ERICA McQUEEN hit Festival One over the weekend, and besides taking heaps of sweet photos, also got to chat to some of her favourite artists. Here's what went down when she met Emily Rice.

Photo by Daniel Brunskill

If you could choose one song that encompasses you as an artist and your sound, what would it be?  

I guess I’d choose one of the songs off my EP, a song called You Held Me.

What other artists are you most excited about at the moment?

Kimbra. I’ve been obsessed with her for a long time. She’s just ridiculous, she blows my mind the amount of energy she has, her songwriting. Just everything, it’s so tight. I love that she’s a Kiwi. Also Sting would be huge inspiration of mine. Lianne La Havas, Emily King, Tame Impala.

Do you mostly listen to music similar to your own, or quite different?

I’ve got a pretty broad spectrum of what I listen to. Sometimes I like listen to chilled out... like Tiny Ruins and then I love to have a good dance to all the old school stuff like Earth, Wind & Fire with my sister. And everything in between.


“Sometimes things don’t go where you think they’ll go, but end up going somewhere way cooler than you could have ever imagined.”


What's your favourite thing about NZ Music?

I guess a lot of it is really real, I feel like I can relate to a lot of it. Tiny Ruins, Kimbra, Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

What is your biggest non-musical inspiration or influence?

People and situations. Nature, quite often. Relationships mostly, not just my own.


If you could make your own genre of music what would it be called?

Alternative jazz pop soul psychedelic-ness [laughs]. I don’t know, blend everything together!


You’re releasing your EP here at Festival One; tell me a bit about that. What’s the process been like?

It’s been so much fun. I decided to do it because I’m moving overseas next month and I thought it’d be really cool to release something in New Zealand before I go. I was really excited about all the music I’d been writing, so me and my band have been doing lots of gigs and we had three days in the studio with Tim Burrows who produced the album. It just all came together really perfectly. Sometimes things don’t go where you think they’ll go, but end up going somewhere way cooler than you could have ever imagined. So it was a really fun process. Had a bit of trumpet and a bit of sax that I played, and the violin. I recorded it at Black Orange Studio out in Mt. Roskill. I recorded the sax just in my room at home. A few little bits and pieces around the place. The thing that was quite time consuming but also really fun was hand doing and hand painting all the EPs. We cut the paper, my Mum sewed them. I painted them and stamped them. It’s been full on.


You’re moving over to Germany next month. What have you got planned for the year?

I’m going to London for two months. I haven’t really had a little break or write for a while. So London will be about that and meeting up with friends and people doing music over there.  My bass player is coming to Berlin with me, so there’ll be two of us starting it and then hopefully rustle together a band and then just gig heaps. I’ve got connections with managers and people in the music industry there. Germany because of the music scene. People kept saying “Your music would be great there...” “Have you thought about going to Berlin?” Everyone just kept saying it, so I thought, I’m just going go to Berlin. I’m just going to do it.


Listen to Emily's sweet, soulful sound here.

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