We sat down with L.A. singer and songwriter Em Beihold to discuss her career, inspiration, and bring to life her top 10 Billboard single "Numb Little Bug."
What was the thing that made you want to create and pursue a career in music?
I started writing when I was seven-years-old and never looked back. I was pretty bad at practicing piano with scales and classical music and all, but was lucky to have a teacher who fostered my growth as a writer by showing me new artists and teaching me about chord structure and storytelling through lyrics. It quickly became an outlet for me and the way I processed emotions. Time could fly by while I was sitting at the piano and I’d never notice.
We know the creative process of every artist is different. Where do you draw the most inspiration from? Are there other artists or bands that have influenced you?
Regina Spektor has always been a huge influence to me. I love how she doesn’t follow the rules of singing or songwriting and always has her own unique spin on things. Fiona Apple and Sara Bareilles have also been instrumental to me.
One of your latest songs “Numb Little Bug” was a huge success in every social media platform and became part of the Billboard weekly top 10. How did you bring this song to life?
I wrote this song during a time when things were going well in my life, but for some reason I was feeling burnt-out, uninspired, and not as happy as I expected to feel. At the same time, I had just started antidepressants which made me emotionally flatline a bit (Em's note: that was just my personal experience, but medicine is different for everyone!)
When I talked to my mom about how I was feeling she said I sounded “ungrateful” but I wanted to better describe to her what was going on. One day I was driving and out of nowhere the lyrics “Do you ever get a little bit tired of life / Like you’re not really happy but you don’t wanna die / Like you’re hanging by a thread but you gotta survive / Cuz you gotta survive” popped into my head along with the melody.
I took a voice memo immediately and wrote the first half of the song when I got home, speaking very bluntly about how I was feeling in the lyrics. I finished writing the song in a session the next day with Nick Lopez and Dru Decaro.
When creating, what part of the process do you enjoy the most?
Getting in a flow-state of writing. I write my favorite originals when inspiration strikes out of nowhere and I have to instantly find my way to a piano to flesh them out. When lyrics flow without having to think about them too hard it feels like a super-power, almost as if you’re speed-puzzling. (Is speed-puzzling a thing? Let’s make that a thing).
You recently released a collaboration with Stephen Sanchez, “Until I Found You” How did this collaboration come to be?
Stephen was also recently signed to Republic Records so the collaboration came to be through our label. I loved the original version of “Until I Found You” so when I got offered to do a second verse, I took the opportunity in a heartbeat. It’s such an honor to sing alongside someone as incredible as Stephen and it was a fun project.
The year is just getting started, and you already have a packed and exciting few months ahead of you. Are there any other projects in the works that you’re excited about?
Yes! I have an EP coming out this summer with several songs that I’ve been sitting on for a while, so I can’t wait to release them.