NYC-Based Singer Emily Gabriele Shares Her Musical Story
Alt-pop singer/songwriter Emily Gabriele is gearing up for her debut album “Omega Man” premiering on May 27th 2022. She melds many influences in her music and stresses the importance of sound and lyrical rhythm in her emotionally fluid songs. After facing a deep, personal tragedy in 2019 right in the middle of her album recording process, Emily realized the importance of transforming the inevitabilities of life into something beautiful that can be remembered forever. Read on to hear about Emily’s story, delve into her creative process, and some sneak peeks from her upcoming album.
Q. Your sound has been described as Alanis Morissette meets Olivia Rodrigo. Would you agree with this comparison? Are these artists inspirations for you?
A. Yeah, they absolutely are. I think that in a lot of ways aesthetically and in the format of music both are a bit more angsty, grungy, rock-leaning while still rooted in pop. Those are two artists that are accessible to many you say both of those names and most people know who one if not both. It’s a good way to anchor to the style of my music and my essence as well.
Q. Your new album Omega Man will release songs biweekly. How did you come up with this schedule? Do you think more artists should do this?
A. [I’m] so involved with the writing process and each song tells its own story. In the streaming age you can release everything at once but the chances of each song being heard I don’t know. I think everyone has this attention-deficit at this point and time. Platforms like TikTok and Snapchat they’re all the way we consume media. Everything is in very short bites. Releasing songs one by one does two things. One, for me as an artist it gives me the opportunity to really build the story behind the song which I’ve been doing on social media. I’ve been releasing things like a handwritten title that explains more about the song or maybe an image that relates to the song. I’ve done lyric videos, and cover art, I’ve really taken the time to build each song.
What this also does is play into how the current population is consuming media. I’ve been calling it an album “build-along” where you are building the album with me. Releasing a song every other week at least at my vantage point gives me the time to tell the story behind each song. At the end, you’ll have this final product we’ve built together on May 27th. Candidly, I’m kind of just testing it out but so far I’ve gotten some great feedback on these specific songs so I think it accomplished the goal of having different people listen to each song and caring about the story behind it.
Q. You live in NYC. How did this setting help your music?
A. I think that an urban environment, specifically New York City, is conducive to creating. As an artist, you come across so many different scenarios, these slices of life [happenings]. And you’re empathetic, you’re taking it all in and thinking what do I do with it? What do I do with all these feelings and experiences? I think the inspiration of being around so much stimulation has been helpful as an artist in terms of something to feel, think about, and write about. To that avail, some of the songs on Omega Man were not written while I was in New York. Most were but it was during the pandemic which was in a different time in it itself. I think that as a whole New York has a lot to offer in terms of inspiration, talent, and stimulation. New York City is definitely a supporting character on this album but it didn’t take the lead.
Q. What are some of the themes discussed on your new album? What do you aim to convey through your music?
A. This is a bit dark and sad but my father tragically and suddenly passed at the end of 2019. Some of the album was written prior to that and some was written post. To me, it’s almost like this time capsule, this coming of age and shift in narrative, perspective, and emotion. I had these songs that I had written and I wanted to record them and release them into the world and then I wrote these songs after, as I was going through the grieving process. I think that’s the story that I hope it conveys just going through these pivotal life moments, some of which are retrospective or observational and some that are on the darker side. Death is something inevitable that we will all experience.
My hope is that this project tells a story that is relatable to those inevitabilities of life. Actually, the merch that I created to support this album is a candle. I thought that was the perfect supplement to this album because you light a candle in remembrance. I made this custom-scented candle. It’s kind of masculine leading its patchouli, amber, and bourbon. So hopefully people can see the weaving of the story from the merch to the lyrics to the cover art.
Q. Talk about the venues you’ve performed at here in the city. Are you excited about your upcoming Bowery Electric show?
A. I am so excited to play the Bowery Electric. I always am. I almost say it’s my unofficial home venue. I love it there and the people always have a great time and it actually is the last place I saw my dad. He came to a show in August in 2019 which was two months before he died. I think it only makes sense to have this album release concert to take place at the Bowery Electric. I love New York, I love the Bowery Electric. It has a special place in my heart and this Saturday I’m really excited to play with some incredible musicians. I think there will be a big turnout.
Q. Describe your songwriting process.
A. Every song is different. I hate to give that answer but it’s honest. I have a keyboard to the right of me right now and an acoustic guitar to the left hanging on the wall. An unpopular thing to say but I’m a morning person so when I wake up in the morning I like to free write. Typically I’ll get some nuggets there that might turn into lyrics. Sometimes I’ll be working through a chord progression and really like how it sounds, I’ll have written something and be like “Oh I like how that sounds”. I have this line in one of my songs I haven’t released yet called “Tobacco Leaves” and I wrote “I toast tobacco leaves, out of grief” and I liked how that sounded. I really liked that rhythm and then you pick up an instrument and try to find it. That one, in particular, I fleshed out on a piano. The process varies depending on the song but that’s kind of the journey of how I wrote “Tobacco Leaves” and that could be a format for how I write other songs as well.
Q. What advice do you have to young up-and-coming artists?
A. Keep creating. We’re all artists. We feel so deeply and that’s arguably maybe the best and worst thing about us. But yeah, keep creating, do your best, and try not to be discouraged. I know it’s inevitable but don’t let fear or rejection weigh you down forever. It’s inevitable that you’ll get rejected. It’s inevitable that you’ll be scared and that can really stifle you and keep you from creating. Anchoring back to the Bowery Electric I remember the first time I ever reached out to them to play and they were like yeah we’ll book you late on a Wednesday night in the map room. Which is no disrespect right that makes sense, they don’t know who I am. There’s no historical data to show them I can bring people or that I can fill a room and I was like oh actually can I play on a Friday night? They said no you can play Wednesday at 9:15 in the map room and I was like ok. Instead of letting that get me down I just said I’m gonna play it and the next thing you know I was playing a Tuesday night downstairs. I was able to build for a Friday night and now here we are a few years later and I’m doing an album release concert on a Saturday night! It’s all effort so keep creating so don’t let fear and rejection stop you from doing what you love.
You can stream “Omega Man” On May 27th, and follow along with Emily’s weekly releases here.
Emily Gabriele is also available on Apple Music.