EMMA FORMAN INTERVIEW
Hi Emma, how are things?
I’m doing good thanks. Hope all is well with you.
For those who don’t already know, you’re a singer-songwriter from Aberdeen. How old were you when you first started writing songs, and did you find it easy to write about how you felt?
I started writing songs at about 13 years old. I felt it was easier to express my feelings and thoughts through music rather than talking about things. I have always been quite quiet and a wee bit shy.
Do you write music with lyrics in mind, lyrics with music in mind, or both at the same time?
I tend to start with a chord sequence that I play over until I find a vocal line and then I add the lyrics later on, but saying that there are times when the lyrics came first and the music was added later on.
What do you think is the key to writing a great song?
A good hook is essential, and something in the song that everyone can relate to. I like music that sounds very honest and touches the audience, hence why I listen to a lot of love songs.
Has growing up in Aberdeen had much of an impact on the type of songs you pen?
Yes, some of my songs are influenced by Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, while others were written when I lived in Dumfries. I guess a lot of my early Aberdeen songs are more happy-sounding than the later stuff; my acoustic stuff tends to be love songs. A break-up in Dumfries spurned me on to write many depressing love songs, even though, in reality, I would never give up on love.
How do you rate the music-scene so far north in the UK, and are there any singers or bands in particular that you’d recommend?
I’d say the music-scene in Aberdeen has improved over the years as there are so many venues now for acoustic acts and full bands. Back when I was a teenager, you just seemed to play the same venues over and over – in our case, it was The Maltmill we played often. More recently, the band I’m in (The Deviadas) have played Drummonds a lot, but we don’t have any gigs booked at the moment.
As for recommendations, I’d recommend The Awkwards. It is one man and his songs. Keith writes beautiful and catchy tunes, and he always has lovely guitar parts and fabulous vocals and harmonies in his music.
Which venues in and around Aberdeen are your favourites to play, and why?
The Lemon Tree is my favourite venue in Aberdeen as I have wonderful memories of supporting James Grant, Midge Ure, and many more in there. It is a nice venue, and always a pleasure to play there.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2013, musically speaking?
Well, I’ve got a gig at Cellar 36 in Aberdeen on September 24th, and that’s supporting Laurence Made Me Cry. Meanwhile, on December 8th, I’ll be at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen to support James Grant.
I’m also hoping to get some more recording done before the end of the year, but I’ll see how things go there.
Have you ever played any gigs anywhere else other than in Scotland, and do you harbour any plans to undertake a UK tour in the foreseeable future?
Yes, I used to gig all over the UK. It was great fun but very exhausting with all the travel. To be honest, it is a very expensive way of doing things, to try to gig as many places as possible. Picking a few cities and gigging exclusively in those is a more cost-effective way of doing things. I don’t plan to tour the whole of the UK, just Aberdeen this year… but maybe next year I will be in a position where I can organise a small tour, probably of Scotland’s big cities.
Finally, what’s the best way for folk to wrap their ears around your music?
http://emmaforman.bandcamp.com/ – simple as that!
(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Emma Forman)