When you meet Emme Woods, one of the first things that strikes you is how carefree she comes across. There’s a mischievous glint in her eye but also a dreaminess that lights her aura.
On record, her voice is a rasping powerhouse that feels gloriously rich and in full command of the music that accompanies it. And it’s thanks to her unique vocal that her reputation has translated to numerous countries and fans.
She began a Pledge campaign two years ago to help fund her latest record but the company went into administration leaving Woods along with countless other creators losing thousands of pounds. This hasn’t stopped her forging ahead and thanks to the support of fans, and financial help from her dad and grandad not to mention numerous others in the DIY music community, she has finally emerged with a stunning body of creative work.
It’s Ma Party has evolved into a film as well as a record. Woods says: “It was about giving people a space to have something that’s separate from the world and if you can get someone to sit down and watch something that visually represents music, I think people are more likely to understand and connect with the songs. If you have their attention they can make up their mind if they are interested in or not. I wanted to give people something that ties in completely and with me.”
The 22-minute film was all shot on Super 8 and edited with the assistance of filmmaker and producer Jamie Logie. “I shot some in my house, the Theatre Royal and also in a quarry in Tillicoultry. I am from around that area and would go up there when I was young and be mischievous and have adventures. I wanted it to be places that I relate to as much as possible. I love old looking places with character and didn’t want anything especially modern” explains Woods.
Her first musical memory was listening to an Elvis CD in her dad’s car and remembering it being an awakening. Woods is quite open that she couldn’t connect with modern music when she was younger and her sisters’ love of Capital FM and Radio 1 would be lost in her world. It was the classics that fuelled her passion and that has become extremely apparent when it comes to her own sonic output. It was also artists like The Beach Boys and in particular, Brian Wilson is the hero in her microcosm. “Wilson was a massive influence on me, his music had so many faces and the way that Wilson goes about recording really interested me.”
Woods also seems content to adapt traditional methods when releasing her work and was conscious about spending substantial time ensuring that the record and film were where she wanted them to be. “I think music is so content-based now and I am semi-living in the past by putting out an album and a film. I think unless you’re a big artist no one really cares about your pieces of work and it’s more about a song these days. People seem to be always asking “where’s the next one” straight away. How much content can you get out there? I am trying to rebel against that and not fall into what everyone else is doing.”
As well as working with Jamie Logie on the film, Woods also pulled in more favours of tremendously creative friends including GSA student Laura McGlinchey who created an original piece for the film. Woods wanted to showcase her friends’ talents as much as possible and this is further testament to her DIY attitude and love of creating art collectively.
The film inspires confidence and feels like numerous character storytellings as each song transitions with a seductive visual companion. Wood’s vocal dynamic helps soundtrack It’s Ma Party effortlessly and shows an artist in complete control of her art and destiny.
“I hope it gives people a better idea of who I am as an artist. I am developing all the time. This has been set free and I now have space in my brain to work on the next stage.”