence was crucial for artistic autonomy. 

"I'm proud of my successful business because I'm able to hire hundreds of people every year to help create art."


This epiphany led her to secure brand deals, which not only funded her music projects but also allowed her to venture into film and visual storytelling, expanding her creative expression and giving her creative freedom. The creation of mixtapes such as EMERALD, RUBY, and SAPPHIRE, alongside "The Trilogy" film, underscore her narrative depth and artistic versatility. With over 100,000,000 independent streams, EMM has created a universe fueled by her unique vision and relentless drive. Her journey from a small-town musical prodigy to an independent powerhouse employing hundreds of people to create art, should serve as a guiding light for artists navigating their way through the music industry. 

"To every artist out there, remember that your unique voice is your strength. Don't let the industry mold you; mold the industry around you," she advises, encapsulating her journey's essence and encouraging others to pursue their authenticity.

Against the grain or: being a woman in an industry dominated by men

Emm learned the hard way that being a woman in the music industry is fraught with significant challenges, ranging from systemic bias to outright abuse. Many women, regardless of their role - whether behind the scenes as musicians, studio owners or dancers, or in the spotlight as performers - have faced assault and harassment. The pervasive problem is compounded by a power dynamic that often makes women afraid to speak out against men in positions of power on whom their careers may depend.


"No, you don't get to decide who I am. I tell you that. You work for me."


EMM encountered challenges that tested her resolve. "One moment that stands out," EMM shares, "was when I realized I wasn't just fighting to be heard musically but also fighting to be seen as an equal." The "You work for me" quote exemplifies a pivotal confrontation where EMM reclaimed her power, detailing the circumstances and her feelings of empowerment following the encounter.

The industry's skewed gender representation in roles such as songwriting, production, and executive positions further illustrates the uphill battle women face, with notable underrepresentation in areas critical to music creation and distribution. Despite the presence of successful female artists, the industry's structural biases and decision-making processes still heavily favor men, reinforcing a culture in which the male gaze dominates and female contributions are undervalued.

This environment is not only challenging for straight, white women but is exponentially more difficult for those who identify as queer, trans, or come from racial and ethnic minorities. These intersecting identities can amplify the discrimination and obstacles faced, making the music industry a complex landscape of power dynamics where women must navigate a myriad of challenges to succeed. 

Navigating through the trials and achieving remarkable milestones, EMM’s journey in the music industry underscores her resilience and pioneering spirit, setting a new standard for what women can achieve in traditionally male-dominated spaces.


Her sound: redefined

EMM's sound reflects her unique journey of self-discovery and experimentation within the music industry. In her own words, 2024 is set to be a year where she unveils a sonic identity that is unmistakably hers. Distancing herself from the conventional paths trodden by many in the industry, EMM sought not just to create music but to forge a distinct auditory signature that couldn't be replicated or attributed to any other artist. Her approach to music is deeply personal and rooted in the desire to be irreplaceable, to produce work that resonates with authenticity and cannot be easily passed from one pop star to the next by industry heavyweights.

Faced with the inherent challenges of not fitting neatly into predefined playlists or genres, EMM views her unique sound as both a hurdle and an asset. It's this very individuality that she believes will pave the way for new artistic expressions within the music scene. Through extensive experimentation on her early mixtapes and singles, she embarked on a creative odyssey to redefine what it means to have a "sound" in today's music world.

EMM's quest for a unique sound led her to blend genres and narratives in ways unheard before. "Songs like 'Delilah' and 'Superfreak' represent milestones in my journey towards a sound that's unequivocally mine," EMM explains. She describes the creative process behind these tracks, offering listeners a behind-the-scenes look at her artistic evolution.

At its core, EMM's sound is an exploration of her multifaceted skills as a writer, producer, and musician, characterized by a willingness to traverse uncharted territories. Her live performances elevate this experience, showcasing high-quality production with a team of talented dancers as EMM seamlessly plays four instruments and sings across four octaves. This unparalleled showmanship sets her apart, blending her dynamic range and instrumental versatility with visually captivating elements that redefine the live music experience. Her journey reflects a commitment to authenticity and innovation, with the goal of inspiring others to find their unique voice in an industry saturated with conformity.

​​EMM is proud of her upcoming album, which she considers her best work to date and a significant milestone in her journey to discover a unique sound that she feels is all her own. She holds a special place in her heart for "Burning In The Dark," an album that was produced entirely on her own under financial constraints, which also allowed her to openly express her vulnerability. EMM also cherishes the conceptual and visual universe she created around her mixtapes—EMERALD, RUBY, and SAPPHIRE. Among her current releases, she highlights "Delilah" as a standout track from her forthcoming album and praises "Superfreak" for its innovative blend of Phonk and Commercial Pop, underscoring her excitement for what's next in her musical exploration.

In reflecting on her remarkable journey, EMM shares a piece of wisdom that has been a guiding light in her career, one that could illuminate the path for many aspiring artists. "The industry might try to box you in, label you, or tell you who you should be. But at the end of the day, the most powerful thing you can do is remain unapologetically yourself. That's where your true power lies."

Wrapping up

EMM's music, which embodies her unique narrative and sonic identity, serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists everywhere.

For those inspired by EMM's journey and looking to make their own mark, entering the "Delilah" remix contest provides a fantastic platform.

Let EMM's story inspire you, in her own words, "Forge your own path, stay true to your art, and let no one dim the light that makes you, you." And remember, in the journey of artistry and self-expression, the most compelling story you can tell is your own.

And if you want to hear more of EMM’s work, you can check it out on her Spotify.