Emyna The Rock Queen - 10 Questions Interview
Rock singer, songwriter and guitarist Emyna the Rock Queen is breaking all the rules in an industry that is often male dominated. Born in Texas, Emyna started music early being the only daughter of a music teacher. She grew up to become an opening act for Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan and a performer with members of the multi-platinum Def Leppard. She has been recognized by the Billboard Song Contest and placed 2nd in the International 100% Music Song Contest for her singles “Rise” and "Reach For the Sky." The Rock Queen has graced stages through out the world performing in India, Australia, US, and the UK. Emyna is the founder of two outreach programs, Woman Who Rock for Kids and Legacy in Sound, a one woman historical show of women in Rock & Roll. She has also launched an eco-friendly line of clothing called Rock Queen Wear and started her own record label, Starshine International Records.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I started playing the piano at the age of 4. My mother, who was a music teacher, was very strict and made me pratice everyday. With time to myself, I would make up characters and write songs for them. Later as a teenager, I put a group together and performed at community centers. I won first place from a coca cola song contest. That's when I knew writing and performing would be big part of my life.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I had the opportunity to meet with a large major label that I submitted my music to. Little did I know at the time, they immediately sent it to R & B without listening to it because my picture was attached. R & B did listen it, but had no idea why it had been sent to them. The bottom line is that it never got to right place. So that's how my label got started, Starshine International Records.
What has been the high point of your music path?
I have had the opportunity to meet, perform, and play with many artists around the world which has helped my creativity.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like? I usually practice excercises in morning and then come up with different melodies on the guitar and record them, and eventually I come back and start on ideas and lyrics. Sometimes it takes a long time. Ususally it becomes a story with a character who is somtimes me. The new single "Forever" actually woke me up about 4 a.m. in the morning, and I went to the piano and finished the whole song.
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?
Finding out what your special music skills are and sticking with it even if it's different. Sometimes the music industry wants to clone artists to be like someone else or the latest thing rather then who they really are.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why? I would like to write and perform with female artists of different genres of music and see what we can actually create together.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
First I rehearse by myself in my studio with mirrors all around. I work with them expressing a story and how I should tell the story with body movement, hands etc. Then I videotape and make changes in what I want to do differently. Then I rehearse with the band, unless I am doing a solo performance.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I think "Rise" because I created different characters each with a different lives, but they had one thing in common to "Rise" above it all.
What's coming up in the future?
My next single "Forever" is coming out soon. I am playing piano, going back to the begining where I started. Stuart Epps produced this one. He also produced "What Will You Do", and "I Am Me."
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Stream on Spotify.
For more information on Emyna the Rock Queen, please visit her website.