Emma Ogier has rapidly carved out a niche for herself within indie-pop. Her latest release, “Consider Me A Winner,” offers listeners an intricate sonic tapestry. The track serves as an exploration into the often unspoken corners of fear and the stark inevitability of change. Shaped by the impending departure of her best friend, Ogier takes us on a journey through transition, emphasizing that victory can be found in the courage to adapt and evolve.
Hailing from Houston and now based in Nashville, Ogier is swiftly turning heads in the music world. At just 19, she channels influences from renowned artists such as Lori McKenna, Phoebe Bridgers, and Joni Mitchell. Her unique sonic blend of country and indie-pop creates an engaging atmosphere that immediately captures her listeners’ hearts, setting her apart as an exceptional talent to watch.
Adding to her growing acclaim are unexpected yet heartening collaborations, notably with Maggie Rogers, who recently joined her for a series of duets on TikTok. These interactions are indicative of the broader recognition Ogier is gaining within the industry, providing further proof of her undeniable talent and potential.
Her performances, spanning from Nashville to Los Angeles, coupled with her recent stint on a U.S. tour supporting Michaela Slinger, have extended her reach. However, it’s her sincere songwriting and emotive melodies that truly stand out, resonating deeply with her audience. This was evident in the positive reception of her debut single, “First Base,” which served as a commentary on the complexities of superficial relationships that touched upon universal fears of rejection and the struggle for understanding.
As she embarks on this musical journey, Ogier has masterfully transformed her personal experiences into universally relatable songs. Her ability to delve into the intricacies of emotions and relationships, presenting deeply personal yet accessible insights, is commendable. With the trajectory clearly on her side, there’s no doubt that Emma Ogier is on the brink of a significant breakthrough in the music industry.
Scroll down below to read our interview with Emma Ogier.
Hey Emma! Congrats on your new single, “Consider Me A Winner.” Can you talk to me a bit about this release?
Thank you so much! I was inspired to write “Consider Me A Winner” towards the end of my first semester of college when my roommate/best friend told me she would be transferring once the semester ended. I couldn’t imagine coping without her, so I wrote this song to imagine what this period of my life would look like. The song is about fear and how fear is such a driver for how we understand what we do not know yet. I did, in fact, survive the semester, and it turns out I didn’t have to do it alone — I was constantly surrounded by support and passion!
As a songwriter, what’s your go-to essential when writing new music? How do you make sure your music strikes a chord with your audience?
My songwriting process is actually quite simple. I tend to write alone. Whenever I have free time, I sit down with my guitar, turn on my voice memos to record myself, and then just start singing the lyrics that come into my head. It’s usually a bunch of gibberish with an unsure melody, but I can listen back to the voice memo and take what I like from it. I repeat that process until I’ve pieced together the outline of a song.
After that, I’ll revise the structure, melody, and lyrics to be cohesive and fulfilling to sing/play. I don’t usually write from concepts, but instead I’ve come to understand that my songs are simply a release of thoughts coming from my subconscious. A lot of times it takes me a few days to figure out what I was actually expressing because when I’m creating the song, I’m typically just saying things I feel and observe in that moment.
With the way I write songs, it makes co-writing a bit harder to navigate. I’m still trying to figure out how to let my subconscious lead when I write with other people. However, I have been leaning into just appreciating co-writes as great practice and a way to open myself up to new perspectives.
“First Base,” your debut single, was only released a month ago and you’re already making a name for yourself. How are you coping with all of the excitement of the last few weeks?
It’s hard to fathom “making a name for yourself” when it’s happening, and it doesn’t even seem like that’s what is happening. I sometimes forget that real people are listening to something I really created, and so many of them at that. It’s a bit scary to have music out in the world because I’ve realized that something that was once all mine, a secret, is now being heard by the rest of the world, and in such a way that it is open to both judgment and interpretation.
And while we’re talking about your music, I’d love to learn more about you. What initially inspired you to become an artist and when did you recognize the power that music holds over us?
I grew up in a pretty musical family, and we had a grand piano and acoustic guitar set up in our living room. My dad played music when he was in college, so I credit the beginning of my love for music to him. However, a lot of my creative energy growing up went into musical theater though. That’s where I found my love for storytelling and expressing myself through song.
