It’s no surprise that when you think of EDM’s favorite sweetheart, the name Emma Hewitt comes to mind. With talent to spare and a love for EDM, Emma Hewitt continues to make her mark on dance music as we know it and our hearts. Ascendance Radio was able to catch up with this lovely lady, you don’t want to miss this interview.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): This is Dayanna with Ascendance Radio and we’re here at EDC Orlando with none other than the lovely, the talented, the woman with one of the most beautiful voices, Emma Hewitt. So Emma, you’ve been traveling non-stop recently performing at many festivals and clubs. With such a hectic schedule, do you even remember what your bed back home looks like?
Emma Hewitt: [laughs]. Actually, that’s really a funny question because I bought I new bed at my new apartment, about six months ago. And I think I’ve slept in it about five times, so it doesn’t feel like my bed but I know it’s there, so I’m really happy to know it’s there somewhere in the world.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): It’s going to last you longer.
Emma Hewitt: Exactly, exactly.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Is there anything that you miss most when on tour?
Emma Hewitt: I miss my family, I miss my family and my good friends because you know, we’re a very close family and I’m very close to all of my best friends. So, I miss being able to just call them up or just be there in the same time zone, and go around to their houses. But it’s worth it, you know, I love touring.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Do you ever call someone, really late their time, and they’re like, “why are you talking to me?”
Emma Hewitt: I do it all the time. I do it to my mom all the time, and I feel really bad. I forget to look at the time zone differences, and I’ll message her and be like, oh god, it’s like 4 a.m. I’ve just woken my mom.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): She’s your mom, she loves you anyway.
Emma Hewitt: But yes, she loves it, she doesn’t care.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): What does Emma Hewitt’s perfect performance consist of? This would include, also, the
Emma Hewitt: Okay, yes, you know what, a festival like tonight is definitely the ideal for the crowd. Possibly a bigger stage where I may not die and fall off the stage because tonight was a little bit precarious [laughs]. But it was still fun, but it was like an obstacle course. For me, so yes, a stage that’s big enough to run around on and perhaps a few things to jump on, you know, being able to reach the audience. I love to be able to grab people’s hands and connect to people and stuff. And, good sound is like hugely important to me, so a good sound so I can hear everything is great.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Perfect! So we often like to ask artists which is their favorite city to perform in and they usually give us the run-around, as expected, not wanting to pick a favorite. So we’ve decided to go about it a little differently. What city, would you say has the biggest amount of fans in the audience, that not only knows, but sings the lyrics back to you?
Emma Hewitt: Oh, oh God, that’s still quite difficult as well, you know. You know what, I think well, tonight was fantastic in Orlando and I think Miami’s always great, the big festivals, too. But anywhere that there’s a big crowd is usually great. You know I’m finding actually a lot of the Asian crowds at the moment though like Taiwan and China and stuff. I did STORM festival a couple weeks ago in China and the crowd sing-along was amazing there. I think that they love karaoke in China so they would definitely have a singing along. It was fantastic.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): So, as artists get bigger some may lost sight of the importance of fan interaction. From what anyone on your social media pages can see, you take the time to actively engage with your fans. Sometimes even sharing the art they create for you. How do you manage to maintain that level of interaction especially given your busy schedule?
Emma Hewitt: Well, you know to be honest, I feel like I don’t even like saying the word fan. I really hate the word fan. I feel like,
with electronic music I feel like it’s an experience that we’re all in together and we’re all sharing, whether you’re on stage or whether you’re in the audience. It kind of feels as though the people who are at the concerts and whatever are in that same moment and that same energy as what you’re in on stage. So for me I just love to stay connected with everybody. I’ve met life-long friends through doing this, whether it’s through social media or whether it’s through meeting people at gigs. You know, you connect with people because you’re all sharing the same experience at festivals and stuff like that. And I hate to sound cliché, but it sounds like a giant family, you know.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): We’ve interviewed a lot of singers and songwriters in our time, and one common complaint is the lack of control when it comes to releases. They end up recording vocals for multiple productions, but have no say as to when it will be released, which often leads to no songs from the vocalist being out one month to three to four coming out at the same time the next month. Have you experienced this problem, and is there really any way to fix it?
Emma Hewitt: [laughs] Yes, you know it’s funny that you should ask this, because I haven’t had a song out for a while, and this is because of this exact problem that you’re talking about. I’ve given vocals to a lot of people and they haven’t come out at the moment. But you know what, I feel like I’m happy to be in this genre of music and I’m happy to do the collaborations that I want to do. I choose to do them, so if those people take a little while to release those tracks, it’s kind of their prerogative and I have to go with that because I’ve chosen to do those collaborations. When I do my solo stuff, I have complete control over that, so, you know what, I’ll do my solo stuff next year and I’ll have control over the releases. And, as far as the collaborations, you know what, when they come out, hopefully people will like them, and it’s all good.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): I’m sure they will. [both laugh] We’ve also interviewed a lot of producers over the years as well, and one troubling issue we sometimes see are producers who don’t fully value what a singer/songwriter brings to a song. It seems to be getting better in the last few years as songs that normally just featured a vocalist now say with or and, giving it more of a feeling that the vocalist wasn’t just an afterthought. How often have you encountered this in your career? How have you dealt with it, and how much more does it make you appreciate the producers who truly appreciate all that you bring to a song?
