Name: Emily Nash
Occupation: DJ, producer
Current Release: Emily Nash's single "Garden" is out via Ministry of Sound.
Recommendations: Emily Nash – Garden; MK - 17
If you enjoyed this interview with Emily Nash and would like to stay up to date on her music and live dates, visit her on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, and Soundcloud.
When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I started producing when I didn’t get a high enough maths GCSE in school which meant I couldn’t get into sixth form. So I went to my local college, they put me into a music production class and I’ve kept going with it since then.
I grew up with family loving music, we went to Glastonbury Festival nearly every year. My early influences were people such as Annie Mac, MK, Duke Dumont, Gorgon City and a few others.
Some people experience intense emotion when listening to music, others see colours or shapes. What is your own listening experience like and how does it influence your approach to music?
When I listen to music I normally listen out for a basic melody or something very catchy and it influences me to then make something along the lines of that. If you listen to my music it has pretty basic melodies.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
I’d say I’ve been super lucky.
Jaguar from Radio 1 found me on the BBC Uploader and gave me my first Radio 1 play. I started out producing then I decided to DJ as well so I brought that into it.
Getting your music out there and heard can be quite challenging, sometimes it takes a little patience.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
I tend to use the same instruments in my tracks or like I said before basic melodies that people can listen once to and already have in their head.
My real name’s Emily Nash and that’s the name I thought I’d stick with to represent my artist side. Just keep it original I guess.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
Basic melodies, keeping it simple and in my case a strong vocal that people like to listen to.
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
I just produce whatever I’m feeling at the time. Over the next few months or years maybe my sound will change slightly but at the moment I’m just producing what I like to make or whatever comes into my head.
Obviously influences help as well so I guess I could be continuing a tradition with that.
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
I’ve realised I don’t need fancy equipment. I just use my laptop my speakers or headphones and a MIDI keyboard and I’m ready to go.
I use Logic Pro X and use most of the instruments from there or my go to plug in would be Serum.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
I’m not a very morning person so I tend to have a lie in. (laughs)
But I’d normally wake up, have breakfast and a coffee, listen to some music and then shortly after that start making some music. I also work at Tesco so I’m sometimes there in the evenings.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?
For my track “Garden” I found this haunting vocal and the ideas came to me as I was listening to it. I started off with the vocal first and followed it with some arps and synths and they worked really nicely with it. I then started building up the track with drums, risers snares and a few more bits.
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
I tend to like working by myself as I know what I’ve done and how I’ve done it. However I am also very open to working with other people. I think it’s always good because then you can learn bits off other producers/artists.
My favourite thing would probably be working with vocalists. I’ll take a track into a session and if the artist likes it then they will lay some vocals on it or if not we can start completely fresh and make a track there and then with all our ideas.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
I’d say I have an edgy commercial sound that people like to hear. I just like to make music that will get people up dancing, whether that’s summer dance music or tech house.
Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?
I think listening to music when you’re feeling low really does help. It almost takes your head away from reality and puts you into some calmer place and you can listen to whatever you like.
There seems to be increasing interest in a functional, “rational” and scientific approach to music. How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
Well with music you get vibrations, and you can feel the beat and I think that’s what gets most people going.
If you’re at a club, festival or wherever and you can feel the beat it makes you feel more connected with the music. Science and music just work together to create something cool.
Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?
Music is definitely different from making a great cup of coffee.
With music there are just SO many options, sounds and routes you can go down. Music is art and there’s so many different genres as well you can make any sound you like. I feel like the world of music is massive and full of depth. You can create such incredible things.
Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
I mentioned before the vibration or the beat from music can just enhance your experience massively. If you can hear the music as well as feel the bass it almost feels as if you are in that piece of music as well.