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WPGM Commentary: Emma Edel Craves Her Lover’s Presence On ‘Why We Try’

My name is Emma Edel and I am a pop artist from Ireland. I’m from a really small place in Kerry, but I had been living in Dublin for about 5 years going to college there, writing songs, working part time and trying to figure out my sound as an artist.

I ended up back at home last March when the world went into lockdown and that’s what gave me the push to finally release music. My mom and brothers had a chat with me about going for it and not waiting for this ‘perfect’ moment, so I was finally ready to show the world the songs I had been writing. I am influenced by a lot of different genres and sounds, and I write about my experiences and the people around me.

“Why We Try” is a song I started writing around March of 2020. The melody of the chorus came first and the lyrics “why we try” were the first to stick out in my mind. I had the verses and choruses written but it wasn’t until April that I went back and changed around the lyrics and melodies a bit and added a bridge section. At the time, I was listening to a lot of pop R&B music, so I think that influenced me a lot for this song.

I wrote it about craving presence over anything else in a relationship, and how spending time with that person can sometimes be the only aspect that really matters. The lyrics are personal and conversational and they explore the disagreements that can arise between two people that have different love languages, while trying not to force anything and the reasons why you try to work on your relationship.

That month I decided to put an acoustic video of the song on my Instagram page and I had lots of messages from people saying they were relating to the lyrics, maybe because we were all in lockdown and missing the presence of others. In November of 2020, I released my debut single “If I Can’t Have You” and it was from there I started planning my releases for 2021.

At the beginning of this year, I started working on the track remotely with Alex O Keeffe over Zoom. It was my first time working with Alex, but it certainly won’t be the last, he is such a talented musician and producer. He went into every little detail to get this track to exactly where I wanted it to be.

We wanted to make the track chill and laid back, but also build to a heavier last chorus with a driving electric guitar and lots of layered vocals. We included lavish guitar progressions, modern synths, thick basslines and a simple retro-like drum beat that balance with the conversational layered vocals that develop throughout the track.

I wanted my vocals and lyrics to be at the forefront, as the song was so personal and conversational, so speaking to Alex, he suggested I go into the studio with Adam Shanahan – an amazing producer, vocal producer and mix engineer based in Dublin.

Once restrictions lifted, I went to Adam’s studio to record my vocals. It was also my first time working with Adam, and I really enjoyed the experience, especially getting to work with him in person.

I learnt so much from him, and he brought out the very best in my voice and confidence that day, trying different harmonies and giving me the time to try lots of different ideas to get the vocals to the level I wanted. Adam also mixed the track and sent the song to Richard Dowling to be mastered.

Alex & Adam brought my song to life from the basic demo I sent Alex, to this full production. The final sound really highlights the story behind the song and it has become a lot more direct and personal.

I had a photo shoot with a great photographer named Paula Trojner back in October 2020, so I used one of those photos as the artwork which was created by Bandicoot Design remotely. I have to thank my boyfriend Nassim (who is also an amazing artist) for all his help with the visuals for my music.

He has an amazing eye for detail and helps me bring my ideas to life. As the song is quite laid back and has a personal feel, I wanted the artwork to reflect this, so we choose warmer colour tones, retro overlays and a font to match the style of the song.

I released “Why We Try” in October and it’s my fourth single to date to be out in the world. I wanted to release something that was personal yet relatable. I have a lot of releases planned for next year, each song a different aspect of my sound and another part of my journey. I loved the process and the journey that “Why We Try” went on, and I am delighted to be able to finally share it.

Listen to “Why We Try” below and stream it everywhere else here.

Words by Emma Edel // Follow her on Twitter + Instagram

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