Interview with on our ReverbNation Winner, Texas Artist Nubia Emmon!
1. Who are you as an artist? What is your story?
I'm not just your average R&B Hip-Hop artist, it's deeper than that—in a nutshell, I’m your ordinary girl who is trying to do extraordinary things through the gift of music. I've got a story to tell and I know a lot of people can relate. Basically, I come from a working class home, my parents divorced, then there was the relocating, new schools, new friends, spending time with my Mom and then over to my Dads (you know how that goes with joint custody), remarriages—that’s the kind of stuff so many kids go through. I think what’s different with me is that I come from a very musical family.
My Dad and his brothers were a very well-known band so music runs through the family and pretty much everyone does something musically whether its singing & performing, playing an instrument, producing, songwriting—so I come from that tradition. The year I’ll never forget is 2013 when my Mom passed from breast cancer—I think about her every day. I say all that to say that my music has been there with me through everything and at times, it has kept me going—my music has been good to me and now I want to be good with my music and go all the way to the top. Born and raised in Austin, Texas known as the live music capital of the world, you would think making a career out of music would be easy here, it's not. You have to work 10 times harder than the next man.
Me being the kind of artist I am, I'm giving people a chance to see a different side of me when it comes to music. I want you to feel happy when I'm happy, I want you to feel my pain, I want you to grow with me as I go through life. Music is a universal language and if you've experience something similar to any of my situations, we are off to a great start.
2. Who are some of your favorite artists and music influences?
Some of my favorite artists and performers would have to be Mary J Blige, Beyoncé, Patsy Cline, Etta James, Lisa Left-Eye Lopez, Aaliyah, Erykah Badu! I mean the list goes on! They all possess something special to me, which made them phenomenal artist and performers. My music influences include my father and his brothers---they kept all of the kids around music before we could even talk. My family is very musically inclined. If you check out my bio, they are mentioned in there and I love them for introducing music to me at a very young age.
3. What is makes your music worth it? To the world? To your fans?
At the end of every performance if I can have one person say " wow I felt like that before" or " I can definitely relate" that's what makes it all worth it to me. The long sleepless nights in the studio, singing the same part over thirty times, makes it definitely worth it. I'm only singing about what it is that I know, real life experiences. This is my life, not just a hobby and I love being able to make people feel how I feel and drawing them in.
4. What is the future of music and the industry?
Right now there are two things happening with music, one is music that’s trendy such as the new style of rapping that some music critics call “mumble rap”. But then there is a more deeper issue being presented, much more political. One isn't better than the other---just different expressions. At the same time, I feel like if you aren't talking about what's going on in today's time, what are you really telling the young people of today, you know? Music will be around forever, it's constantly changing! As for the industry, things have changed in a major way to the point where you don't even need a major label to be successful----hence Chance the Rapper for example. Being an independent artist has its pros and cons but we have more choices as artists!
5. What surprises you the most about the music industry?
Honestly nothing about the music industry surprises me and I say that because I've done my homework on it. I've dealt with people first hand who've been in the industry for a while and it's literally everything I’ve read about and heard about! All I can say is knowledge is power!
6. What’s your Poison?
My poison, I'm not sure if it's good or bad. If it's a good thing, to keep me going, I had a young girl tell me my song "Round and Round" helped her get through one of her toughest break ups. That's exactly what I was going through at the time I wrote the song. But to know that my pain, my music, helped someone deal accordingly - it was an amazing feeling. But if we are talking about bad poison, well, just bad friends, people who don't have good intentions at all. I've had people like that in my life and they've tried their hardest the throw me off. Cut people like that out of your life so you can grow!
7. How is your Art “your religion”?
My art is my religion, just like any other religion, simply because I believe in it, I stand by it and I practice it faithfully. It brings me peace and clarity.
8. What are you truly creating with your music that changes the world, changes society?
I'm creating a different perspective or at least I’m trying to. One for the southern, next door type of homegirl. I want to show young people all over the world that you can stay true to yourself and still make a way out of no way, that being different is okay. If you're doing what everyone else is doing how are you standing out against the crowd?
