WW: Hey Emiko. Welcome to
E: WildWritings.com! How are you? I'm great thanks!
WW: Tell us about your childhood. Did music always play
an important role in your life?
E: Plain and simple, there was nothing else I could ever
do... music was always it for me, and in that way, I
consider myself lucky. I never had to struggle to find out
what I wanted to be when I grew up. I started playing
the piano when I was 2 1/2 and performing classically by
the time I was 5. I was enrolled at a majorly prestigious
music conservatory prep in Washington, DC called the
Levine School of Music and most of my life was spent
there up until I was 15. I had great teachers and really
supportive parents who understood that this is what I
was going to do. Music played an incredibly important
role in my life as it was my whole life and everyday, it
becomes more and more important to me. It's pretty
WW: When did you know you wanted to become a
E: You know, that's a great question because no one has
ever asked me when I knew I wanted to become a singer specifically. Everyone always wants to know when I wanted to go into music. But a singer? I remember the exact moment I knew. I was about 8 years old and was at the park with my
friend. She said she was going to try out for the school musical and started singing...I started singing along and realized that I could sing pretty well. Up until then, I was just writing piano compositions but as soon as I realized I could sing, I started writing lyrics, too.
WW: Who were your musical influences while growing up?
E: My musical influences were mainly classical when I was growing up because that's all I was surrounded by. I'm a huge fan of Bach. Everyone has a story of when their life changed because of one main influence. Mine was discovering Billy Joel when I was 8...hmm...it seems like everything
really came together for me when I was 8, huh?! Anyway, I discovered Billy Joel and the B-52's and everything changed for me. That being said, my musical influences are really few and far between. There is a great distinction for me between who my influences are and who I am a fan of. I love to listen to Billy Joel, Alanis, I love funk, r&b, Cuban music...Washington, DC (my hometown) has a big funk/fusion and latin scene so a lot of that seeped into my blood, I think. When it comes to saying
who influences my songs, besides Bill and Alanis, I couldn't really say for sure. I believe I am influences by a lot of different musical experiences...they are all ghosts in my songs...I couldn't name them, but I know they are there!
WW: When did you write your first song? What was it about?
E: Ha Ha! I wrote my first songs when I was 8 (again with the 8 years old!). It was called " I Have a Friend Named Annie." To the mature listener, it wasabout a relationship between a person and someone they wished was there...to an 8 year old, it was about an imaginary friend! :-)
WW: Where do you draw the inspiration from to create music?
E: Hmmm....I tend to draw my inspriation to create music from various states of the human condition. Whether it's love, heartbreak, wishful thinking, frustration, whatever it may be, I try to capture those moments. I pride myself in being a very candid songwriter. I've been told by a lot of people that I write lyrics that touch on what most people only think and could never say out loud. I believe there can be no fear in art...only the fear captured in a situation you are writing about. There is so much
material for songs in my daily life. I suppose the best way to sum it up is to tell you what a friend of mine said a few years ago, "Be careful what you say to Emiko, it may end up in a song!" And that's really the truth.
WW: You have signed on to be part of "City Sessions," a television show that chronicles the life of unsigned artists during the recording process of making a CD - when can we catch this show? Can you tell us more about it?
E: City Sessions was an amazing experience! It's the brainchild of E! Channel founder, Larry Namer, and is going to be broadcast on a new music channel called YMCtv--Your Music Channel TV...it's a really great platform because it's very much like a VH1 Storytellers or a Behind the Music type
show, but for artists that are in the process of making it to the next level. More artists deserve the chance for such great exposure and I think that City Sessions is a fantastic avenue for getting the mass public to discover some really incredible talent. YMCTV is part of Comcast Cable and the Dish Network so I am encouragin everyone that has those two cable providers to look out for the show, which launches in mid-autumn. I saw some of the playback and I can safely say that audiences are in for a great series!
WW: Tell us about your tour this summer. Where can we see you?
E: Actually Jimmy, the summer tour is being postponed and added to the fall schedule. We are scheduled to leave on Columbus Day Weekend. This summer, the band and I are staying here in New York and laying low...but don't worry, we've got some tricks up our sleeves! Between the City
Sessions shoot, a shoot for another show called "From the Penthouse" and a documentart being made about me, my plate is completely full. But as I said, we are hitting the road in October and going on the third leg of our Hunger Tour. I am really excited about the tour becasue as part of World
Hunger Year's Artists Against Hunger and Poverty Campaign, I get to tour under the same banner as superstars like Bruce Springsteen and Michael McDonald and raise awareness of hunger and poverty in local communities. I usually do this by touring colleges and doing benefit shows. I really love the fact that colleges are so involved and motivated to support stamping out hunger! From October to December, we will be touring the East Coast and then in January 'til Spring, we are going to be on the West Coast making our way back to New York. After that, we hit the UK and then Japan. So, if you can't catch us on TV, you can catch us live...the tour schedule should be up in the next two to three weeks on my website, www.emikomusic.com.
WW: Thanks Emiko! Best of luck to you!
E: Thanks so much! It was my pleasure!