Home MusicMusic Interviews Into the World of ÊMIA: Exploring “Super Fun Party Girl” and Beyond in Our Exclusive Interview With the Indie-Pop Sensation

Into the World of ÊMIA: Exploring “Super Fun Party Girl” and Beyond in Our Exclusive Interview With the Indie-Pop Sensation

by Jonathan Currinn
28 minutes read Send a Virtual Coffee ☕

As indie-pop starts to make a huge impact across the world and become viral, one rising star stands out, and she goes by the name of ÊMIA! Full of infectious melodies and candid lyrics, ÊMIA’s music releases have stunned all of her listeners, not to mention her flawless vocals that are filled with so much passion that we feel every single word and beat. With her latest single, “Super Fun Party Girl” and the forthcoming accompanying music video, Anh Le, who uses the stage name ÊMIA, invites listeners into a world where integrity and honesty meet addicting indie-pop beats and irresistible upbeat melodies.

In our exclusive interview, ÊMIA delves into the creative process of “Super Fun Party Girl” and the emotive journey behind the track as well as the much-anticipated music video set to accompany it. ÊMIA discusses exciting behind-the-scenes details about the music video where, together with director Holly M. Kaplan, they bring to life a visually stunning narrative, seamlessly blending elements of Marie Antoinette-esque opulence with modern-day empowerment—we can’t wait for the music video to drop, ÊMIA has definitely teased us all so much in this interview!

Join us as ÊMIA shares her inspirations, challenges, and triumphs, offering a glimpse into the heart and soul of her artistry.

Hi Anh, we hope you are doing well today. Could you share the inspiration behind “Super Fun Party Girl”? What personal experiences or emotions led you to create this song?

Anyone who was around me between 2018-2022 knows the chaos that I put myself through. I kept revisiting old wounds, re-opening things with my exes and dragging my friends along for the ride. At a certain point, it was no longer cool to be the debby downer., thus my party-girl personality developed. Because I felt like I might never move past the things and the people that made me sad, I just committed to faking it, hoping that I could convince myself that I was having a good time.

Also, one of my favorite songs ever is “Chandelier” by Sia. That song broke me and I’m sure some of that energy was in my veins when I wrote the song.

Promotional photo for "Super Fun Party Girl" which sees ÊMIA lying on a bed with a keyboard out in front of her as she rests her head on the keyboard, singing into a microphone with her eyes closed. Her dark hair is on the keyboard and she is wearing a white-to-green-to-blue jumper and white stockings. There's a pink hue net over the bed and some small teddies on her pillow. She has a laptop out in front of her.

You describe the track as embodying the experience “of dancing on tables and acting like a ‘super fun party girl’ as a way of masking the pain you’re going through.” As a songwriter, how do you balance crafting an infectious pop anthem and authentically expressing deeper emotions within your music?

I kinda assume most people aren’t paying attention to the lyrics that closely and actually I feel a lot more free writing about my pain through something that comes in an upbeat shell. In a weird way, it feels safe. I love pop anthems because they’re so much room to push the meaning of it because people might be distracted by how catchy it is.

We love the vibrant visuals in the “Marie Antoinette meets Barbie” music video for “Super Fun Party Girl”. What was the creative process like in bringing this concept to life, and how do you feel it complements the message of the song?

Oh man, this was a labor of love. I have to give the biggest shoutout to Holly [M. Kaplan] for handcrafting this concept with me! I got insanely lucky that a Facebook group brought us together (Asian Creative Network). We just immediately clicked and bonded over being obsessed over the same things and, thankfully, we were both very ambitious about what our visions were.

Promotional photo for "Super Fun Party Girl" which sees ÊMIA sitting on a bed with a keyboard out in front of her as she puts her hands on the top of her head and stretch, she's looking at the camera with her dark hair falling behind her. She is wearing a white-to-green-to-blue jumper and white stockings. There's a pink hue net over the bed and some small teddies on her pillow.

Originally we just wanted to do a tea party type of video, but then we had an opportunity to partner with Love Bonito for some of the looks. Their clothes are geared more towards the young professional women and it became an element we wanted to include in the video’s story. How could we tie together a period piece with something so modern? After many coffees and bagels, we came up with: what if three girlbosses girlboss SO HARD they “die” and woke up in a luxurious Victorian party afterlife?

Holly M. Kaplan directed the music video whilst Jon Bewley handled cinematography and editing. What were they like to work with as well as the rest of the cast and crew, many of whom you are friends with?

It just…worked. I had worked with Jon before on a few one-take live performance videos that I adored but this was a way different undertaking. Holly and I threw all these ideas at him and he just got the vision. It felt so harmonious, I think because everyone believed in the project so much. We had almost nothing for a budget which meant we needed to be patient and flexible.

