Emma King has been touring the USA for 5 years including shows at The Bluebird Café and she recorded at Sun Studios, Memphis.
Emma shares her on-the-road advice and reminds us to keep the human element in the virtual world.
How difficult is it to be an independent artist?
You take on the role of everyone! I’ve spent a lot of time learning how cameras operate, Photoshop design, website construction, album designs, social media updates, booking tours and emailing. Time management becomes a struggle and you find you’re not spending as much time singing as you would like.
A lesson you have learnt on tour?
I always sing barefoot. I remember a performance in Nashville during the first song of the set and I stood on a large piece of glass. Trying not to wince, I continued through to the end thinking no one would ever notice but to my horror (and probably everyone else’s) I painted the stage red. Always a good idea to carry a carpet.
How do you keep your voice in shape on the road?
The Dr Nelson vocal steamer is very important to keep those vocal folds hydrated. I highly recommend the inhaler before and after each performance, it’s an invaluable addition to my vocal health routine.
How you do deal with stage monitoring?
If you’re singing with a band please wear in-ear monitors. You cannot perform without them; you will eventually strain your voice and there’s the potential of long term damage. Without them you’re working your voice twice as hard.
How are live shows different to YouTube videos?
Listening to an album and watching a band live are very different things. I love performing live because you cannot edit the moment – no performance is exactly the same. I love the freedom, variety and energy that you cannot always capture online.
How do you create magic when filming videos?
Make sure you’re relaxed but fully prepared. Make the first few moments count and it’s good to have a few friends lending a hand and keeping the comedy flowing. We’re usually at our most relaxed among friends.
Your videos look great – what equipment do you use?
I use a Nikon D5100 which I take everywhere with me. To edit the videos, we use Media Composer (you can rent this program on a monthly basis) and Pro Tools for any audio automation.
What tips would you have for people who don’t have that equipment?
With a lot of love and imagination you can make a GREAT video on your phone, I believe Beyoncé recently released a music video using her iPhone! You can also find free video editing programs and apps with cool features and filters.
The top things which have increased your fan base?
A BBC Radio tour visiting all the regional radio stations, supporting other bands live, and social networks! They are essentially free advertising.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
Interact with fans and take the time to like and share their posts too. A ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Working online can also be time consuming; don’t forget to look up occasionally.
Your favorite vocal gear?
I’m quite a dynamic singer so I find Sennheiser microphones work well for my voice, I like the wireless range purely because I can move around and interact much more. In the studio my favorite microphones are the Rode Classic, Neumann U47 and the very special Telefunken ELAM 251 Vintage Tube Mic (Read some related microphone reviews: Famous Studio Mics).
Emma King’s music career has taken her from England to Tennessee, touring Europe along way. Recently Emma recorded at America’s birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Sun Studios in Memphis. Emma has worked with Grammy award-winning producers and has shared the stage with Exile, Union J, The Drifters, Deana Carter, Jo Dee Messina, Brett Michaels, Rhonda Vincent & more.