With just 16 years old, Emma Steinbakken from Jessheim, just outside of Oslo, has made a quite wave on the media in Scandianvia – and that is because of her great voice. Her song “Not gonna cry” has already reached platinum-status and is a constantly played song on the Norwegian radio since months – and this in times when the radio stations are getting dozens of new song every week. The track is very well produced with some nice edges and sticks to the ear immediately.
With the release of her first EP she is taking the next step and it contains not only the smasher ‘Not gonna cry’ but also the power-ballad ‘Never forgiving’ that sounds very mature too. The massive ‘Pretty Little Secret’ shows a more beat/bass-driven side of her with darker vocals.
‘I don’t know’ on the other side shows the soft side and the massive vocal range and voice control she has in her young age. The EP closes with the new-pop song ‘Bad, sad & kinda mad’.
In the follow mail-interview Emma told us some background information about her start in the music industry more:
How did you discover your love to music, what are your ‘heroes’?
‘As long as I can remember I have loved music and listened to a lot of music. I’ve always sung, no matter where or when.’
How do you feel about the massive success of ‘Not gonna cry’, I guess this huge media echo wasn’t planned?
‘I am obviously both happy, grateful and humble about NGC becoming such a success and that people actually are listening to it. But I can’t focus too much on one song as my focus is always to make new and even better songs, and NGC was the first song I ever wrote. I think I’d lose my head a little if I thought too much about it. And no, it was not planned or expected at all.’
What is your way of writing new music? What comes first – a melody or text?
‘Often when I write a song I have a theme or subject I want to write about, or a melody in my head. I talk to the producer I work with about it and together we find out how to start. Then we start writing separately before we change notes and ideas. That way we give each other inspiration and get new perspectives to the theme and then we start working on the verses and chorus, and at last we do the vocals.’
How did you get in contact with the guys of Skinny Days, that is a great start for a young upcoming artist?
‘I met Skinny Days through my manager who put up a session with them. I thought it was super exciting that they wanted to work with me.’
What about the school – how do you split between a starting pop star life and sitting in the school class?
‘My school is really good at facilitating the days for me when I’m away. I’m doing schoolwork at planes, hotel rooms and restaurants when I’m out traveling. Planning is key. I lose a lot of lessons and have to learn myself, but I wouldn’t be able too without having a school this engaged.’
What are the songs on the EP about? What are your main topics?
‘The EP is about young people’s feelings, my feelings and situations I’ve been in. I get both anger and frustration out through my songs.’
And what is up next? New music in the making? Concerts or festivals?
‘The next coming weeks are a lot about of studio work, do schoolwork and travel a little ;)’
Thank you, Emma for the insights! The self-titled EP is out today, 11.10.2019!
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Photo: Robin Bøe
Emma Steinbakken delivers a debut ep on an extraordinary level: Matured songs, to-the-point-production and her vocal range show, that she is here to stay and we can expect more hits like ‘Not gonna cry’ from her.