With her love of music, Khadija Emma wrote her first song Empire a few years ago and her debut EP, which she is working on with producer Dallas Austin, is due for release later this year. Regularly posting covers and vlogs to her YouTube channel, Khadija also enjoys getting involved with charity work. Answering our questions, we find out more about Khadija’s debut single, filming for the music video and her upcoming EP.
How and when did you first get into music?
Ever since I was little, I loved to sing. Music runs in my family and it is a huge part of my life. It is what makes me happy and it’s how I want to help and empower others.
Can you tell us about your single Empire?
I wrote Empire in 2015, not knowing that I would publish it. At that point in my life, I got bullied a lot and I wanted to find a way to express my feelings and let everything go. Writing a song about it was the best way for me.
How long was the writing process?
Like I said, I wrote Empire just for fun in 2015, but in early 2017, I changed so much about it. Honestly, in 2015 I did NOT know what I was doing or how to write any songs. I just wrote about my feelings and it turned out pretty great. Throughout 2015-2017 I removed and added new lines to the song. Now, when I am writing songs, I first come up with chords, make a melody, then add words.
What do you remember about being on the set for the music video?
Being on set for Empire was such a great experience, especially since I created the story of it! It was so cool to be part of such a huge set and I was so blown away by the fact that it was for MY music video. It was also super cool that styling was done by my mom and directed by my dad.
How easy was it to learn the choreography for the Empire video?
It took about three months to get the choreography down with my amazing dancers. It is way easier when you have an amazing choreographer such as mine, Caitlynn Clark.
What’s the response been like to this single?
The response has been pretty great! It was so exciting to release a song not knowing what the feedback would be like. People have been sharing it with others and lots of people think Empire is super catchy and fun to sing along to! Also, after I released the song, the instrumental got put on a Japanese commercial for ValueNex.
Is there anything you can say about your upcoming EP?
For my new EP, I am so honoured and grateful to record with Grammy Award-winning producer, Dallas Austin, who just recently got put in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. I am so excited for everyone to hear the songs because it is very inspiring and they have a lot to do with teen life.
Do you have any live performances coming up?
As soon as my EP is finished, I will have an exclusive showcase event for friends and industry in Hollywood and take it from there.
How would you describe your music genre?
I describe my music genre as Pop.
What style of music do you like to listen to and are there any UK-based artists you enjoy?
I like to listen to Pop and Hip Hop music. My favourite UK-based artists are Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, and Anne-Marie.
What charity work are you involved with?
The charity work I am involved with is the Ryan Gordy Foundation. This foundation raises money for cancer. I had the amazing honour to sing at this event earlier in October of 2018.
You’ve uploaded a few vlogs to your YouTube channel, do you have plans for any more?
Yes, I do plan on uploading more vlogs. They are super fun to film and I have so many more to edit! Can’t wait to share them with everyone.
How do you decide which songs to cover for your YouTube channel and do you have a favourite you’ve uploaded?
When it comes to covers, I always choose a song that I really love and that I feel comfortable singing. It usually depends on the mood I am in before I choose. My favourite cover I have done so far is “Hearts Ain’t Gonna Lie” by Arlissa, who is also from the UK.
What are your future music plans for after your EP?
I am planning to keep on writing music and releasing more songs. All the songs I released on my EP are originals! I love writing my own music because I can take the lyrics into my own experiences. My goal is to write music with big artists and collaborate with them too.
Have you been given any advice on your music career that has stuck with you?
My parents have given me the advice to stay positive and to do what makes you happy. This helps me so much because positivity is literally the key to everything. Don’t let other people’s opinions bring you down and keep doing your thing.
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