Guest Post: Beyond The Stage Magazine

Photo by Rob Norris 

AUTHENTICITY (link to article - Beyond The Stage Magazine)

All I’ve ever wanted to do was sing, be a performer. 

But the business has made me wonder if I could ever really do it. There have been so many instances where people didn’t get what I was doing or understand it…and told me I have to be one thing, pick a lane. Fit in one genre. 

Just wanting so badly to find a place, I started to try to “fit” and be what I was told I should be. I kept trying to correct myself - correct what felt natural. Because every meeting I went to, being myself wasn’t enough. My music wasn’t country enough for country audiences. Sometimes I’d wonder if the people I was meeting with had listened to the music. They’d talk mostly about my look and what it, “looked like I should be singing.” I went to a pop label once that told me I looked like “the face of country.” Then I’d go to a country label and get told that my songs were too diverse to fit in the format. 

When you get that much rejection, you start to think just being yourself is some sort of mistake. So you think you have to start fixing yourself because you’re obviously doing it wrong. After years of that, you start to just want to fit in somewhere - anywhere. You start to try to say the right things and get monumentally confused about your motives as to why you even started this in the first place. You stop knowing who you are and you try to retrace your steps because it got so confusing along the way - trying to fit in. 

But then, you can choose - it doesn’t have to be all day, maybe even for just a couple hours, but you can choose to accept that things don’t always make sense and maybe it’s okay to not fit in anywhere. Maybe no one really fits in anywhere. Maybe the thing that makes you different and seems like a problem, is actually the thing that will set you apart, in the end. Maybe it’s the most beautiful thing about you. And maybe entering into territory where you have to pretend to be something you’re not is so dangerous that you should just stop. immediately. And never do that again. 

This album was about embracing being different and not fighting against it anymore. Knowing, rather than second guessing who I was as an artist or waiting for someone to tell me. If I have to pretend to be something to find success, then there's no good reason for me to do it. There is no reason to sing to anyone about anything if you can’t be real with them.                                                      

When you do something different, you will almost always face opposition, I'm realizing. But it’s worth pursuing because you just might be onto something. 

- Emma