This interview with Emily Morrone was a happy accident. I was supposed to be doing a review but ended up with a list of questions instead. So I sent them to her people and hoped that she would answer them. Apparently, Morrone was cool with the mixup because she replied.
Morrone is the definition of independence. She is the whole band. With a little assistance from a MIDI keyboard and a loop pedal, she makes the magic happen.
What are the benefits to being a one-woman band?
I’ve always wanted to pursue a career as a solo artist and something I had to figure out was how I was going to perform my music. When I was first starting out I played a lot of acoustic shows that were just me and my guitar. I still do that sometimes, but in the last year and a half or so I’ve developed my live show to include vocals, guitar, my music software on my computer, where I generate sounds like drums, synths, or bass, and I loop it all through a loop pedal. Figuring out this method of performing has allowed me to perform my songs the way they sound in the studio recordings, but still do it as a solo artist. Some of the benefits are that it gives me full creative control, I don’t have to organize times to practice or record with other band members, and I also think that what I’m doing is unique, so I really like that.
Where was your first show?
I performed a lot in high school for choir and musical theater shows, but my first show as an independent musician was at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis.
What is your opinion about the term “female fronted”?
Well, on the one hand, I think it’s cool because it gives recognition to the front-woman. But, on the other hand, I think it says a lot about the state of the industry that that label even needs to be put on a band. It kind of goes to show that the music industry is still very male-dominated.
What do you personally do to advocate for the LGBTQIA community?
Both music and LGBTQIA rights are extremely important to me. One of the main reasons I even wanted to pursue a career in music was to be able to make a difference, however big or small, when it comes to equality. Something I’ve made a point to do in my music is to write honest songs, and a lot of that is about the relationships I have with women. I know that when I was younger, and I was realizing my own sexuality, it helped a lot to have LGBTQIA celebrities to look up to. I would look at people like Ellen DeGeneres and think “look how happy, successful, and true to herself she is. I want that too.” If it could come full circle and I was able to be that example for somebody out there, that would be the most fulfilling thing in the world.
Do you think it would be weird to stay in the closet for a long time?
I think that would be really hard. I was extremely fortunate to come from a very accepting family and town, so as soon as I had my first feelings for a girl at 13, I was able to come out right away. I can’t even imagine how hard it would have been to come from a place where I didn’t feel comfortable coming out. My heart goes out to everyone who has ever been in that situation. I truly hope that our society gets to a place where everybody is able to be who they are and love who they love. We’ve made a lot of progress on this in my lifetime, but there’s still a ways to go.
What do you love about music?
The thing I love most about music is its ability to make people feel something. Whether it’s an EDM song that you dance to in the club, a heart-wrenching ballad that makes you cry, or a punk song that you listen to when something made you angry, music taps into people’s emotions and I love that there is art in this world that is able to do that.
How long can you go without checking your phone?
I could easily go a whole day without checking my phone if I was busy.
What do you want people to know about you?
I want people to know that I’m Emily Morrone, an independent pop musician from Indianapolis, and what I want in life is to make music that is honest, that makes people feel something, and most importantly, I want to be an example to everybody out there that you can be exactly who you are.
Emily Morrone website