TOLI.II - Emma Beko


After being in the industry for over a decade as one half of the duo Heartstreet, Emma Beko's transition to a solo act has given her a new lane, with new exciting sounds.

BACK IN JUNE, I COVERED AN ARTIST who I've grown to really appreciate: Emma Beko. What really stood out was how perfect her music is for a late night drive. For me, a late night drive, listening to moody music, will never get old. Back then, I called out artists who got dark or mellow songs. Songs likes like those off Jack Harlow’s project Gazebo, lowkey Russ, and really any song Kid Cudi or 6lack have put out will 100% be in constant rotation. 5 months ago, I added Emma to that list and coming on the heels of her brand new single sadguitar_V777.wav, I think she's well deserving of a little conversation.


HEY EMMA, THANKS FOR TALKING TODAY! LET'S GET RIGHT TO IT... WHO THE FUCK IS EMMA BEKO? THE ARTIST AND THE PERSON.

That's hard, I don't entirely know. I'm kind of evolving and changing in the sense that I'm experimenting with different things. I guess I'm figuring that out who I am at the core, which is hard to explain, but at the same time I do know who I am and what I stand for. Maybe I'm reading too deep into it!


*SWITCHES TO DESCRIBING HER ARTISTY*


I'm a rapper, like a 2021 rapper. By that I mean the music behind what I sing and rap doesn't need to be strictly hip-hop. I'm a rapper at the core who does also sing, but for me, a rapper and singer are the same. I am a poet, I love writing! It's weird to say but I love writing things that you need to read into and not everything is literal. I enjoy writing a lot, more than anything. So I guess that's who I am musically.


I'm an artist, I like making my music videos and I love doing the creative direction for my my projects. I enjoy doing the visual parts of my projects.


I DON'T THINK YOUR MUSIC CAN REALLY BE BOILED DOWN TO ONE GENRE, SO HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?

It's funny because the music I've been working on and will be putting out is pretty different from my past music. You still hear my sound and can recognize my essence but it's definitely evolved. I guess I'd describe the music I'm making now as having a lot of nu-metal influences. I've always wanted to blend rock, punk, pop-punk, grunge and all that with hip-hop since that is my culture, first and foremost. I see my upcoming work as industrial and gritty and raw.


YOU HAVE A REALLY COOL CATALOG, BUT FOR YOU PERSONALLY, WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE OR MOST IMPACTFUL SONG THAT YOU'VE MADE?

My favorite song by far is my new song (sadguitar_V777.wav) because it's the most representative of who I am and where I'm at right now. I've found that it's also that song that I open up the most on - I've always been super vulnerable and honest in my songs, but this one takes it to the next level.



IN YOUR MUSIC, IS THERE A SPECIFIC MESSAGE THAT YOU'RE TRYING TO SPREAD?

When I'm making music, I'm just pouring out my emotions. I guess the message is that you're not alone. I'm an introvert mostly and sometimes it gets lonely. It's a weird thing to say and it sounds obvious, but even if you enjoy your space it does get lonely. I image that even people who are social get lonely sometimes so it's just nice to know that in your loneliness, you're not alone. Whenever you're going through it - because sometimes we'll isolate ourselves when we're going through things and when we're growing - just know that it's ok and you're not alone. If people can relate it's proof that they're not alone. I just want to connect with people that are cool and whacky, fun and weird, and outcast... but they're never alone!


SWITCHING GEARS A BIT - WHO'S IN YOUR STARTING 5? NOT NECESSARILY GOATS, BUT WHO REALLY REPRESENTS YOUR MUSICAL INTERESTS.

Nina Simone is definitely there.


So is J. Cole. It's funny because I'm definitely a big J. Cole fan but I feel like people who love J. Cole, love J. Cole. But I understand people who hate on his fans.


I don't want to say the band's cheesy but the answer kind of is. Nirvana is there for sure because my dad would play their tapes in his delivery van while I'd ride around with him. So that music has sunken in my brain and is associated with so many memories and a time in my life.


I'm going to say Biggie because he was my first rapper that I was in love with his music. Like in love in love so I have to put him in. I don't listen to him as much as I used to, but I've listened to Ready to Die a million times.


One more artist would have to be... I think I would have to put Miley Cyrus. I don't really listen to her music but every time she puts something out, like a live performance, I watch it. I think she's incredible, and so powerful, her voice, it's so cool and raspy. She's a popstar, but like a cool popstar. She's unapologetically herself.


WHAT'S NEXT THAT WE CAN BE LOOKING OUT FOR?

I just released my latest single sadguitar_V777.wav with its music video. And honestly, it's just the first song out of a lot of songs that's coming out over the next year. So expect a lot more music for 2022. Outside of that, hopefully there will be more shows and we can travel so I finally get to meet fans that I've made outside of Montreal.


For the full interview, watch on YouTube or listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (AM/Spotify will be uploaded momentarily). Follow Emma on Instagram at @emmabeko. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me Emma!




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