Singer, actor, & filmmaker Emily Sara has recently released the six-song visual EP ‘Mismatch’, which explores identity & belonging & features a mixed group of musicians ranging in styles including R&B, Latin jazz, alternative pop, spoken word, and pop-soul.
This latest musical unveiling is accompanied by a 32 minute short film from Stretch Your Eyes Productions, written and directed by Emily Sara, produced by Emily Sara & Alex Quade, with cinematography by Alex Quade & mixing and mastering by Nathan Glaser.
Emily has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding the latest variety of releases & you can find the full interview below.
Hey Emily, thank you so much for this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Emily: Thanks so much for having me! I was born in NYC and grew up in D.C., went to Wisconsin for five years to study opera, and ended up moving to Brooklyn this year. Sort of full circle! All of the places I’ve lived have really inspired me and my music, which definitely fueled my decision to come back to New York. The city gives me constant music. I’m also Middle Eastern American and was raised in a mixed household which often makes its way into my music too. And of course, I’m trained in classical voice which also affects my writing and is something I’m really passionate about. I definitely consider myself a crossover artist, which basically means I like singing and writing in multiple styles and that’s really how ‘Mismatch’ came about. I wanted to write a multi-genre EP so the songs could go any direction they wanted to and I could go with them.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Emily: I remember being very young and loving how music made me feel, like there was movement inside of me. I would listen to all kinds of jazz and world music with my parents and opera and classical music with my grandmother. I remember she would pick me up from school and always have the classical station on. I would sit there speechless. My dad tells this story of the first time he took me to see a musical. I think I was 3 or 4 and I sat there the whole time with no expression on my face just fixated. At the end, I pointed at the stage and turned to my dad saying, “Dada I can do that.” An overconfident 3-year-old for sure, but music and performance quickly became my life and have kept their hold on me.
Have you always known that you wanted to pursue a career within the music industry?
Emily: I’m not sure if I ever consciously decided I would pursue a music career, I just remember knowing that I wanted to sing and would do everything in my power to keep singing. And that led me here, with a debut EP in New York City! I have to pinch myself every day.
You recently released the brand new EP ‘Mismatch’. How did the idea for the EP come together?
Emily: I started writing for ‘Mismatch’ before I knew it was going to be an EP. There were songs I’d been working on for a few months that needed to come out of me and when I looked at them all together I realized they were all about my identity, belonging, and growing to love and accept myself. When I moved to Wisconsin I had no idea what to expect and ended up experiencing a lot of culture shock. I felt like a complete outsider with my mixed heritage and east coast culture. Soon though, I started meeting people who felt like me and they told me their stories. I knew I had to make a project about us, all the mismatched pieces in this new place trying to find home. It was a beautiful collaboration.
What does this EP mean to you personally?
Emily: I’ve written with other producers and bands before but this is my first extensive solo project and only my second release under Emily Sara. It was much more exposed and vulnerable and straight from the heart. I wrote about everything from womanhood, sexuality and heartbreak to refugees and growing up multi-ethnic/multi-racial. It was also the last project I did in Wisconsin with the musicians and friends I had made during those five years. It was really special to be in the studio with them working on music we were all passionate about.
If listeners could take anything away from this EP, what would you like it to be?
Emily: Of course, I want people to mostly enjoy it! But I do think this EP gives a window into my perspective as a Middle Eastern American woman, as well as into the worlds of the other diverse musicians I collaborated with. I hope listeners engage with and relate to these stories. And I hope that it brings those who have felt mismatched a sense of belonging.
You released a 32-minute movie alongside this EP, how did the idea to release the movie alongside the EP come together?
Emily: I run a music film production company with a close friend and from the beginning, we wanted to put this EP on film. All the songs were about experiences I had in Wisconsin and I wanted to show some of the places I found home in on-screen. The stories were so vivid in my mind that they translated easily to film. ‘Mismatch’ is really meant to be experienced as a visual EP and the songs were written with that in mind. Each song and video builds on my journey of belonging and highlights a different aspect of identity. I included everyone who worked on the music in film as well and the whole process was a beautiful celebration of our time together.
What message would you offer to someone who was looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Emily: Patience. I am saying this to myself all the time right now too. I am new to this industry too and that’s the advice I keep getting from more established artists. Create and stick to good habits, write a lot and keep exploring, but make sure to be patient with yourself too.
Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Emily: Thank you so much for reading the interview and listening to my music! I hope you all enjoy ‘Mismatch’ and find some joy and home in it like I did. And please reach out to me through my social media! One of my favourite parts of being an artist is the amazing community we have and how much inspiration we can gain from one another. If you’re in NYC, let’s collab!
You can check out ‘Mismatch’ on Spotify below or on further platforms here.