“I think all you can really do is trust your instincts”
Emma Moore, the talented country singer-songwriter from Blackpool, released her debut album back in 2016 and one of the things that I loved most about it was Emma’s ability to tell a story. Her set of ten tracks was personal, organic and captivating. Now three years on, Emma has moved to London to study for a Masters in Songwriting in order to hone and advance her skills. We had a lovely chat to discuss all the wonderful things that she has been up to since we last spoke…
So the last time we spoke you’d just released your single “Good Girl” which you’d recorded in Nashville. What have you been up to since then?
Hey! Oh wow, that feels like a lifetime ago. The biggest change has definitely been moving to London. Everything last year was about the move so it was relatively quiet but there were definitely some career highlights in there. I got to play at the Opera House in Blackpool which as well as being a hugely iconic venue is where I’ve worked as an usher over the last ten years. Being on the other side of the curtain was phenomenal! I also got to take the band to The Long Road Festival where we played on the Bob Harris/BBC Introducing Stage. That all came from my track ‘Good Girl’ and the support it got from Sean McGinty at BBC Introducing Lancashire so I’m very grateful for that.
How are you finding the Masters in Songwriting? Do you feel it was the right move for you?
Absolutely – it’s great! There were definitely some doubts as September crept in but I’m glad I took the opportunity. There’s a big emphasis on discovering and broadening your creative process which has been so enlightening and a lot of support in staying true to yourself as opposed to making everyone write in the same formula.
What are some key song-writing tips that you have learnt on the course so far?
I think the biggest impact on my recent writing has come from consistency and exploration. Writing songs is like training for a marathon in that the more you work the muscles, the better they perform. Being open to new ideas and pushing myself has also been key. I certainly didn’t think my favourite song of the semester would be the jazz ballad that almost drove me crazy – but it is!
How do you know when a song is done and it’s time to stop revising and put it down?
Ah if I had the answer to that living in London might not be so expensive! I think all you can really do is trust your instincts. Try to play it back objectively and make sure it tells the story you want it to. If it’s supposed to be clear, make sure it is and then trust your gut.
What advice would you give to aspiring song-writers?
Write as often as you can. Whether that’s a full song, a verse, free-writing, a list of titles/ideas, word associations for your ideas – just get it down and do it every day. Also, keep yourself open to your surroundings, especially when you feel like you have nothing to write about. The world is full of inspiration if you pay attention.
You recently put up a Dolly Parton quote on your Instagram. Does she inspire your song writing?
I’m completely inspired by everything Dolly does. Her ear for melody is exceptional, her voice, her endless positivity, charisma, ownership of who she is, work ethic, generosity – I could fill a page about her. I wouldn’t say her catalogue of songs is something I specifically look to for inspiration but her storytelling is something I definitely aspire to.
What has been the best thing about moving to London?
I love the spontaneity in this city – I rarely know how my days are going to end and for someone who has always been a planner that’s really exciting. There are also endless options for live music every night of the week across every genre. It’s like a musical candy shop!
What is your latest musical obsession?
Here’s another one I could fill a page on! I’m obsessed with the way Tenille Townes writes at the minute. There is also a lot going on with re-imagined work. I’m loving the new arrangements on the Dumplin’ soundtrack by Dolly Parton and Linda Perry and I also especially love the Restoration album by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. I can also barely get through half a day without Ashley McBryde, Pistol Annies and Kacey Musgraves right now – so much great music!
What are you working on at the moment and do you have any shows coming up?
I’m getting ready to put a single out in the next few months which fingers crossed will be followed by my second album later in the year. I’m going be testing out some potential songs at the next few shows such as the writers round I’m playing with Beth Nielsen Chapman (January 30th) and shows at The Water Rats (February 21st with The Rising, Hannah Paris and Remember Monday) and at The Rocksteady (April 13th). If you want to be the first to hear about my shows and find all the ticket information, just head to my website!
Follow the links below to discover Emma Moore’s music:
By Eveline Vouillemin – Up&Coming