Emilia Walasik - 10 Questions Interview
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Without a doubt the first person that comes to mind is my Dad. Sadly he passed away in 2014 but the gift of music he left me is something that I always carry with me. Growing up our house was always filled with music. When I was just 6 years old he got me involved in the children's choir at Church. He always encouraged me to follow my dreams and he believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. He's the one who convinced me to put myself out there. After he passed away I used the moments of grief to dive in even deeper into music. That's when I started writing my own music more seriously.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Oh my! There have certainly been several of those occurrences but if I have to pick just one it has to be something that happened to me during my performance trip to Poland in 2016 for the World Youth Day gathering with Pope Francis. A few days before my performance there was a rehearsal on the main stage. Since this was a major international gathering with close to 2 million people, this was to take place in a huge field practically in the middle of nowhere. I had a driver from the organizing committee drop me off and he was supposed to also pick me up. However, the driver did not show up and of course this would happen to me... My phone battery died! I knew no one there and by the time I was done there were barely any people left. There were a few policeman standing from a distance so I approached them asking for assistance. On a road nearby there were some cars driving by and one of them was a taxi. The cops pulled over the taxi and told them to drive me back! Something that started out so frustrating ended up having some humor! And certainly an experience I'll never forget. But also something I prefer not to happen again!
What has been the high point of your music path?
I think for me it's not just one particular moment. I'd say the high point of my music path was when more and more people started sharing with me how my voice and my songs have a powerful influence on them and truly lift them up - that my music truly gets to their hearts. Once I started getting more of this positive feedback I knew I was doing something right musically and heading in the right direction!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
Sometimes I write when I'm hit with a light of inspiration and other times I sit down specifically to write a new song. Typically what I do first is always take audio notes whenever a particular melody or sound/vibe comes to me. It could literally be happening while I'm driving. I record voice memos on my phone and then when I want to write a new song I go back to these recordings and see what I could possibly use. The same applies to lyric writing. I may get an idea of a title, theme, idea, or a lyric line. When this happens I get my phone out and write it down in my notes app. If I have many ideas at once I sit at my piano or keyboard and start messing around with chords and putting all my ideas together. All in all there is no single way I write songs but these are certainly some of my main tactics.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I believe the greatest challenge for Indie artists today is being heard and making a profit. The structure of the larger music/entertainment industry may be to blame since major artists have an entire team that supports them as part of a record deal, while the Indie artist more than often needs to financially invest into their projects on their own.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
That's such a great question! There are many artists and bands I admire and would love to share the stage with. But one band I would love to in particular is my favorite Contemporary Christian band: For King and Country.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
As a singer, my voice is my main instrument so before a show I drink a lot of water and watch what I eat to make sure my voice is in best condition. In terms of rehearsals, I begin my warming up my voice with specific exercises my voice coaches taught me. After warm ups I jump right into the song. If there is a particular part of the song that needs more attention, I focus in on that section.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
That song would have to be "Daddy". Not necessarily the song structure but the circumstances in my life that surrounded me during that time. It was around 4 years after my dad passed away and my brother who has Down syndrome was undergoing major surgery and was spending several months in the hospital. I was in the hospital almost every night. In some of my down time I felt compelled to write an honest song of what I was feeling and going through to my dad. To tell him what I wanted him to know. It was definitely a challenge writing it in the hospital but today I'm so glad I did. One of my best musician friends who plays piano and violin actually worked in that same hospital so after one of his shifts at around 1am at night, we both went to the Prayer Chapel of the hospital and played on the piano there bringing this song to life. I definitely never expected to write a song in that way and in that place.
What's coming up in the future?
I am sooo excited to announce that I will be releasing a new full length album, this being my second album, near the end of this coming July, so just a few more weeks! I will also be releasing a new music video around that time for one of the songs titled "Serenity" which will be on the new album.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Subscribe to my Youtube Channel
Find more music on Spotify
About Emilia Walasik
Emilia Walasik is Contemporary Christian Singer-Songwriter and Catholic worship leader from Chicago. She started singing as a child and began singing at church when she was just six years old. During her high school and college years, she discovered her love for songwriting and composing music. She has lead worship and performed both nationally and internationally. Throughout her musical career, Emilia has won over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life. Performing at a variety of venues, making dozens of appearances, all the while recording new songs, she has earned the admiration and affection of many, serving as both an inspiration and role model.
Several of her major performances include: In 2006 she sang for Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, and she was selected as a performer for the World Youth Day international gatherings with Pope Francis in Poland (2016) and in Panama (2019). Emilia earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Dominican University and a Master of Music degree along with studies in the music business from the University of Miami. Additionally, she received a Master's degree in Theology to complement her work in ministry. Aside from music, Emilia is a disability advocate for individuals with disabilities like her brother who was born with Down Syndrome. She is a trained public speaker for the National Association for Down Syndrome and in 2010 received the President's Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama. In January of 2019 Emilia released her debut Christian/Gospel album "Authentic" and she will be releasing her second album in July 2021.