DIZZY: Can you talk about how growing up in Brooklyn affects your music. What changes have you seen in your neighborhood in recent years? (can you talk about the sounds of Brooklyn and how they’ve changed in more recent times?)

EMBACI:  A lot of my music comes from me utilizing the sounds I hear.The sounds I hear on my block were one of the things I would play with the most. I would bring my keyboard out on my deck when it was early in the morning because that’s when the birds make the most noise and I could sample it. I live near a church so I would sample the church bells or chimes by my window. I’ve just become very aware to the sounds around me. You can tell a lot about a place by the sounds you collect there. Some mornings on my block I would hear music and some old men talking while playing cards on the corner. Certain sounds where I live have changed over time and that say’s a lot about what’s happening in my area.

D: How important are the lyrics as opposed to the melody?

E: Melody is vital to me. Lyrics are too but in a different way. When I’m writing the things I’m saying don’t press me that much from the jump. Like when the melody is there , words can be plugged in later. Many of my favorite musicians have songs in languages I can’t understand. When I write songs it’s always from improvising first, I will say things that don’t make much sense but the melodic ideas have their foundation and then ill go back and think of the words.em3

D: What is a musical influence of yours that someone might be surprised to hear?

E: I love learning about animals and insects. They’re interactions with each other is something I can’t fully understand but then it also makes sense to me. When I wrote the lyrics for the song “Vipera” I wrote it from the perspective of a female pray mantis who bites her mates head off because she really doesn’t want to love him, she has to get rid of him fast cause she knows about the destruction love can bring. That’s not the case at all though they actually practice cannibalism to increase their fertility but it was my point of reference. I would improvise over all the different sounds I would hear like a commercial or melodies in my head. I went to high school for music where I studied classical voice which was like really training my voice, more as an instrument and learning about classical repertoire and composers and stuff. Took piano class there as well. At the time I didn’t enjoy it but now I look back and I’m “Ah!” all that opposition I built also had me working on my own music. Not as a form of protest but more for fun and as a way to do something other than what was routine for me.

D: Where is your favorite place to sing?

E: I sing a lot by myself. I do enjoy performing and that experience but I write music a lot by myself because its like “Oh this brings me comfort and I enjoy this”. It has to come naturally, the songs I’ve tried to force out of myself never turn out that great.

D: Can you talk a little bit about your process in terms of the production of the songs? Do you seek out production / producers or do people send you tracks? Do you typically write to a specific track, or form an already written song to production that you later receive? (let me know if this question is confusing lol).

E: People do send me stuff but often times it’s from people that live far away from me. I like to work in person. The song to me will always turn out better if I’m working with someone in person. Bits and pieces can be done alone but for me honestly it must be a shared experience. I’ve collaborated on tracks for other peoples’ releases but for myself I work on demos alone and then collaborate with a friend. Dasychira is a close friend of mine and we work a lot together too.

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Photos by Milah Libin