Both of my brothers are self-taught pianists and guitarists. They’re two of the most talented people I know! I was never very savvy with instruments, but I’ve always loved to sing, so eventually, I learned to play piano and guitar so I could accompany myself. I wrote poetry from a young age, so I would play around on the piano and attempt to turn the poems into songs, but I didn’t necessarily feel like a songwriter.
My older brother Aidan was the first to really pick up songwriting. I was inspired by the way he was able to express himself and started writing my own songs. I wrote my first few songs with no knowledge of how to fit into them. They were just stories to me. But over the years, I’ve begun to recognize myself in the work. I recently looked back at the first piece I’d ever written and could almost pinpoint the exact feelings and thoughts I was having at that time.
I realized songwriting for me had been and still is the way I cope with all of my feelings — hurt, exhaustion, joy, etc. I have never been well-spoken, but my songs have allowed me to be. They say the words I have a hard time finding in the present moment. They give me a voice that I hope others will confide in.
I read that you’re inspired by artists like Lori McKenna and Phoebe Bridgers. How do you find yourself incorporating everything that makes your favorite artists so special into your own music?
Lori McKenna has been a huge influence on the way I approach songwriting. Her words have given me inspiration in a way no other songwriter has. I remember noticing in her song “Stealing Kisses” the way in which she is able to tell a story without specificity but still delivers a clear picture, feeling, and story to relate to. Her abstract way of creating an environment and relating her ideas to emotions she felt encourages me to create with that lyrical balance in mind.
Of course, she writes from the perspective of someone who has seen more than me, but I feel that I also write from the perspective of someone — who happens to be a teenager — witnessing constant change too. The way she uses words reminds of authors like Jack Kerouac, who write in a similar stream-of-consciousness style.
It’s a style of writing I’ve always felt connected to as I feel it sounds like me, or more so the voice in my head. In times when I lack inspiration, I listen to Lori McKenna’s music and often remember there are different perspectives and different ways to say what I’m having a hard time expressing.
Harrison Whitford is another artist who hugely inspires me. My brother introduced me to his music a few years ago, just after he released his sophomore record, Afraid of Nothing. His abstract storytelling is quite similar to Lori McKenna’s. His lyrics have a way of making me think and feel deeply connected to them. I strive to express myself in a similar way with my music — being evocative and relatable but still maintaining an air of mystery that gives the listeners things to think about and allows them to interpret the song as it relates to them.
Production-wise, I think Harrison Whitford’s music sounds closest to the way I want my projects to sound. The instrumentation is raw and organic, but has an atmospheric quality that you can get lost in. It’s music that is made to be played live, which I hope people feel when they listen to my music too.
Also, you’re only 19! Have you learned anything about yourself considering that songwriting can be a very self-reflective process?
I’ve learned so much about myself in the past year. The EP I’ve put together is all about the change and growth I’ve experienced over the past year. This process has been extremely self-reflective — it’s a reflection of how I perceive instances and the world around me. With every new song I write, I find that I am able to better process how things make me feel and why it’s important or not important. My favorite part of releasing music is that so much change occurs in the process – I’m constantly finding new inspiration, new sounds, and building new relationships.
I’m also so lucky to have received so much love and support from family, friends, and my team in the process. It astounds me and fills me with gratitude to know that they believe in me so much. I think I’ve learned to appreciate those people around me more than ever before.
So far, you’ve shared stages with Michaela Slinger for her tour. Are there any artists in particular that you would love to support or collaborate with this year?
I would die to play with a million different artists, so this question is particularly hard to answer! I think right now, collaborating with an artist like Dijon, Ethan Guska, Joni Mitchell, or Losi McKenna would be super cool. I’d also love to be able to play a show with my big brother and little brother.
They’re both fantastic singers and musicians and there’s nothing more fun than playing with both of them. My older brother, Aidan, lives in Nashville too, and usually plays guitars and sings with me at my shows. My little brother, Coen, is only 16, so he still has a few more years at home, but I know one day we’ll all get the chance to play together, and it’s going to be awesome.
After such a busy few months, what can we expect to see from you in the next few? Do you plan to keep going at this same pace, or do you want to leave some room in between?
It’ll continue to be a busy year as I have another single being released in September called “Too Young For That,” and then my EP will come out shortly after that. Maybe I’ll even put out a new single after my EP. So yeah, it’s going to be a busy end of the year for me!