Emma King’s Songwriting Survival Kit

22 September, 2018 in Features, Gear, Interviews

Emma King

Emma King: “rain or shine there’s always a line”

When it comes to her essential writing gear, this soulful artist from Hull has a secret weapon up her sleeves

We’ve kept an ear on Emma King’s music ever since we premiered her soulful pop track Baby You Don’t Mean Nothing back in August 2016 and it’s with great excitement that we await the release of her upcoming album Electric Soul Therapy. An independent artist from Hull, the new album was recorded in both the UK and the US – fitting for someone whose style could easily find a home either side of the Atlantic.

Keen to know a little more about her process, we asked her to share with us those essential items that she just can’t write without…


1. A room with a view
“I’ve written my most poignant songs looking out of a window… rain or shine there’s always a line. It’s a real-time music video for your thoughts and melodies as well as a therapeutic backdrop to paint your own melodic vision. It’s also great when you need to put down your instrument and take five.”

Emma King's window

Emma’s room with a view: “I’ve written my most poignant songs looking out of a window”

2. Passport
“I’m inspired by people, places and spontaneous adventures so its imperative to continue travelling and feel inspired to write. We learn from the people we meet, those unfamiliar moments that change us… obstacles we run into along the way. I’m inspired by foreign imagery – you have to go out looking for those special places. I think the more you travel, the better writer and person you become. The two go hand in hand.”

Emma King's guitars

Emma King’s guitars

3. A variety of instruments
“Creatively I don’t like to put limits on anything. Whether it’s time, style or, most of all, instrumentation. I like to switch it up to keep melodies and ideas fresh. I like ‘amp-ing’ up to replicate a live show – I write ‘bigger’ songs that way. The instruments don’t necessarily have to be traditional either: I often use my voice, feet and furniture to create a vibe… on my brand new album I wrote a song to my hairdryer – there are no rules in music and that’s why it’s a magical thing!”

Emma King's voice recorder

“I use a brilliant voice recorder app on my phone – the quality is perfect!”

4. Voice recorder
“I travel quite a lot and it’s not always easy to carry around that special notebook and fancy pen. I use a brilliant voice recorder app on my phone – the quality is perfect! Melodies tend to enter my head late at night, on the road and in rooms with great acoustics so it’s brilliant in all of those situations and it’s not failed me yet.”

Ritch Spence

Ritch Spence: “my co-writing secret weapon”

5. Secret weapon
“I think it’s pretty well documented that two heads are better than one… or is that eyes!? When you musically interlock with someone it’s always a deeply creative and explorative process. Ritch Spence is my co-writing secret weapon. We both have different musical influences and talents and that impacts the overall sound, melody and lyrical content, keeping the writing process (and outcome) fresh and interesting. I’ve just realised this is no longer a ‘secret’ weapon!”


Electric Soul Therapy is out 28 September. All you need to know can be found at emmakingmusic.com



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