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Emma Seeberg

"Translating how I’m feeling into melodies and lyrics, creating something that is authentic to me is what I aim for"
Reference Studio

Songwriter and singer Emma Seeberg casts light on her creative process and wellbeing practices which help her navigate through London's music scene

Reading: Emma Seeberg
Written by Reference Studio
29.07.2021

Emma Seeberg is a Danish pop music songwriter and singer based in London. Emma creates an authentic and vulnerable body of work shaped by her past experiences and relationships. Growing up surrounded by creatives, her mother being a painter, her father a bronze caster, her grandparents sculptors, Emma understood the cathartic power of translating one’s emotions through craft at a young age and chose songwriting as her medium of expression.

How did you choose this city as the one perform your craft in and how has it welcomed you so far?

I have lived in the UK while studying in Brighton for a few years already, which meant that London would come as both a smooth transition and a step forward for exploring my musical career.I moved here in late autumn 2020, right before the lockdown, so I’ve only had a brief time to explore the city. But I love it here so far. It’s definitely been challenging moving to a new city, not knowing anyone, – especially during this time. It’s meant that I’ve really had to get out of my comfort zone, reaching out to people and making new connections. However, it has been a dynamic experience reaching out to people and making new connections. It does feel like an endless chain of opportunities at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that I see myself established here forever. The dream scenario for me for my future self would be living in Copenhagen close to family and friends, just a train away from my family-home at the countryside, whilst still traveling to London once in a while, working on music with the network I’ve established here.

How has lockdown affected your craft and creative process?

Besides having to do Zoom-sessions, instead of meeting up with other songwriters and producers in real life, it hasn’t changed that much when it comes to my creative process. I usually write quite a lot on my own anyways. But I’ve definitely missed creating and interacting face to face with other creatives. Going to gigs and playing live, feeling that instant connection and energy exchange with the crowd is something I’ve missed a lot as well.

 

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Who are influences which shaped your style?

The music I listened to while growing up has definitely played a big role in the way I think about and write music today. I grew up in a very creative home, and music was a big part of my childhood. My dad had a home-made studio in a shed where we used to record covers from various bands and artists such as The Beatles, Johnny Cash and Danish artists such as Tina Dickow and Tim Christensen. Today I’m very inspired by artists such as Lorde, Tove Lo and Banks.

What were the beginnings of your craft?

I recall writing music from a very early age. Even before I could play an instrument. I would come up with melodies and lyrics and then get my dad to work out the chord-progressions on his guitar. I must have been around 9 when he gifted me my very first guitar.

What gets your creative juices flowing when writing?

I count a lot on my intuition when writing. I usually start out by finding a chord-progression that either makes me feel something or fits with how I’m feeling. Songwriting has always been very therapeutic to me. It’s definitely more of an emotional process rather than a rational one. I usually draw inspiration from previous or current experiences. Translating how I’m feeling into melodies and lyrics, creating something that is authentic to me is what I aim for. Another way of jumpstarting creativity, is writing together with other songwriters and producers. Over the years, I got to know a lot of amazing creatives who became friends later down the line. It’s sort of became a little community, where we’ll meet up for sessions and help each other with the writing process.

 

It really is a balance between being realistic in terms of knowing what is actually good and not being too much of a perfectionist.

Do you have any rituals you practice before you start writing?

When writing at home, I like to light some candles and incense sticks, make some tea and make the space around me feel as comfortable as possible. It definitely helps having small rituals before writing in order to place your mind in a creative frame. I’ve found that you can’t really force creativity, so whenever I feel stuck, I’ll take a break, go for a walk and let my subconscious work on ideas. I think being able to let go is important.

What are the challenges you encounter as a singer and songwriter, and how do you overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge I’ve encountered so far is quieting my inner critic, especially when creating and listening back to what I’ve created. It really is a balance between being realistic in terms of knowing what is actually good and not being too much of a perfectionist. It’s still something that I’m working on, but it’s definitely become better over the years. I would highly recommend the book ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert to any creative dealing with their inner critic. She has some really interesting thoughts and ideas on the matter that I’ve put into my own practice. Comparison is something else I’ve had to work on. It’s so easy to get engulfed into a maze of self-doubt, especially with platforms such as Instagram. Sometimes you need to take a step back and remember that what we see on social media is mainly highlights of people’s lives. I’ve made a conscious decision to only follow accounts that makes me feel good or teach me something.

What was your experience with the music industry so far and what is your advice for other emerging artists?

I’m still in the early stages of my career, but so far it’s been very welcoming and most of the times people are really nice. I’ve learned the importance of putting yourself out there, getting out of your comfort zone and not being scared of getting a ‘no’. And always saying ‘yes’ to opportunities as you never know what they might lead to. I’ve made some great friends and writing-partners from saying ‘yes’ to different sessions. So just being open-minded is a good place to start.

How do objects and design impact you as a creative?

I do attribute calming powers to some objects which surround me. I have quite a few crystals. My mom gave me a pink crystal when I moved to England, which I’ve been carrying around in my pocket ever since, it’s charged with good intentions and energy. I feel the same way about my guitar, which was gifted to me by my dad. I do believe objects are great reminders of moments and people.

 

I do believe objects are great reminders of moments and people.

How do you align the way you dress on stage with your musical identity?

It depends on the mood I want to evoke. When I am on stage I want to feel empowered and strong, yet comfortable, which is why I wear a lot of suits. I do look up to a lot of designers, some of my favourites being Valentino and Versace; they’re feminine, yet they have a darker edge, which is well attuned to my music. Half of my wardrobe is vintage, which I love as it brings uniqueness and character to the way I portray myself. I sometimes make my own pieces, this feather top for example.

 

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Any upcoming projects?

I’m releasing music again on the 10th of September 2021, which I’m really excited about, I’m hoping to have a single-launch around the same time as well.

Songwriter
Emma Seeberg

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