Since 2016, Empara Mi has been perfecting her musical style and exploring a range of aesthetics. With almost 3 million streams on Spotify, the singer bravely explores emotional topics with her haunting and brooding vocals. In her most recent single, “Blood In The Water”, Empara Mi addresses the fracturing of relationships. The song was produced by Zach & Roger (2 Chainz and A$AP Rocky) and follows the release of her song “Crying”, which had a beautiful and emotional music video.
After hearing Empara Mi’s voice for the first time, I knew I had to learn more about “Blood In The Water” and her relationship with music.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the inspiration for “Blood in the Water”?
Empara Mi: ‘Blood In The Water’ was inspired by a relationship I had where I realized the person who says they love me is the person who hates me the most. It was that horrible beginning of the end time where you’re both trying to mourn the end of the relationship before it’s done. It’s bittersweet because you know you have to end it and you know you’ll be relieved in the end but you can’t help feeling like you want to save it at the same time.
‘Crying’ was a song about other people. It was about the advice I was giving to people who would message me online who are struggling with their identity or just feeling down. I was inspired by these people reaching out to me being so open about what they are struggling with because they connected to something in my previous songs. ‘Blood In The Water’ is heavier, it’s me drawing from my own experience and using it to give myself the strength I needed. I love writing about the person I want to be more so than the person I am in the situation.
What was it like working with Zach & Roger to produce the song?
They were amazing! It was the quickest songwriting process I’ve ever had. I think we basically did the whole song within a couple of hours. I touched down in New York the night before and was super jet lagged but excited to work with people in NY as I’d never had the chance to before. I always have my little book of lyrics with me, which I like to pull out every time I write with someone new. One of the boys pointed to a phrase on my notepad that I had written in the cab on the way to the studio which was ‘Blood In The Water’ because I’d just driven past this massive foundation on the way there and Roger said, yep, that’s the one. So within a couple of minutes, Roger had done this amazing synth line and Zach started playing around with the drums and when that happens it almost writes itself from there. We laid down a rough vocal of something that came straight away and that was it!
Are there parts of your childhood or upbringing that you pull from for inspiration? How so?
Not particular for this song but in general, definitely. A theme I touch on quite a lot, consciously or subconsciously, is the feeling of never belonging to anything or anyone. I think that’s because I’ve moved around a fair bit. My family is Irish but I grew up on a small island called Guernsey and then left to come to London so I never quite feel at home. My song wanderlust talks about the moment I decided to leave home, ‘I’m held back by the glass, I’m filled with wanderlust, and I’ll leave it all behind if you make me the queen of hearts’.
What’s your favorite part about being an artist?
Hearing that my music has helped or affected people in any way. That really makes it all worth it. I feel like it always comes the second you think of giving up and then I’m right back where I should be.
Explain the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered in the music industry thus far. How have they molded you?
There are always struggles, every day there’s a struggle in some form. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I think the most rewarding part of doing this is when you feel like it’s paying off and that you’ve earned the good things; you can’t get that without the struggle. I’ve had a lot of exciting things happen and had a greater appreciation for this industry now that I am releasing off my own label and working for myself as opposed to when I was signed to a major label. The best parts of my career so far have come from my worst experiences in it. At the end of the day, the harder you work, the luckier you get and I feel very lucky right now to be in control of my own destiny and work with incredible people who are in control their own too.
What’s it like being a female in the music industry?
I think if you ask nearly any girl in the world they will be able to tell you a personal struggle relating to them being a female in the industry they are working in; however, I can say that despite experiences I have had personally and people around me have had in music, the women I know and work with every day are extremely resilient, hard-working, tough as hell, kind, but they get the job done that’s for sure. Sometimes you might have to fight to be seen and heard at times but that’s what we’re good at.
Have you ever doubted your choice to pursue music? If so, what’s kept you going?
I’ve never thought I would do anything else, ever. Even when it’s crossed my mind to give up (for about 3 seconds), I know I never will.
Tell me about a moment in your career that has left you extremely proud.
I’ve felt proud a lot of times lately. I’ve felt proud anytime I try to do something I have absolutely no idea how to do and then somehow it’s done so now you try something even bolder and crazier and see how that goes I feel proud every time something’s gone wrong and we don’t give up. For me, this career path is about progression, you have to enjoy the journey otherwise you’re just chasing something that doesn’t really exist. That’s why I feel proud of the smallest successes because it means I’m learning.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
I’d have to say, my parents. It’s obvious but true. I’ve never seen them fail at anything they wanted to do because they never gave up. There’s nothing more inspiring as a child than to see that drive and ambition and always being told I can do or be anything I want to be if I give it everything.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists in the field? How has your success story panned out?
Listen to yourself. Trust your instincts. No one will ever want this for yourself more than you, so you have to be the one to make it happen. If you don’t know something, learn it. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right. If you love something, fight for it. In terms of me, I’m only just beginning; I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
Featured image courtesy of Empara Mi