Emerald is a singer/rapper/producer from Dunedin, NZ. She makes alternative rap. I had a listen to her E.P the Emerald E.P and her music reminds me of live Hip Hop/Funk bands like The Shades and her eclectic influences of rock, funk and blues make for an interesting listen.
She recently got back from completing a Bachelor in Contemporary music performance in the deep south and is now about to put out her first music video.
Emerald also loves to perform. Her favourite venues are outdoor festivals such as last years Twisted Frequencies. She also loves to collaborate with other local artists.
I caught up with Emerald and asked her a few questions.
Q. Who are some of your musical influences.
A. Female MC, Dessa (Of DoomTree), Nas, Talib Kweli, and kiwi rapper and friend, Trillion."I want to write music that expresses who I am. Music that people can relate to and enjoy whether they are Hip hop heads or not."
Q. You do the occasional rap battle. Why?
A. "Just so I don't get rusty. And it's fun".
Q. How did your music video for Difficult come about?
A. I had an amazingly talented film making friend who I'd been looking to do a project with, so I wrote a song, chucked a few of my musical friends in it, then hitched up to Kaikoura and made a video with her. It's been an awesome experience that I've learnt a lot from. Can't wait to make another one."
Q.How would you describe your music in one sentence?
A. Damn, I had to come back to this one. Tough. I'm gonna say my music is 'Rhymes to inspire introspection'.
Q.What sets you apart from other acts/groups?
A. The obvious one is being female. Beyond that, my music is honest and real. I'm not trying to be gangsta. I tackle fresh topics. I'm expressing my own unique thoughts and experiences. I love what I do and I think that shows in my presence on stage.
Q.Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?
A. Favourite thing is the love that you get within the hip hop community. Even as the white girl at the battle there's still a mutual respect. Least favourite thing is the bad rep we have. I often see peoples faces lose interest when I tell them my music is rap. That's a pity because I try to write my music so there is something for everyone. But a lot of people switch off before they've heard it because they are picturing me rolling with 50 Cent or something.
Q.What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?
A.Just do it! Keep looking outside yourself for inspiration. Collaborate with others. You never know who might be keen to work with you. Make every song better than your last. My ears always prick up when someone raps about something real that I can relate to. Find something important to say and deliver it in a way that is authentically you.
Watch out for her music video Difficult featuring Jacob Wright, LEWKA and Myra D dropping next week. I’ve had a sneak preview and it’s pretty dope.
Check out these fantastic screen shots from the up coming music video Difficult.
Check her out on Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Bandcamp.
Buy the latest Ep. (You choose the price)
Free song downloads of earlier material: