In the modern-day Vocal Trance scene, Emma Hewitt reigns supreme. The immensely-talented Australian songstress has worked with some of the most prolific and prominent DJs in Trance music. Some of the names who have collaborated with her include Markus Schulz, Aly & Fila, Andrew Rayel, and Cosmic Gate.
So grandiose is her voice that Emma Hewitt adds significantly more emotion, feeling, and power to any Vocal Trance melody. Unsurprisingly, this innate talent is something fans have come to love and appreciate from her music. I had the pleasure asking Emma Hewitt a mixed bag of questions, and below is the Vocal Trance queen’s exclusive interview with OneEDM.
Hasan Singh: First off Emma, thank you for taking the time to answer a couple of questions for us at OneEDM. It’s a great opportunity for our followers to get to know you better as an artist, and for us to spread the word about your wonderful music.
Emma Hewitt: Thanks so much for chatting with me; most appreciated!
The hot topic for us is your Elysian project which features Ilan Bluestone and Maor Levi. How did this come about?
Ilan and I had been talking about working on something together for some time. Last year after we both performed at Untold Festival in Romania, I traveled to London to lock in some writing time with Ilan. We had already started work on the song “Hypnotized” via correspondence, so initially we just planned to finish this. However, once we got in the studio we just had an incredible working chemistry. We managed to write another 3 to 4 songs over 3 days.
The ideas were just really flowing, and you don’t find that too often with collaborators. It felt like we were on to something special. Then, Ilan brought Maor in to work on one of the tracks, which complemented what we were doing already. After that, we just knew we had to create an ongoing project together. There was a really special blend with all three of us bringing something unique to the table.
All three of us have felt a strong need for some music with real spirit and soul coming through. This made us approach our own roles with a different perspective. Importantly, we want to try and create the music that we would put on in our own cars or houses. Furthermore, something that can hopefully blur the lines on genres a bit.
Who are some of your influences?
Personally, I have always been a huge fan of singers/writers such as Kate Bush and Tori Amos. M83 is another great influence of me – the way they build soundscapes is incredible. Lately, I have been listening to a lot of RYX, Talos, Oceanlab, and Olafur Arnolds. Even a bit of old school Chicane.
What motivates you as an artist?
The desire to create. To share stories. To realize all of these ideas that you hear in your head and make them a reality. Then, to release them into the world and see where they land, and who, if anyone, is affected by them. Making songs is like creating children that you send off into the world to spread their own wings; it’s so interesting to see where they go. The main desire with creating music is, I think, the need to connect to other people out there. To relate through music to our shared experiences.
What helps you stay focused on your work?
A good idea or a sense of purpose. If I have inspiration, I can’t stop writing and working. It drives me. Sometimes, I go through these phases and I’m full of ideas. Other times, I need to take some time out and kind of gather the inspiration to start again. It’s like an energetic give and take kind of thing. Touring does take some energy, but I think in general most people can’t be creative all of the time. It’s like it comes in waves, and you have to catch it while it is there. If not, it’ll fly on by and come through someone else.
I feel like inspiration comes in the form of song spirits that start to give you little hints and feelings. You have to pay attention to them when they are around. It’s like an hononr to be visited by these little inspirations, and we can never take credit for them ourselves. Writing from the brain is far more of a tedious task
Also, I find it important to take time to step back to gather the inspiration again. Having life experiences to write about is just as important as writing, I have found. Otherwise you end up making up writing a song that means nothing. I never really enjoyed the pressure of “professional” writing sessions for this reason. If the inspiration doesn’t visit, it’s like pulling teeth, and songs can come out like a paint-by-numbers creation. However, everyone has a different way that works for them. I guess for me, the way to stay focused is to seek inspiration whenever possible.
Are you easily distracted?
Very! I like pretty lights and shiny things, so I get swept away in having too much fun sometimes. Then again, a lot of these experiences end up in songs, so maybe that’s a good thing. I also think it’s so important to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. When it counts, and when I really need to be, I am very focused though. No matter what, I always have my ultimate goals and purpose in my heart and mind. Nothing can distract me from these.
As someone who has toured and performed all over the world, do you get nervous or stage fright?
I grew up incredibly shy and nervous, so I have no idea why I ended up singing on stage. All I ever wanted to do was singing, so I just had to overcome those irrational fears. It wasn’t easy for a start. I would have internal panic attacks before shows, and try my best to cover it up. Honestly, I used to feel the need to have a drink or two before, to overcome the crippling stage fright. Thank goodness I paid my dues learning to perform in touring rock bands. We had to bring our A-game, or the audiences could potentially be unforgiving.
I think experience just takes that nervousness away. Once you are so used to doing something, it becomes second nature. One day, you all of a sudden notice that, “Hey, I wasn’t nervous at all for that show.” Now, I love performing. I don’t get nervous at all anymore. I’m like, “Alright, get me out there!” I feel it’s my place of comfort now.
What’s currently on your music playlist?
RYX, Olafur Arnolds, Talos and Robot Koch (with whom I collaborated on my upcoming solo album).
Do you prefer a quiet night in, or being out with friends?
Quiet night in! I love my friends, but I feel I do enough of being out and about to fulfil those needs, haha. Except, ask me that again after another week of quarantine.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Being somewhere in nature, at the beach, or in the desert. I don’t mind, just somewhere remote.
Favorite place in the world to visit?
Joshua Tree, California. Also, Tulum, Mexico, plus all over my home country, Australia. You can’t beat Australia!
Which DJ would you love to collaborate with that you haven’t already?
Andrew Bayer is super talented. I’d love to work with someone like Porter Robinson, too. To be honest, I have my dream team happening right now with Ilan Bluestone and Maor Levi in Elysian. They’re two of the most talented producers I could ever hope to work with.
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
Good food, wine, and lots of laughs!
Your favorite guilty pleasure?
Reading and learning about conspiracy theories, aliens, and other dimensions. The challenge then becomes not to talk about these things to anyone in public.
What’s your favorite song you perform live?
Whatever’s the newest, as they are the ones I feel like I am living in the moment of right now. Once the current situation is over, Elysian will be doing as much touring as possible. I am already daydreaming about performing these new songs live and within the visual world we are working on creating.
I also have a new solo album I am working on, and some of the songs on there are my favorites. They’re more singer/songwriter/downtempo style songs, so I am really looking forward to playing them live too. It’s harder to relate to songs written years ago, as I was a different me in a different situation then, which I am not living anymore. I always love to sing about what I really feel right in this moment.
If you could give the world a message in light of the current situation, what would it be?
Stay positive as much as you can, keep your vibration high, and don’t succumb to the fear and panic. We should all be sensible and take precautions, but let’s not get paralyzed by fear. Also, eat healthy, meditate, and exercise. Use this time to find a purpose so we all come out the other side with some new skills, new appreciation of what we have, and perhaps a greater love and respect of our beautiful planet. No matter what, we can all find something to be grateful for, so let’s hold on to that!