Singing the National Anthem can be a scary experience for anyone. For one Baltimore native singer-songwriter, this song inspired her to take a musical path.
“Well, my first [performance was around the age of 8 or 9],” Emma White said. I just remember my knee shaking uncontrollably. I was so terrified. It was a little league opening in Baltimore. I had been playing baseball as the only girl on my team and the boys were starting to pitch. My mother suggested I quit so I sung instead. But, I was highly sensitive to any type of reaction from the audience as a kid. Even if someone told me they liked it or thought I was good, I didn’t believe them. So, my nerves were very much a part of my first memory of performing.”
Enjoy my one on one with the talented, stylish, Emma White:
What musical artists are you inspired by?
“Justin Timberlake is my biggest influence EVER,” White said. I love that he is pop, but so real, so soulful and such a musician. He inspires me to push myself and not be afraid to take risk. I also am inspired by Patty Griffin, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Tower of Power,Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and so many more too. Oh, my friend Liz Longley inspires me and so many of my artist friends like Jesse Ruben.”
Who are some of your style icons?
“My sister,” White said. She is in fashion and always tries to help me pick stuff out. She’s always like, ‘Why are you wearing flats . . . put heels on. She’s much more adventurous fashion wise than I am. She loves really edgy things so I like to pull from her style to make something unique in my own.
Celebrity wise, Audrey Hepburn, perhaps. I love Jen Anniston. I literally dress like her every day. You will see me in jeans and a white tee or a black blazer. Also, I love Mary-Kate and Ashley. And oh my goodness . . .Kate Middleton. . .that wedding dress. If and when I get married [I hope] I want to re-create that wedding dress. She’s so classic and simple, but still makes it fresh rather than old or outdated. I love her!”
If you had to describe your personal style in five words or less, what words would you pick?
“Classic, simplicity, structure, casual with an edge [wearing a cool piece of jewelry or fedora or Isabella Marrant shoes if i could afford them] and at times, bohemian,” White said.
What do you love about performing?
“I love connecting with a new audience,” White said. I love playing new songs and finding out what the audience likes and what they react to. I just love singing . . .i love doing it.
In college, I performed in a real theatre with my own music, I just can’t get over the feeling of being back stage just minutes before. It’s so exciting. I’m usually jumping around and acting a littlenuts. All my band members are normally much more collected and give me weird looks. I just can’t contain my excitement.”
What do you look for when picking out a stage outfit?
“Sequins,” White said. It has kind of evolved over the years and really depends on the venue, but typically, I like to wear a dress onstage or anything with sequins.
I love wearing a classic black dress. I pretend I’m friends with Frank Sinatra and think about what singers in his day would’ve worn.”
Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?
Depends on the venue… if it’s a small club, I like to feel/dress as comfortable as the club- white t-shirt and jeans [that’s probably my favorite thing to wear] with a black brooklyn industries zip/crop jacket,” White said.
Anything else you want to share?
“Thank you for asking me to do this,” White said. You have a beautiful blog.
Check out more of Emma White here: