In a year like 2020, saying something like, “I will never give up” is more like a battle cry than a simple sentiment. It’s also the title of the latest from Emma Stackhaus. An R&B delight infused with slick beats that satisfy from the press of play. We talked to Emma about the uplifting ways of the record, how she spends her good days, and more in this back and forth.
Kendra: While music videos have sort of become a medium found solely on the likes of YouTube, they can still offer so much. Looking back, was there any music video you admired growing up that in a way inspired you to start your musical journey? Were you always interested in going down the R&B/hip hop path?
Emma Stackhaus: Thank you for having me, and great question by the way. My father was in the service and I grew up in Germany and in different parts of Florida and listened to everything from Euro-pop to old school R&B and then got more into hip hop as I got deeper into my teens. As for videos, I remember that I loved watching Missy Elliott, the TLC videos like “Waterfalls” and Janet Jackson to name a few.
Kendra: With ‘I Will Never Give Up’ and tracks like “We Gonna Make It,” there is a very uplifting vibe to your sound. While that’s always welcome in music, it seems more necessary now more than ever. With the album having dropped in May, were you still working on the final touches when the world started to take this weird turn?
Emma Stackhaus: Yes, we were in the process of deciding how many and what songs to add to the album, and I just loved them all. In the end, our team and management got it together. I am truly proud of this project and the main objective is to reach people with a message of positivity and healing during these hard times.
Kendra: What have you been doing lately to ensure you have a “Good Day?”
Emma Stackhaus: I’m a yoga-holic… those two words shouldn’t even go together, but that is a passion of mine too. I love yoga and meditating. With so many thoughts that run through my mind in a 24-hour period, I always need to clean house for new thoughts.
Kendra: I ask because there is a lot, and I mean a lot, going on in this world right now. It’s like if it could happen, 2020 is the time. I know you just dropped an album, but have recent events inspired your pen to again?
Emma Stackhaus: It’s sad to say, but yes…It has been a struggle staying upbeat with all that is going on right now. It’s difficult to see family and friends and I hardly want to take chances going out. I would like to say I am very hopeful, and that is all I currently have been writing about…hope.
Kendra: When the world of live music comes back, which Miami venue are you most excited to get back to as a performer, and as a fan?
Emma Stackhaus: I am very much looking forward to Jazz In The Gardens.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned but can you also share a song that never fails to get you through when the world around you feels like a mess?
Emma Stackhaus: Yes, I agree, the future is difficult to gauge right now, but there is always hope and I will continue to share that hope both personally and professionally. From a musical standpoint, I have a new single in the works. It’s a track called “Show Me” that wasn’t quite ready for the album that we almost polished off now. Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” is a track that never, ever fails to get me through.