After having written for multiple other artists, including Grace VanderWaal and JORDY, EMME is stepping into the spotlight for herself. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the USC graduate has already amassed a significant following, with her many collaborations racking up a combined 15 million streams on Spotify alone. Now, with her debut single and an accompanying music video, EMME uses her Southern California roots as an entry point for the introspective musical world she’s creating for herself and her listeners.
“I always had joked when I was little that I thought it was funny that I was a valley girl, because I wasn’t the cool prissy girl,” EMME, born Emily Kocontes, tells A1234. This paradoxically universal sensation of being an outsider was the driving force behind her debut single “Valley Girl”, released 31 August. EMME may be singing about feeling of being out of place, but with the delicious rhythm of lines like “Driving with the top down / hanging with the in crowd / drinking way too much at the parties / it’s not me, I’m sorry”, this song will feel like one you’ve known and loved your whole life after one listen. The uptempo bedroom pop track features what Kocontes describes as “quirky, interesting production” that makes the perfect backdrop for her crystal clear and featherlight vocals, which feel as refreshing as a breeze rushing through your open window on a cruise down the 405. This sunny, carefree attitude of coming into one’s own also drives the song’s supporting music video. Directed, shot, and edited by Lily Judge, the video stars Kocontes among a myriad of classic LA iconography. “We used a camcorder to get a retro 2000’s vibe,” Kocontes says, recounting all the fun she had creating both the song and the video. She may not have known when she started recording “Valley Girl” that it would become her debut single; “I just wanted to make a good song.” But it quickly became clear that this was something special. “Hearing it back on Jonny [Shor, the track’s producer]’s speakers, I had this insane moment just realising, ‘I’m an artist now, this is my song, this is the first thing I’m really excited about.’”