Rapping and music

I started out as a poet and then one of the Dublin rappers Kenneth taught me how to write my poetry to music or beats instead of randomly throwing music behind the poetry. I aspire to what these Irish underground rappers are doing, there’s all these people sitting in their rooms around the country making magic with words. I’d love to have more time to allocate to music soon and write a few albums.

I attend kirtans and sing Vedic mantras. It’s two completely different world styles with a flavour of Irish homegrown traditional music thrown in for good measure. I’ve been a rocker, jumping around onstage during a Foo Fighters gig, walked into Slane Castle past the security at age 12 to see Guns n’ Roses after bopping in my parents arms at Bob Dylan in the same venue, age 4.

From meeting Irish legend Christy Moore and hanging out chatting about the influence his music had on my life to meeting my favourite metal bands at Graspop Festival in Belgium, music has always played a big role in my life. I am named Emily after a Pink Floyd song by my cool hippy parents. How could I not be making music?

As far as rapping goes I am still learning but that’s good. I have a lot to say and if my music has any strength it’s in the message that it brings. I love to see people laugh and cry when they listen. It’s good to feel emotions and music is emotive.

My writing process always amazes me. I can have a song in my head for months and months, just formulating, I won’t write it down. I forget bits of it, other bits come in and out and it just keeps growing and evolving. Then one day I just start hearing the full thing in my head. At that stage I just grab a pen and put it on paper. Then I record it on my phone and play it in the car when I’m driving for a couple of days. I don’t have to try and learn it, it just goes in. After a few days I more or less know it, just by listening and singing along. Then I go into the recording studio and make it happen.

I used to get nervous in front of a microphone. Mostly because the first couple of songs I recorded I was lucky enough to get Costello to do it and he’s one of the best in Ireland when it comes to hip hop. So one part of me was buzzing and one part of me kept judging myself and messing up the words. Anyway the end result was good and Costello was understanding and sound. His housemate 4Real even jumped on one of the choruses. It’s a weird thing for me not being able to be as good at something as I want to be. I put so long into perfecting my art that I’m used to sitting down and feeling confident that I’m ready to create a painting.

I see the lads rapping and I really want to be able to do that, the breathwork, the speed of the pronunciation. I know they’ve put as many years into practicing their music as I did with my art so I’ve definitely got a few more years to go. These days I don’t get nervous at the microphone and that’s a good start. I found a few places where I feel comfortable to record and I think that’s half the battle.

I’ve been getting my cousin Kelise to jump on some of the vocals. Kelise is 18 and she has a serious singing voice, plus she plays instruments and writes her own lyrics. From recording her at a moments notice in Rep Studios in Finglas to hearing her strong voice belting out over the catwalk in Indianapolis at the Live Out Loud annual show, the thing I really love is that these fashion opportunities are giving me the benefit of being able to include those around me that I admire. I want to work with all of the wonderful talented people (models, singers, rappers, etc.) around to make more and more magic creations.