Emily Mest started singing at the age of 5 in her hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. What began as an outlet for an energetic and creative child transformed into a career touring the country with several Broadway musicals and eventually took her to Los Angeles where she resides today.
By the time she was sixteen, Emily Mest picked up a guitar and began writing her own songs. Heavily inspired by story-telling artists such as Tove Lo, Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, The1975, and Bryson Tiller, she writes based on personal experiences and vivid dreams.
Emily Mest released her debut single, “Laurel Canyon” on June 25. Hear it here:
Check out Girl Gang Music’s exclusive Q&A with Emily Mest below:
1) How did you get here? Did you always know you’d be a musician? How’d you get started?
“I started singing when I was five and did musicals my whole childhood but it wasn’t until I was 16 that I picked up the guitar and started to write (really shitty) songs. I always knew I wanted to be a singer but I didn’t think I was capable of being a musician so I was really proud when I learned guitar and started honing my writing skills.”
2) What was the songwriting + production process behind “Laurel Canyon”? If you have any pictures, we’d love to see them.
“I wrote that song in fifteen minutes at my parents house in Pennsylvania. I was going through a breakup with someone very special to me and it all just flowed out of me. It started on the guitar and had a more acoustic sound but I knew I wanted something synthy for production. My producer, Garret Alan Jiroux and I, pulled inspiration from Lorde and Banks to create the sound for this song. It was one of those songs that came together so quickly and easily that we knew we had something special. To this day, its my most personal and favorite song I’ve ever written.”
3) Do you have any tips for any women in the industry?
“I would say my biggest piece of advice is to not be scared to assert your opinion. It’s a male dominated industry and most of the men I’ve worked with have been lovely and collaborative but it isn’t always the case so it’s important to get thick skin and not be afraid to ask for what you want.”
4) What’s next for you?
“I have another single coming out very soon and then we will start putting together a show!”
5) What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
“I’m also an actress! I got started doing Broadway tours and have never felt the need to pick between music or acting, I’ve always known I would do both!”
6) Do you think being a woman in music has affected your career? If so, how?
“I think it has affected my career. For example, I’ve spent a lot of time on music that I wasn’t satisfied with because a producer wasn’t listening to what I wanted and didn’t want to hear my input. I think it sets you back when you have to work twice as hard to get your voice heard.”
7) Anything else you want to add?
“I love being a female in this industry because other female artists are so incredibly supportive and encouraging. There’s no competitiveness that I have seen, only support. And to me that’s so beautiful to watch women supporting women.”
Emily Mest’s Girl Gang Music Picks
“I really love Kim Petras. Her song ‘Heart To Break’ is a jam.”
“I also really love Teddy Geiger who is now releasing new music under the artist name teddy<3 and recently came out as transgender. Really excited to see what she does next!”