Not so long ago, we sat down with Berlin-based pop goddess Emma Czerny for a waffle and coffee to talk about her upcoming album Like Water. With one EP and one mini-album already released, this will be Emma’s first full length album. Compared to her previous work, Czerny’s sound is darker and more mature, while still keeping the ethereal dreaminess to her songs. Much like other songwriters, she explains how songwriting can be a cathartic process. However for Emma, exhausting all her emotions is not uncommon, as all her “intense fucked up energy” (her words, not ours) are trapped within her songs; a completed album allows Emma to put those emotions away in order for her to move on.

 

F: Tell us a bit about your new album. What’s happened since you released Wasted Dawn?

E: Like Water is my first real album. 10 songs. I had two EPs before that but that’s it. I think it’s more mature than the other things I’ve made so far, not only mentally but technically, a little bit, but mostly mentally and emotionally, I would say. I’ve been feeling a little bit darker the last year when I first started to release things. Then I felt a little bit better about the world and humanity in general. So I think the album is a little bit darker but still staying in this kind of realm of ethereal pop. Also I was trying to think about this because I find myself saying all the time, explaining something, or talking about something, and then saying, “you know, like water.” And I felt like everything that I’m referring to now is like water. But this is so general, you can talk about it on an existential level, or an organic matter level when you’re talking about science, organisms and growth, or you can talk about it conceptually, as something that is fluid, something that has ebbs  and flows, or this kind of organic movement. So I thought about it in a lot of ways and I thought that it makes sense for this collection of songs and also mostly for me it makes sense because I don’t quite understand it and there’s something endless in it. You can never really understand what this term could mean, so to me that’s the nice thing- I don’t really know what it is.

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F: With your new album coming out, can we expect a full European tour underway? Maybe a North American tour too? 

E: I hope so, that’s the plan. That would be the plan. At the moment it’s weird because I don’t like the music industry and I don’t really want to participate in all of these rules. I just don’t want to force something because it’s what I’m supposed to do. I would love to do a tour, a North American tour. First, I would like to do a European tour, so let’s say that’s hopefully in 2016. But, I took a long break from playing shows the last months because it’s a little emotionally intense for me to and do that. Again, when I perform, I feel like I have to give this energy because that’s what naturally happens when I listen to my music and singing to it and playing it. But it can be a little bit tiring so I’m a bit of a delicate person- emotionally and physically, so I will do a tour, but a very laissez faire one. Like, maybe over 6 months playing in 10 cities or something. We’ll see, I have to figure this out with whoever’s going to book these shows.   

 

F: You currently have two music videos out. ‘Wasted Dawn’ and ‘Baby Blu’, both of which capture the dreamlike essence of your songs. What’s your process like when you’re producing a new music video? 

E: I like to work with friends on everything. “Baby Blu” was a little bit more planned out, I guess. We made a sketch or a story of what we wanted to do. “Wasted Dawn” was actually directed by just my friend, we had had been out partying until 6 or 7 in the morning and a friend of mine has a nice camera. And he shot me and my boyfriend at the time playing around. This was nice. I like to do this kind [of video]. I don’t actually think so much about music videos coming forward. I thought about one for ‘Shepard’ that I would like to make – like a plan. But if it doesn’t come organically, this is something that is part of my whole ethos from the bottom to the top. To just let the feelings feel, let the energy go out, whatever happens naturally, happens naturally and that’s the way it’s meant to be.

 

F: You typically wear a flowing pink nightgown at your performances. Do you have just one prized nightgown or do you have a curated collection? What do you look for in a nightgown?  

E: This is good, I like to talk about that. I love kimonos. I have a little collection of them, but like real kimonos from the 50s or 60s. And I go and peruse these shops a lot, they’re really expensive if you get the real ones. Silk. There’s a really nice shop on Sanderstrasse in Kreuzberg called Aura and I’ve become friends with this girl. She has thousands of kimonos. And I would love to live there and wake up everyday with a new kimono on. Even you have no money, shitty little flat, nothing to eat, if you put on your kimono when you wake up and have a cup of shitty coffee, you feel like a million bucks. Right away.

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F: What’s the first thing you’re going to do when your album drops? 

E: Start working on the new songs. For me I have this thing I’m fighting constantly with this with my manager and the label. I cannot hold onto songs and save them for an album. To me it’s all super emotional material. The process is always really emotional and stressful- not stressful, but I drink a lot, I take drugs, and I stay up all night, I fuck around, I get my heart broken, I fix it, I break it again, like these are all things that happen when I’m writing songs, or that’s how I’m writing songs. You know, from all of this intense fucked up energy. So as soon as I’m done with a song, I feel a slight sense of relaxation. That it’s finished and that I can put away for a second. Like, as soon as I put it onto the internet, I feel like then it’s really gone. Then I can close it. Those emotions then are gone into the internet and disseminated into molecules and particles and are going hopefully to Asia, and to Antarctica, and the southeast of the South. So, I really need to release my work right away when it’s done. This is what I mean I’m fighting about with the label and the manager. But I can’t just hold onto these emotions. Once the song is finished, I need to get them all far, far away from me so that I can move on. That’s like when I do the EP, Wasted Dawn, there were still some songs make me cry a little ‘Baby Blu’ and ‘Dream Holiday’ were on the EP but were a year old by that point. That’s too old for me, I can’t feel feelings about those songs anymore. I have new feelings now. That’s why this new album is all the new feelings. More mature, a bit darker. The next album: probably some of the feelings I’m having now. Feelings still to come. I guess what I will start to do when the album comes out. Feel my new feelings and write my new material about that so I’m excited for that.

We can expect the release of  Like Water in March 2016.