Interview

A Conversation With Emma Dilemma

March 22, 2021

Emma Dilemma is an artist that refuses to be placed in a box. Taking influence from a variety of genres, Emma’s music is as unique as her. With roots in pop-punk, Emma has continued to grow and mould her sound and wants each release to be different from the last.

Releasing the gritty rock inspired ‘We Should Give A Shit’ earlier this year, Emma has returned with the up-beat disco track ‘New Attraction’.

We caught up with Emma to talk about her musical journey, influences and the inspiration behind her new single.

Check out the interview below.

Hey Emma, thanks for taking the time to chat. Can you tell me a little bit about your musical background? What did the early days of Emma Dilemma consist of musically?

Helloooooo! Anytime – I’m always down for a yarn, thanks for having me!

I started as a dancer from aged 5 which I did semi-professionally until aged 20 – I reckon this helped me understand rhythm from a young age. I started on guitar at age 8 which I quickly become overly obsessed with and henceforth spent most free moments in my room screaming emo and metal songs much to my parent’s distress. I joined a pop-punk/emo band at age 16 after my parents finally agreed I was allowed an electric guitar – which evolved into a commercial project by the time I hit 20. In that project, we released many singles, an EP and an album. We did that for almost 10 years and I have only recently decided to dip my toes into my own over-inflated ego and go solo.

Emma Dilemma is a name that rolls off the tongue pretty well, tell me a little bit about the story behind that?

Everyone close to me agreed that I should be called Emma Dilemma coz I’m a bit of a little ball of anxiety and questionable life choices. My partner came up with it, actually. He knows me too well.

You released your debut single ‘We Should Give A Shit’ earlier this year, which is a pretty rock-influenced track, can you tell me more about that?

Just an incredibly hungover jam between me and my producers on that last day in the studio which somehow managed to turn in to an actual song despite the worlds of pain we were in – not much more to it than that lol.

You’re gearing up to release your second single ‘New Attraction’, can you tell me more about the song?

New Attraction is about being single and having the ‘I don’t need no one, no more’ attitude, going out clubbing and taking drugs and enjoying the single life until you spot an undeniable hottie across the room and then you’re like ‘well fuck, here we go, Imma be falling in love again now I guess.’

There’s a lot more of an electronic influence to your new single compared to ‘We Should Give A Shit’, was that something you were conscious of when making ‘New Attraction’?

Not really – I like all genres of music and I don’t think I should be limited to sticking to just one, so I don’t. A disco vibe just suited this song better!

Tell me a little about your songwriting process as a whole? How do you go about writing a track?

 I really don’t have a process – but I do prefer to collaborate with other people. I find the words and melodies flow easiest when someone provides me with a bed that I connect with! Then it just sends the stream-of-consciousness word vomit that seems to be pulled from some unknown magical source in the ether of the universe. I hate forcing songs for the sake of it, they never turn out genuine for me.

I know that genre is a pretty loosely defined thing these days, and your music refuses to be placed in any one box. So, could you tell me a little bit about what influences your music?

Haha yes, this is why I am releasing every single song I have as a single because they will each connect with a different audience and I want to give each of those little songs their opportunity to connect instead of being hidden away on an album. 90s and 00s music and cultural attitudes (bar the problematic shit) influences me a lot as I grew up in those eras and have major nostalgia for them. I love hip hop, electronic, emo, metal, punk, pop and house music from those times so they are my major influences. I’m also influenced by artists that don’t take music or themselves too seriously and have a writing style that shows that; Beastie Boys, blink 182, bloodhound gang, Eminem – people like that…. I guess men were allowed to do that those days whilst women still had to be sexy, sweet and sad.

With two new singles already released this year, what else can we expect to hear from you in 2021?

I think you’re going to hear almost too much of me in 2021. So get ready to be saying ‘fuck I’m sick of seeing Emma Dilemma’s shit everywhere’. I’m releasing 9 more tracks and music videos this year. I will keep doing my weekly Livestream on Tuesday nights with my partner & guitarist, The Moses (@themosegram), and more gigs! If we’re lucky, maybe even some outside of New Zealand wwwooooooooo piss off Miss Rona!!!

Check out ‘New Attraction’ below.