9. What is the (spiritual, political, social, etc) message of your music?
My music—I can’t really say it’s spiritual or political, I guess it’s more social. The message in my music over all is "hey I'm human and we've gone through the same exact thing" but I'm a vocal piece for us both. I'm singing and rapping about things you may not even dare to say but can feel in your heart—so in that sense, I guess it’s also spiritual, Lol. Music is a universal language which everyone can understand and feel! Live, love life!
10. Have you been “lucky” or “gifted” in the music industry so far? Tell us more:
I don't believe in luck, but I do believe in hard work. You will get in return what you give, nothing is going to just fall in your lap. But I've been lucky—like fortunate enough to have loving, supportive people around me, who will go to great lengths to see me succeed, yep my team, I'm lucky to have them. I’ve also been gifted—or really the word is blessed because I didn’t give it to myself---but I’ve been blessed in terms of coming from a musical family—it’s all in the bloodline (smile).
11. What do you really think it takes to make it in the music industry? Tell us 3 keys.
Three things it takes to make it in the music industry, 1) work ethic 2) consistency and 3) content. You're work ethic is everything! You will get out what you put into your craft. Like I said earlier don't expect anything to fall in your lap if you haven't worked hard for it. Consistency; you have to keep it going! You can't take a break and then do it again. Which brings me to content; you have to have good, solid, quality music (which can be hard to come by) and you have to constantly do promo, promo, promo because if people don't see you doing anything, then it's kind of like you're NOT doing anything—even if you are. You have to be consistent with your work and your content and so it all goes together!
12. What is your main inspirational philosophy in life? Favorite quote?
My favorite quote is "Don't listen to reply, listen to understand". People are so quick to respond to something without fully grasping the context of what was said. It's very important to hear, to listen and to understand. Especially if someone has already been to where you're trying to go. Listening is the key to learning.
13. What do you regret the most in your music and would have done differently?
I honestly don't think I regret anything in my music because everything I’ve been through, every mistake has been a lesson learned so far and brought me to where I am today and made me hopefully, a smarter artist. Now I have been scammed so I could say I wish none of the scams ever happened but it's the dirty side of the music industry. It happens and you learn. You cannot find one person in the industry that has never had a scam or something bad happen to them and if he or she says never, that person is a unicorn. Honestly everything I’ve been through has been a lesson learned and we (my team and I) are wiser because of it.
14. Where do you see your career going in five years? 10 years? Next year?
Top of my list of goals is I want to get out my first EP, finish my next mixtape, and continue to grow my fanbase—especially grow my fanbase, that’s so important and it’s really ongoing. Next year I don’t see myself in Austin. I’ll still be here spiritually because it will forever be home, but honestly I see myself moving around on tour and doing what I love with my band. For the next 5 years I see myself with at least 2 more albums, doing major tours and continuing in the direction of an Indie artist plus doing more outreach in the area of breast cancer awareness. I believe that will set my course for the next 10 years and so on. But I know with my work ethic, my team and our consistency we are destined to be great. I do eventually hope to find hard working, committed artists that are trying to do the same thing as I’m doing now and I’d like to put my experience and work behind them—you know, move to the business side because everyone needs someone to believe in them.
15. Legacy: At the end of the day, how do you want your fans to remember you and your music?
At the end of the day I want people to have nothing to say but great things about myself and my music. This is as real as it gets. I'm telling you my story and I hope I’m not judged wrongly for it because I'm only telling you about what I know. And I know that there are millions of people who can relate. I want people to remember the goofy, fun, upbeat person I am and the blood, sweat and tears I've put into my craft. At the end of the day I just want to be loved for who I am and hope that everyone will love what I’m sharing!
SOCIAL NETWORKS & WEBSITES WEBSITE: http://www.nubiaemmon.comCIVIC/CHARITY: http://www.thenubiaemmonfoundation.com FACEBOOK (LIKE): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nubia-Emmon/343286279036616?ref=hlTWITTER: https://twitter.com/nubiaemmonSOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/teamnubiaemmonINSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/nubiaemmonYOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/c/nubiaemmonVIDEOS:Put the Music On: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2840i0Dw0gFall in Love (Tribute to Selena): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snPTb-jfjf0