Emily Makis: 'I want people to know that it's not a disadvantage to be an emotional person'
Combining electronic music with her Eastern Mediterranean background, Emily Makis certainly has a unique and charming sound. She has since gone onto producing music whilst maintaining her own songwriting as well as tasteful covers and collaborations. I had a chat with Emily about her work.
So, you did a lot of your song writing at University, how did that balance out with studying?
Emily: "Because I studied 'commercial music', my degree was very music creation based, so it fit quite well with doing continuous songwriting. Third year was definitely the hardest to work a schedule around, but I'd often stay at uni for extended periods of time to study and use the piano rooms straight after!"
You’ve taken a lot of influence from your Eastern Mediterranean background which sounds beautiful! Why did you decide to go down this route?
Emily: "My eastern inspiration isn't necessarily something I incorporate knowingly, I just seem to be drawn to strange sounds and scales! Growing up, I was exposed to quite an eclectic mix of Greek music as well as English, and I'll have to blame my dad for having the folk playlists on repeat. I think when it comes to improvisation, the eastern sound is where I feel most comfortable, the sound that resonates with me the most on a spiritual level."
What was the inspiration behind ‘Cool It’?
Emily: "'Cool It' was one of the first tracks I had ever produced. I finished the track before I went to uni, when I was challenging myself to try and write more commercial, clubby lyrics. I really think the most intelligent musicians have the ability to write simply and concisely, so that was my initial plan when writing the track. Although I hadn't had any experiences of 'cheating' back then, I wanted to write something empowering and relatable, something that was universal between both genders as well."
What has the reaction been like to your music?
Emily: "I'm properly focusing on the 'artist' side of my music now after graduating from uni. It always shocks me to receive nice messages, and the drum and bass crowd are insanely supportive of my features in the genre. With my own music, I want to be a bit more experimental, so I'm unsure how people are going to react to it! I'm only just starting to release music continually, so I'm insanely appreciative of people who take the time out of their day to throw some love my way."
Is there a specific reason you chose to cover ‘Set Fire to the Third Bar’?
Emily: "Snow Patrol were again, a big part of my childhood. My mum used to listen to some emotional albums [such as] Travis, Coldplay, The Smiths, so it was a major blast from the past when I was approached by FrtyFve (the record label) to release this cover with them. That song in particular isn't often the top of the list when it comes to Snow Patrol tunes to cover, so I really just wanted to do something a bit more unknown, but undoubtedly a beautiful piece of songwriting."
What have been the biggest musical influences for your music and song writing and why?
Emily: "Every month, my musical influences change, and I find myself trying different styles constantly... I definitely have somewhat of a restless mind. When songwriting for others, I try and work to a brief as best as I can, and put the producers vision before my own. For my own productions, I couldn't say I have a small circle of artists that I reference from! I will say though, that my current roster of artists that I'd love to emulate within my tracks have to be... Emily King, Prince, Kali Uchis, Billie Eilish, Gorillaz, Grimes... varied enough of a list? Anything with compositional surprises, and big bass."
Is there a specific message you want to get out through music?
Emily: "I want people to know that it's not a disadvantage to be an emotional person. Especially as a creative, you have to be in tune with your emotions, and not afraid to tackle subjects that some would rather stay in the depths of their inner being. It's always amazing to see audiences uniting and singing your lyrics - it shows that you're never alone in a struggle."
What goals do you have for this year?
Emily: "My goals for this year are quite under the radar at the moment! I will say this... I want to release music under a new creative identity. I would love to write for a broader mix of people. I aim to support myself through music, and learn a lot about software, both on and off stage."
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Emily: "If you're a creative, don't rush to release new music! And that is all!"