Sometimes the weather was awful (we shot in December), sometimes people were sick, and sometimes people just had work and lives that don’t involve shooting a music video in the freezing cold haha. But every single person put their heart and soul into the video and it was overwhelming and magical at the same time. It was not easy but I had the time of my life making a literal dream come to life.

In the music video for “Super Fun Party Girl”, we see some iconic fashion moments with several outfits sourced from local designers. Could you share some insights into your favourite looks featured in the video and shine a spotlight on the talented local designers who contributed to the visual aesthetic?

Thank you so much! I’m obsessed with the clothes. I want to shine a lot on Melanie Wong, founder and designer of Meadowland who handmade my top and watch choker that I’m wearing at the tea party. A few of their custom pieces are featured on the party girls including Grace Nguyen’s white top, Sarah White’s blue skirt, Annie Behren’s black skirt, and Mecca’s pink watch choker. There’s just something sublime about wearing something that’s one of a kind. I highly encourage anyone to snatch up one of Mel’s pieces before they sell out…cuz there’s literally only one of them.

My second shoutout is to Love Bonito (an Asian-women-owned brand) who supplied the “professional girl” looks including, my leather jacket, turtle neck and black pants; Mecca’s white top and blazer; and Annie’s brown dress.

The third shoutout goes to Beacon’s Closet’s ”POC creatives clothing loan program”. They provided a few of the coats that you see at the end of the video which kept us warm(er) and looking chic!

“Super Fun Party Girl” was featured on the Netflix Comedy Special “Ronny Chieng Takes Chinatown”. How did it feel to have your music showcased on the show?

It was surreal. I actually sent them a bunch of songs at the time and they ended up picking this one. I didn’t have a lot of plans to release it at the time…so it was like the perfect validation and encouragement that it really was as special of a song as I thought it was.

Your music has appeared in a variety of films and TV shows. What is it like to have your music receive such exposure?

It rocks. I feel like the coolest person ever.

Going back towards the end of last year, you dropped your most recent EP in October. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your EP “VIDEO CALL: PM” and how it connects to “VIDEO CALL: AM”?

Thank you so much! Ooh, where to begin? The VIDEO CALL project was originally supposed to be a duo project between Charlie Kurata and me. While we’ve released a handful of singles together in the past, pandemic times really ramped up our creative output.

We’d Facetime, catch up on each other’s lives, and in those calls would be outlandish quotes and concepts that would eventually become the songs you hear in both EPs. I’m a ~rather~ dramatic person, so more often than not, Charlie would stop me in the middle of my monologue to be like…OK, we have to make a song about that. Because the project was literally based on conversations between two friends, that was the core inspiration for the music.

Sonically, “VIDEO CALL: AM” is the sunny, get-out-of-bed, morning routine music and “VIDEO CALL: PM” is the staying up late, sleepover vibes, nighttime music.

How did the long-distance collaboration with Charlie Kurata influence the creation of this EP?

I think some people (myself included) when they think about co-writing and music collaboration, picture a bunch of people at a studio together cranking out bops. Charlie and I, however, started making music the “long-distance” way. Not only does it feel natural to pass files back and forth, I think we thrive off of it, the space we can give each other to finish an idea… There’s a magic that happens when we each create something on our own and allow the other to tie the loose ends.

There’s so much material (melodically, lyrically, musically) that I feel I just stumped upon because I had time to listen to Charlie’s instrumentals on my commute and come back with a melody at the end of my day. Some of my piano/vocal ballads became bangers thanks to Charlie’s influence and some of Charlie’s upbeat instruments have bittersweet lyrics just because that’s how it feels to me.

Promotional image for "VIDEO CALL: PM mini movie" which sees ÊMIA posing with the New York skyline behind her, wearing a cream silk skirt, a white top, accessorised with a black bag and black shoes. She's leaning against a rail, overlooking the water, in the night time, with one leg pointed up behind her - bent at the knee.

“VIDEO CALL: PM” explores themes like forgiveness and growing up. Can you delve deeper into the emotions and experiences that inspired these tracks?

At some point in my songwriting journey, writing certain breakup songs felt boring and less authentic to me. Or at least, I felt like the narrative that I wanted to tell was not as simple as “he did me wrong so now I’m gonna hate him.” It never occurred to me that it would be possible for the people I once loved in my life, to still have a place in it…just in a different way.

In one particular scenario, I actually did have an ex reach out to me after a long period of not speaking. It was a long text message that came around the holidays and it felt like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulders that I didn’t realize I was carrying. More importantly, it was like I unlocked this ability to move on that I didn’t think I had before. It was so new and, honestly so refreshing, it deserved to be written about and I’m glad I made a song for it in this EP.

