This interview took place in early February, and it had snowed over the weekend. There was still ice on the sidewalk leading up to my house. I heard a knock on the door and there was Emily West—glowing, holding a pair of sexy high heeled boots…she was barefoot.
It was love at first sight.
I knew that Emily’s personality (and her reputation for being witty, personable and slightly off-color in the most charming way) would make for a really fun interview. So, my hope was to capture her on tape and use some of the audio in our pilot podcast (which is currently in production.)
Now, being a singer and not an audio engineer, I’m not sure how usable the audio turned out. Gasp! Tears! But I *think* we will be able to make some of it work. If not, I promise to transcribe it and offer it up for you here on the blog, but it’s still my hope that we can bring the majority of it to you in audio form.
With that in mind, I wanted to offer you a little tease of my time with Emily, who may just be the most quotable woman I know. We covered everything from her time at Capitol Nashville to the fascinating story of her journey to America’s Got Talent. Everything about her is alive and vibrant: her singing, her humor, her perspective.
So I bring you: THE QUOTABLE EMILY.
On authenticity, and being yourself:
When I start to try and please people, that’s the worst person I am….The best thing for me to do is be completely who I am, and unapologetic.
On being promoted to country radio:
I could sense a fear with “female” and “radio,” so I tried to become a man at radio. I would be the loudest, most crude person at the dinner table…I was trying so hard to out-man them.
On picking a lane. I asked Emily about the “curse” of being good at so many musical styles:
My mom, just last week she said, “Emily, all you gotta do is be yourself.’” And I go, “Yes, but which one?”
On leaving the country music scene:
I got out of country because I couldn’t write about tight jeans, beer, and cancer.
-On playing different characters in her songs, she quotes something that her frequent collaborator KS Rhoads once said to her:
“What would Billie Holiday do?”
The song KS Rhoads was referring to is one called “Fallen.” Watch the video here:
On what podcasts she listens to:
I was taking too many selfies and didn’t have any more room so had to delete “NPR.”
On the decision to go on America’s Got Talent:
I was desperate. I was living in New York and I had no sandwich money at all….I made a choice to say ‘yes’ to something I was terrified of.
Here is the famous performance Emily did of Sia’s ‘Chandelier” which propelled her journey to the 2nd place spot of America’s Got Talent in 2015:
General advice for life:
Follow your heart, don’t eat bread.
Need more Emily in your life?
Visit her website. Subscribe to her Youtube channel.