Emma Steinbakken is one of Arista Records latest signings, (she is also signed to Epic Records, Germany) and a name we are sure you will be hearing a lot more of. A Norwegian artist from Jessheim. Emma has been singing all her life and has been writing stories and poems since she was ten. In the Autumn of 2017, she played the lead role in the musical Annie. “Not Gonna Cry” is the first song she ever recorded in a studio and it already has 7 million global Spotify streams. The song was co-written with Norwegian duo, Skinny Days who also produced the track.
We had a quick chat with Emma ahead of the release of “Not Gonna Cry”.
How did you get a record deal?
I went to a BBQ at my uncle’s house with family and friends two years ago, and a guy working in the music business was there. I thought that was very exciting and I asked him a billion questions. I invited him to see me play Annie in the musical later that year. He came, and right after he asked if I wanted to go to a proper studio and record a song. We have worked together since.
What do your family and friends think about you having a record deal and releasing music?
Both my family and friends think it’s cool that I am following my passion and work with music. I don’t think they think it’s cool because I have a record deal, more because I am following my dream and doing something different than everyone else. They are very supportive and I really appreciate that.
Is it hard to balance school and making music?
Yes, it can be. School is very important but I want to spend as much time as I can on music. When there’s a lot to do in school, I have to let everything else pass and just work on music with the time I have left.
What do you like to do when not working?
When I’m not working I just love being social. I love to hang with my friends and I think it’ important to have some time off working too.
Who are your musical influences?
I am inspired by and listen to a lot of Norwegian artists. If I have to say, one artist that influenced me the most, it’s the Norwegian rapper Cezinando. But I also look up to artists like Rihanna and 6lack.
First song/album you ever bought?
Probably Adele’s “21” album. I was such a crazy fan of her when I was younger.
Name a person/band you’d love to perform with?
It would be sick to perform with 6lack.
If you could perform a headline gig at any venue in the world which would it be?
Madison Square Garden!
How would you describe your sound as an artist?
I’d describe the music I make now and that soon will be released (!!) as pretty dark and mellow. It’s calm, downtempo and nice. I also like listening to music that is mellow and where lyrics and vocals are the focus.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to play a couple more summer festivals with my band, and then I want to release more of my music. I have made a lot of music that I want to show you. Maybe something comes your way soon ?!
You can follow Emma on her Instagram, and “Not Gonna Cry” is out now.
Let us know your thoughts on the track at @CelebMix!