Where are you currently based?
I am currently based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia, but I have Russian/Polish/Jewish roots.
How did you first start playing music?
I was lucky enough to come from an extremely musical family, my mother studied music in the Russian Conservatory of Music, and I grew up surrounded by a music school. My first piano lesson was when I was three – and I now teach piano myself, and I was apparently singing and making up little songs from the moment I could speak!
How has your COVID experience been?
My days have mostly been filled with online teaching, cooking new plant-based recipes, online doing emails, marketing and PR or composing new music! There has been a small positive amongst the the trying COVID time, I’ve had time to slow down a bit. Before I was doing 2 – 5 gigs a week, amongst teaching and managing multiple music businesses, so I’ve been appreciating the slower pace recently.
What’s been happening recently?
This is a very trying time for everyone around the world, and I’m very lucky to have a secure day job as a music teacher and a studio space I can lose myself in writing and producing new music. Along with this new release, there are a few already on the back-burner ready to be released soon as well.
You’ve just released your new single ‘Woman With Needs’ what influenced the sound and songwriting?
I would say the largest influence for this track’s sound was going for that ‘old-school soul’ sound that I adore, in particular Etta James and Aretha Franklin. My songwriting is in a constant state of change, recently I’ve been writing more nostalgic soul music, since that’s the music that really speaks to me and is infectious to sing.
Where and when did you record/produce and who with?
This track, alongside a catalogue of yet-to-be-released music, has been through a mix of production engineers and locations from the start of this year! Primarily I worked on this track with long-time colleagues and friends in the local music community, ‘Woman With Needs’ was recorded with producer Jake Amy (of Attaboi magazine) and mixed by Toby Peterson-Stewart (of The Omnific) who are just incredible at what they do.
How was it making the music video during COVID?
Making the music video for ‘Woman With Needs’ during COVID was definitely a challenge. I ended up giving up any hope in filming and creating it with a seperate director and film crew, and ended up conceptualising, filming and editing the whole thing myself. Many hours were put into putting together a story board, repositioning the camera, doing my own set design, getting the lighting right, editing, and basically trying to figure out how I could create something that looked semi-professional by myself in my home setting.
What is it like being a female creator in a male dominated industry?
Recently it feels like the balance of female creators in lineups, conversations and creations have been levelling out, slowly. We’re seeing more womxn and non-binary creators getting important recognition and celebration for their work, which is wonderful to see. It’s still hard sometimes to feel like your voice is being heard in this male-dominated environment, but I’ve luckily worked very hard to get the respect from my male peers in this industry, and nowadays don’t tolerate any oppressive behaviour. Right now we’re stepping into the right side of history, and I love feeling more empowered and comfortable being a female creator.
You’ve rebranded from Emilia to Miss Emilia, how and why did this come about?
It didn’t come to my attention before I started my journey as ‘Emilia’, that there were many, many Emilia’s releasing music in the world – you really couldn’t find me! Miss Emilia felt more powerful, more of a statement and entity, and with the re-brand I wanted to have a fresh start and release music that was important to me, and spoke of topics that would uplift and empower. I needed a change to be seen, and heard as the artist I am.
What direction are you taking your music with this single and future music?
The music that I will release from here on out will be music that is true to me. True to my roots and upbringing, true to my story and experience, true to the person that I strive to be. My music is music for the soul, feel good, and powerful.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m so, so lucky to be surrounded by incredible local musicians that are churning out incredible music. I’m all about that local sound! There are too many fantastic artists at the moment to even list, so I’d say check out one of my favourite ‘home’ venues The Night Cat, who have been putting a spotlight in their spotify playlists of local music coming out of Melb. Anything with a good groove and a good feel I’m all about.
What do you like to do away from music?
Music is my central passion, work and love of my life; but outside of it and especially during COVID I love to experiment with vintage fashion looks and taken an interest in sustainable beauty, cook plant-based food, experiment with graphic design, self-timed photoshoots and visual art creation. I also love lying outside in the garden in the sunshine with my big lassie dog Chester and growing my ever-expanding plant and local handmade art collection.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?
Who knows what this year will bring really, when restrictions will be lifted, and what that even means for now is quite blurry. I’m just trying to focus on the now, taking care of myself and checking in with loved ones, trying out new creations and honing into my values and trying to shape and grow into the person I want to be. I hope to have the privilege, space and time to release more music, that speaks to me and can maybe speak and bring joy to others.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I’d have to say I’m a sucker for pasta and potatoes, anything that involves those two food groups, I’m happy! I’ve also, pre-covid, and as much as possible nowadays, been trying to make or find the perfect plant-based burger, or any plant-based soul food really! Right now, my favourite place to hang out is in the sunshine in my garden, or in my reading chair by the window in my room.