Australian vocalist Emma Hewitt has been making waves on the trance scene since she featured on Chris Lake’s “Carry Me Away” back in 2007. Over the past five years, she’s recorded with the likes of Cosmic Gate, Gareth Emery, and Dash Berlin and though she may be best known for her vocals on Cosmic Gate’s “Be Your Sound” and Dash Berlin’s “Waiting,” the release of her debut artist album, Burn the Sky Down, last year proves how instrumental she’s been in getting dance vocalists the recognition they deserve. With the remix version of her album having just been released, we spoke to the Australian singer to find out what she thinks.
Considering how well your album was received, would you say trance vocalists are getting more recognition now than they used to?
I think vocalists are definitely stepping into the spotlight a lot more these days. There are a lot of vocalists around who are also songwriters and performers in their own right, so it is great that there is opportunity there for singers in EDM to now become more than just a “featured” name on a track. Through social media there is certainly much more scope for artists to reach an audience in any genre and similarly for people to find out about the voices behind the music they are listening to.
You’re from Australia, but you now live in Amsterdam. Is that because some of the best trance DJs come from Holland?
I did live in Holland for a while, for the reason that the label I signed with, Armada, is based there, and so are a lot of the producers I work with. However, I have just made the move across to LA after spending the past few years in various European countries. It seems most of the industry has moved across to America now, so it was an easy decision to make. America is closer to Australia for me, in distance and in lifestyle, so I am really excited about this move!
You’ve worked with the likes of Lange, Cosmic Gate, and Gareth Emery, but do you have a favorite producer?
I have been lucky in that all of the producers I have worked with, as well as being extremely talented, are also all incredibly lovely people. I honestly can’t really pick a favorite. However, I do absolutely love performing and touring with Cosmic Gate; I adore them as people and am a huge fan of their music, too. We always have a great time at shows! I always look forward to catching up with everyone at shows and events; in many ways it’s like a big traveling family.
You used to be in a rock band. Would you say rock music is your first love?
I grew up being inspired by the bands of the ’90s, like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. I still have a huge soft spot for this music, but EDM is my life now. I am inspired by it continually and I feel this world allows me the freedom to write the emotional melodies and lyrics that I perhaps wouldn’t have access to if I was still in a rock band. So playing rock music is really just a distant fond memory for me—sort of like a tiny chapter from a different life.
Do you have a favorite track from 2012?
I am sure a lot of people will agree with me here, I would have to say for me “Concrete Angel” was the most impacting song of 2012. A lot of great music was released during the year, but for me this song had the most impact. Gareth is obviously brilliant (and a great guy as well!), and I think Christina Novelli is just a fantastic new arrival on the scene. What a chorus in that song!
What’s your favorite tune at the moment?
At the moment I am really digging “Clarity” by Zedd, and Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen.”
Do you have a favorite track from your album Burn the Sky Down?
This changes all the time. And to be honest, I am moving forward to the next lot of songs being written at the moment. But I would say the track “Colours” has a special place in my heart. It was written about the passing of my grandfather, and wondering what goes through our minds in those last moments. Do we remember all of the experiences that we have had, and will we ever see those people and places again? There is a sense of hope in the sadness that this is not an ending.
We saw you performing with Cosmic Gate at Cream Amnesia last summer. Will you be doing any live shows with the duo anytime soon?
Most definitely! I absolutely love performing with the Cosmic Gate guys! We do quite a few shows together. The next ones coming up will be February in South Africa, then on to our favorite Marquee in Las Vegas, and after that it will be the full tour of Australia for Future Music Festival in March. I’m really excited for that one on home soil!
What’s the proudest moment of your career so far?
It is hard to say, really. I am never particularly one to look back, or to feel as though I have achieved enough. I am always looking forward to the next song, the next goal, so it is tough to kind of stop and acknowledge an achievement. I suppose though releasing my first EDM album, Burn the Sky Down, was a proud moment, because it was such a huge project to pull together. With the two sides of the album, it was like climbing a mountain that at times we couldn’t see the top of, so it was a brief moment of relief and, I guess, pride to put it out into the world.