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An Interview Emily Schultz

A new EP release from Emily Schultz comes through with a warming tonality and a welcoming undertone with an acoustic backbone and vocals that soar and swell throughout the course of the record.

The Family Name EP is wonderfully woven and beautifully performed as it takes on such a personal and truthful approach and grabs your attention with these subtle pop vibes here and there.

Her performance across the release shows a massive character and this smooth and alluring presence that has a way of wrapping itself around you.

This whole thing gives you this almost familiar and slightly nostalgic feeling which doesn't come from the music but more the lyrical content.

And cause memories to pop into your head at random and it's really wonderful to have music that can make you feel and think like that.

I think more music should do this for people so that they can escape back into their memories, and this only works with the right kind of performance and something that's incredibly relatable.

This is certainly a singer-songwriter release but again, there are pop elements that peek through and give little bits of different feels here and there which is refreshing.

The biggest aspect about this record that grabs you is that honesty and that really one-on-one approach that makes you feel like you know this person better after listening to the record.

You can tell that everything about this was based not only on an emotional drive, which there's plenty of here but also on this personal life experience.

The delivery of the EP is almost dreamlike and because of that it also has a cinematic feel to it which in turn is partially why you picture your own thing as the music is happening.

The record certainly has its own atmosphere and that's not always something easy to attain especially in an EP that's just five songs.

It does feel a bit bigger than that of course because the songs are so in-depth, and they come through so full-bodied and lush most of the time.

This was absolutely gorgeous, and Emily is someone that we should all be keeping an eye on because when you have music like this you want to hear what comes next from the artist.

It's performers like this that show the evolution and how they do their thing and a love for their craft and everything that they release.

With such a fantastic release we wanted to have a sit down with Emily Schultz to find out where this actually came from and what might be coming next for the artist.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Okay, let’s start with the Family Name record. This EP had a personal and lush feel to it! How did this record come about?

I’ve been wanting to record a body of work for years now, and the timing never quite worked out. The first couple years of the pandemic was really what gave me the opportunity to put intentional time into a record. It’s a combination of songs that had been a part of my live show, and some that were created in the studio during various lockdowns; some artistically led by myself and some led by my producer and co-creator, Jordan Hart. It felt like the songs that ended up coming together in this project had a really solid throughline of family connection and reflection on relationship to others and to self, so the title ‘Family Name’ came about really organically. Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you musically? When did you really fall in love with music?

I grew up playing backup for other artists in Edmonton, and the folk community there was an amazing place to grow up. I remember sitting in my aunt and uncle’s basement when they would have these huge folk jams and being beside myself with joy. This kind of excitement around music is something that has followed me throughout many artistic career turns and moves across the country, until my sister gave me her old guitar and I started writing my own music around 2016. Since then, it’s been the biggest outlet for me emotionally and one of my biggest connectors to community. It’s still one of the places in my mind that I feel the most saturated with light. Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?

I really lean into personal reflection and exploring relationship and life dynamics, with the main goal aiming to be as honest about these reflections as possible, so I think anything that holds a lot of weight to it. Buzz Slayers: This EP has some great styles on it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?

Thank you! It’s a little varied, for sure! When I wrote the first half of the record, I was listening to a lot of Dodie, which you can hear reflected in the intimacy of the style of the first three songs. But overall, I’m a huge fan of Bon Iver, Eva Cassidy and am really influenced by Patty Griffin’s songwriting and vocal style. I also grew up listening to the Chicks and India Arie, which might explain the meandering within styles on Family Name. Lots of influences from all genres! Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you’re NOT working on music?

Usually hanging with my friends or trying to find the newest best cappuccino in the city! I’m lucky to have a great community that I love deeply, we’re either just hanging out having great conversation or doing some kind of activity. My one friend taught us how to make authentic Polish pierogies the other day and I feel changed forever, haha. So yeah, just trying to lean into life as much as possible with the people I love. Buzz Slayers: Who’s in your headphones right now?

I just discovered the band River Whyless. They’re amazing! Their music has a ton of variety along with a kind of eclectic flair about it which I love. Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?

Yes! I play live weekly. I just sold out one of my favorite venues in Toronto, The Rex, for my EP release concert for Family Name. I did a solo set and then brought up my band, which has been SO fun to start building sonically and energetically within my community in TO. My next big show that I’m looking forward to is playing for JUNOFest in Edmonton at Union Hall. I’m sharing the stage with Fortunate Ones, Martin Kerr and East Pointers. It’s going to be a great time! Buzz Slayers: Did you record yourself or did you hit a big studio for this?

This whole record was recorded between our home studio in Toronto and a makeshift home studio that Jordan and I put together while we were unofficially living in Edmonton during the pandemic. The only other vocals that weren’t done by myself and Jordan were recorded by my sister, Samantha Schultz, at her home studio in LA. The whole thing was super indie! Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

I have some live acoustic videos of the songs off of Family Name coming out online over the next few weeks. But after that, I just received some funding to head back into the studio, so there will be some new music coming this year! Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

Thank you so much for listening! This is such a raw part of my heart and soul that you’re getting with ‘Family Name’ and I hope it helps you look inward, outward, and gives you the space to breathe. Thank you, I love you.

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