Emily Warren is #girlgoals.
For those who don’t know, she is the musical genius behind 11 Chainsmokers’ songs (including Grammy-winning Don’t Let Me Down), Dua Lipa’s New Rules, David Guetta’s Say My Name, and so many more.
The rockstar has written some of her own music as well which you’ve most likely heard, including Paranoid and Hurt by You.
All of the New York native’s music has one thing in common – it is 100 percent honest.
Her lyrics are brave and daring, exposing the toxic side of love that no one wants to talk about. And her new album is seriously amazing! Combining her previous singles with new releases, it will take you on an emotional journey of pain, love, mistrust and finally, letting go.
It is so refreshing to hear about real relationships in the singer’s songs, and this is really important to Emily. She writes everything from personal experience so people can connect with her on an intimate level.
“It starts off as my own thoughts,” she explained. “I have to allow myself to get uncomfortable.
“The more honest I am in my writing, the more possible it is for people to connect with it. Because if you say something vulnerable, it’s something that other people have felt too.
“I try to have each song pinpoint a moment or a specific feeling and explore that.”
Dubbing her album “a diary”, the singer explained a huge part of song-writing is about becoming vulnerable. “It shows me at my most exposed and shows things that I’m more resistant to talk about in real life.”
And a lot of her songs are about how helpful and scary becoming this vulnerable can be, especially in relationships.
“I don’t know if everyone needs to share it as much as a songwriter does,” she said. “But in order to fall in love at all, you have to open yourself to the possibility of getting hurt. It’s scary but it’s a part of it. If you always have a wall up, you’ll never fully feel what it’s like to open yourself up to another person.”
Her music is all about taking these risks and reminiscing in the moment because that’s what love is all about. However, she also vocalises the fears that hold us back from fully opening ourselves up to another person.
One thing Emily, like most of us, does is get caught up in her own headspace, overthinking things way too much.
“I’m definitely an overthinker. Part of the reason I wrote [Paranoid] is because it’s so possible to get a small thought in your head and indulge in it, letting it spiral out of control. It turns into a whole story you’ve made up. Working through that and getting through being paranoid, jealous, suspicious, and not-trusting is crucial in order to get anywhere.
“I’ve a lot of friends who are in relationships where they don’t fully trust the other person and it’s endlessly painful. I was experiencing some of that too and working through that was a big level up.”
This could be caused by the massive influence social media has on modern-day relationships. Technology has transformed relationships from what they were in previous decades.
“My grandparents met when they were like 16 or 17 and that was it,” Emily explained. “There was never a question about anything. I think now there’s so many options that even if something’s good, people wonder ‘what else is there because I can easily meet someone on an app right now’.
“And culturally, music from when my grandparents were kids is so different from music now. It was all pretty much sweet love songs and now there’s hardly any just straight-up love songs. I definitely think that culture and social media are impacting that, and it’s really hard to navigate.”
In the movies, the girl meets the guy and they end up happily ever after. There’s no guidebook to navigating relationships in the technological age. What do we do if he’s liking another girl’s Insta pictures or snapchatting an ex? And is it wrong to innocently flirt with other guys online?
If we ever feel lonely, our phones are always in reach to give us the attention we seek, whether it’s Tinder or a new Insta compliment. And sometimes this compensation can keep us in a toxic relationship in the real world. We get what we need online, so we don’t notice as much when our partner isn’t giving it to us.
Staying in an unhealthy relationship “stems from insecurity and just not thinking that we deserve anything better”, Emily said. She’s seen this in a lot of her friends’ and her own relationships.
“They put up with the bullshit because this person loves them. And that’s something I think about a lot in songwriting, like New Rules. Music has the power to influence things like that. If you can convince people that they deserve better that, as scary as it is to be single for a second, it’s better than constantly dealing with someone who’s taking advantage of you.
“Ugh! That’s such a common thing and it’s sad because it’s really frustrating to try and convince somebody of that when you see it so clearly and they don’t.”
We’ve all been where Emily has – seeing a friend with someone that’s making them unhappy, but they refuse to admit it to themselves. They are too close to the issue to see it. So, where do they get this concept from?
At some point, when girls are growing up they learn that men can get away with ill behaviour if they are in love. They start making excuses for the guy that their dating. “It was just one time” or “He didn’t mean it, he was just drunk (or angry)”.
“Film, tv, and music” are part of the reason, Emily answered. “What I’ve been noticing just from being in writing rooms this past year after #metoo and everything went down is that the tone is actually changing for the first time.
— marni OR lauren 🙂 (@SuperFlorida37) December 30, 2011
“People won’t suggest certain lyrics that they would have suggested a year ago. We underestimate how powerful lyrics are that are on the radio or how movies are. If you watch a movie now from the 90s, it’s pretty shocking what the girls are putting up with. They would never make a movie like that now.
“So, I do think media is a reflection of culture, one informs the other back and forth. It’s everywhere and it’s finally changing. It may take some time, but I do think it will have an impact.”
Women have began standing up themselves against the big guys like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. And it’s exciting to be a part of this generation, as the tide begins to shift towards equality.
However, when it comes to modern relationships there is still this circling fear of ‘putting a label on it’.
“Having a bunch of friends who are now in open relationships or people getting married really young, it’s kind of all over the place right now,” Emily agreed. “What I’ve learned in making this album and in my own personal life over the last year is that there is no right answer or right way to do it.
“Trust your gut. Maybe you will fuck it up. That’s the point of Hurt by You, maybe it will all go to shit but you still do it, you still have to experience it. As painful as heartbreak can be, it’s unavoidable and it’s part of life – to know that and let yourself be vulnerable is probably one of the best ways to experience being a human being."
Emily’s album "Quiet Your Mind" explores all the feels we get in relationships – before, after, and during. It doesn’t hold back but strips us down to our most vulnerable selves.
It comes out today so make sure to check it out on Spotify.