Never underestimate the power of the internet–especially when you combine a talented singer/songwriter and an A-List celebrity.
With over 20,000 hits in roughly a month, “Rooftop,” starring Bill Murray, has helped propel 20 year old Emily Hearn directly onto that proverbial music radar. The critics out there may want to place the blame of the buzz around her on Bill Murray or hippos but look deeper and this has been a grassroots process. Visit her YouTube page and you will find tour blogs, live videos and yes, Bill Murray banging on a drum. Combine that web presence with a constant string of tour dates, a self-released EP, and catchy pop tunes in the same stylings as Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles and you have yourself the making of a pop star with substance.
Catch her at The White Mule on April 1 at Haley Dreis’ EP release show. Dreis, who will be performing with a full band, is a talented Columbia, SC singer/songwriter in her own rite. She will be performing songs off her brand new EP, “Taking Time,” which was released March 15 of this year.
Your Paper Hearts EP was released on April 10, 2010. Describe the process that lead up to the recording. Where was it recorded? Did you bring on a producer? Did you bring in any songwriters?
Up until I started recording my Paper Heart EP I wouldn’t have really considered myself and artist. I had written some songs about my best friends and about a break up, and I just put them up on myspace because my friends kept begging me for a recording. So when Trey Roth in Griffin, GA (my home town) heard the recordings and watched a youtube video of mine, he approached me about recording an EP. I told him I had no money, so we were just planning on putting something small together. I don’t think either one of us expected it to do as well as it has. Trey’s studio is in Griffin, so I spent my Christmas break recording with him, and then went back to school at UGA while he put finishing touches on the tracks. I’ve always been the type to write my songs in private and not really let anyone hear them until I think they’re completely finished. I get into this creative mode by myself that never quite comes out when I’m writing with other people. I’ve been co-writing a lot more lately, though, and I’m starting to enjoy it a lot! It’s more fun to write playful songs with other people, and I always end up writing the super emotional ones alone.
When did Mark Bryan begin managing you and how did that come about? How has that relationship allowed your career to grow?
Mark and I first met 2 summers ago when I spent some time in Charleston interning for my Aunt Mary Gordon’s book publishing company. Mark and Mary Gordon’s kids play together a lot, so one day she just sort of handed him my dorky, garage band demo CD and he gave it a listen. He liked my voice and a song that I had written, so he brought me out to his studio in Awendaw to record. So ever since then we’ve been friends and have run into each other from time to time, but it wasn’t until summer 2010 that he actually started managing my career. He’s gotten me some amazing opportunities. Since we’ve been working together I’ve gotten a licensing deal with All Media Music Group in CA, the opportunity to perform at Sunset Sessions this February, to kick of the Thursday night fashion show at Charleston Fashion week, and to open up for Hootie and the Blowfish this past weekend at the N. Charleston PAC. It’s been so amazing. I’m so grateful for him and his hard work. It’s made all the difference.
Touring seems to be an essential for anyone trying to make a name for themselves out there and make that name last. You seem to feel the same way based on your tour history. How important is touring to you, not only in gaining new fans, but on a personal level?
Touring is absolutely essential. Every time someone tells me that there are people in a certain city who like my music I immediately start working on booking a show there. I want to meet everyone who identifies with my music and I love performing in new cities. One of my favorite things about being on tour is that I get to hang out with new friends after the shows. When I sing them my songs they are leaning about my life and then afterwards we bond over our love for music and our common experiences and I get to learn all about their lives. It’s so cool.
I saw where you are currently in recording another album. Will this be another EP or an LP? Who is producing it? When can we expect it to be out?
I’m working on a new full length album that is expected to be released this summer. I’m working with Trey Roth again in Griffin. The process this time has been so much more elaborate and I’m literally giddy I’m so stoked for these songs to be finished. This is my first LP, so Trey and I are both really pouring our entire hearts into the production. Compared to my EP, this project is so much more extreme– the emotional songs are so much deeper and more heart breaking, and the happy songs are so much more bubbly and fun. The creative process has been a blast. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
This year I’ll be touring as much as possible, promoting the new record. This is my life’s passion, so I couldn’t feel more lucky that I get to do this all the time.
Lastly, how did you get Bill Murray to bang on that drum?
Mark is friends with Bill Murray, so he burned him a copy of Rooftop and left it on his front porch. Apparently Bill listened to it and liked it because before I knew it, he just showed up to the set of the video shoot, which happened to be Wentworth St. We had some coffee, he told me he liked my dress, and we just started dancing to my song. It was an absolute blast. I am so so thankful to him and his generous spirit for just showing up to help me out. He’s an amazing person.