Emma Hewitt: To be honest, early on, I encountered that a lot more, where producers were saying we don’t want to put your name on the track. You know, you’re just kind of a feature, and whatever. But for me, I came from a rock background and the pop background, and with major labels it was always important who sang the song and who wrote the song. So, I kind of took a stand and said, you know what, if I’ve written this song, I want to claim the credit for it, and I want to perform it live. So I want to have the basis to be able to perform this song live. So, we took a stand and said I want my name on it. And you know, and I think it’s important for singers now to actually stand up for themselves because the writing of the song is quite difficult. It’s quite a difficult process and it contributes a lot to the process of the actual track being successful. So, you know, I think it’s important that I want to get the credit for that, so.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): So, on that note, do you write all the songs that you sing, and if not, do you find it easier having the songs already written and all you have to do is provide the vocals for it, or is it better for you when the words you’re singing are your own?
Emma Hewitt: No, I’ve always only written my own songs. I think because for me, for my voice, to actually sound like it’s doing something effective, I need to be singing words that are personal to me, and the songs that I write are always very personal. They’re always about people that I know or experiences that I’ve lived. They’re always about memories, time frames in my life that I want to kind of capture a snapshot of and convey that to people. And, if I’m singing somebody else’s song, it just doesn’t have the same effect. It doesn’t have the emotional kind of hit that something that I’ve written myself does. So for me, it’s very important that I’m always going to write my own songs.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Perfect. So most of the songs you appear on seem to be in the trance genre. Are you opposed to other genres like house or pop? Or have you just not found the right projects to explore other genres yet?
Emma Hewitt: No, you know what, definitely not. I started off in rock music and then I was in pop music for a while, and then I kind of fell into trance music which I absolutely love, and you know my heart is in trance music but at the same time I’m definitely not averse to trying some different styles. At the moment, I’m really kind of looking to experiment with some drum and bass and you know something like a bit of house stuff and some progressive stuff, and a little bit of darker stuff as well, you know because I came from like a metal rock band. It’s nice to do something a little bit more dark. So, yes, my next bunch of releases are gonna be a little bit more kind of oriented towards house and progressive and drum and bass as well.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): That’s cool!
Emma Hewitt: Just to mix it up.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Yes, love it!
Emma Hewitt: Some more trance as well, but yes.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Your song with Dash Berlin, “Waiting” has hit over 21 million views on YouTube and continues to grow. It’s obvious that this track, aside from being amazing, it also resonates with many people. In your opinion, what do you think it is about this track that draws so many to it, and if you were to lay out all the Emma Hewitt tracks in a row, would this be one that would stand out and tug at your heart strings, or would it be another?
Emma Hewitt: Yes, well you know what, it’s hard to know. When you’re writing songs you never know which ones other people are going to like and which ones they’re not. For me, when I wrote “Waiting,” I was like, as I am with all my tracks when I write them, going, I’m in this moment right now and I love it, but sh** oh sorry, can’t sat sh**.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): [laughs]
Emma Hewitt: But, is anybody else going to resonate with it? And when I first wrote it I thought maybe they won’t. I was scared, I didn’t want to put it out but I’m really glad that it has. To me, this was about, it was about like a high school relationship that I had and wondering what happened to that person, and you know wondering are they ever going to come back into your life and stuff. So, it’s very personal, and I’m very glad that people have actually resonated with that, and liked it. But you never know, as a songwriter, which songs people are going to like and which ones they aren’t.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Do you have a personal favorite, from all the ones [you’ve written]?
Emma Hewitt: To be honest, every song I’m writing at the time is really close to my heart, because that’s the moment in time that I’m living right now. So, at the moment, I’m like, I don’t care about the old songs. Right now I care about the ones that I’m writing, and I don’t know if other people will love those ones as much, but for me right now it’s how I feel emotionally and it’s the things that I want to remember that are coming out. So, that’s what’s more personal to me right now. It’s like once you understand a song, and once you’ve sung about it, and put it out there, you kind of move on from it, and you move on to the next ones. So, they become less personal once they’re out there, you know?
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): That’s cool. So as the end of the year approaches, it’s often a time to think about new year’s resolutions.
Emma Hewitt: Yes.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): If you were to come up with a resolution for 2015, strictly music-related, what would make it on your list?
Emma Hewitt: You know having more time to write, to be honest, because I’ve been on tour so much which is fantastic and I love doing the shows, but as a singer it’s really difficult to write when you’re on the road, you know because I’ll be on an airplane next to someone. I’m like, I can’t be turning my computer on, and like, la-la-la-la. Sorry guys, yes, it doesn’t really work, so, and you know if you’ve slept like two or three hours it’s really hard to be inspired, so for me, it’s that whole thing of like taking two or three weeks off tour to actually focus on writing because I feel the writing aspect is so much more important than I’m giving it credit for right now, so.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): That’s awesome. Well Emma, thank you so much. Always lovely to meet with
Emma Hewitt: Thank you. You too.