Promotional image for "VIDEO CALL: PM" which sees ÊMIA posing against a rail, with the New York skyline behind her, looking at the camera over her shoulder. She's wearing a white top and a silk skirt with a black bag and it's night time.

The mini movie accompanying the EP is intriguing. Could you share more about its concept and how it ties into the music?

I’m obsessed with visual albums. I’ve always pictured these songs like little “episodes” so it made sense to combine the songs this way.

There were a couple of narratives Brittany Drays and I played around with, but in every iteration, the commitment to ‘keeping it real’ stayed the same. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called a friend in distress: dreading another first date, complaining about work, filling them in on new gossip about my crushes/exes. The mission was just simply to show and tell the truth. So In the mini movie, nearly every song starts with a video call between two friends mimicking actual conversations I’ve had. The music portion would be my perspective of what happens next.

What was the process like creating “VIDEO CALL: PM the mini movie” with your real-life best friends, and how did it reflect your own life experiences?

A dream come true. I’m not an actor so I think the only way I could do something like this would be to involve people who I am personally connected with. I’m very lucky that my closest friends are all insanely talented and dedicated. Making art is how we have fun and so the experience felt like one playdate…we just happened to be looking cute and hitting records along the way.

For example, in “are we gonna grow apart”, the scenes with Sarah were shot on a day that we have designated as our “dance day”. We recently started taking ballet classes so I planned the shoot around our weekly ritual. In “best in me”, my fellow bunny co-worker is Bri, who was my actual co-worker and work bestie when I was working at this boutique in Brooklyn.

As I’ve said in a lot of my descriptions. The project and the visual aspects are highly exaggerated (I’ve never worked as a bunny mascot for a community garden)…but surprisingly accurate.

ÊMIA, how would you describe the overall message or story you’re conveying with this EP and the mini movie?

The little moments are the biggest memories. In the age of the internet, it’s easy to compare your life to other people and wonder if how you’re spending your time is good enough. I find myself often wondering if my younger self would find my life to be exciting and movie-like or if she’d be super stressed at how complicated adulthood is, I like to think this EP is saying that it can be both and that the good outweighs the bad.

The phone calls with your friends, the instant mac-and-cheese dinners with your roommate, the birthday parties, the post-date Facetime debrief—I like to make the argument that ALL of that is worth savoring and remembering.

Promotional image for "VIDEO CALL: PM" which sees ÊMIA posing with the New York skyline behind her, leaning against a railing, looking right at the camera.

Your music is often described as conversational and cathartic. What is your songwriting process like, and how do you bring out these emotions in your music?

My friends know that they get to see a side of me that most people don’t. But even so, there are plenty of things I still don’t feel comfortable talking about. That fear is always fighting this need to connect. Anything I can’t bring myself to say out loud in front of someone…but I really really want them to know I’m feeling this way….ends up in a song.

You’ve managed to build a substantial online presence. Can you tell us about your journey from posting YouTube covers to where you are now?

Thank you! Honestly, I think it ebbs in flows. Sometimes I feel like I have a big following and sometimes I think I’m shouting out into the void (depending on how much the algorithm likes me that day). What I have learned from my early YouTube days till now is that people can ALWAYS tell when you’re not into something haha.

I feel like views and likes are so fickle the only thing I can count on to work is something that I genuinely love no matter what. I’m a lot less calculated in what I create and I just post because it’s something that I had fun making.

Promotional photo for "Super Fun Party Girl" which sees ÊMIA sitting on a bed with a keyboard out in front of her she hugs her knees, looking at the camera with her dark hair behind her, wearing a white-to-green-to-blue jumper and white stockings. There's a pink hue net over the bed and some small teddies on her pillow.

Your debut EP, “Little Secret”, was well-received. How has your music evolved from that release to “VIDEO CALL: PM”?

“Little Secret” was like a very personal diary entry. “VIDEO CALL” is a conversation with my bestie. They’re both very personal but one is a back-and-forth. I felt very determined to tell our story as much as I could. Sometimes that means leaving out the super super specific details and getting to the big picture of what I need to say. Charlie played a huge role in helping me shape the song into something universal.

You’ve collaborated with a variety of producers and artists. Is there a collaboration that stands out as particularly memorable or influential in your career?

ROISIN changed my perspective on songwriting forever. We had spent 2+ years writing together at least once a week and the way I approach lyrics and melodies has certainly been influenced by her style. Our weekly co-writes forced me to trust my intuition more and let the melody almost write itself when being too rigid with the notes.

I would not be the producer I am now without ellie d. While I know how to work with my own voice and my own stories, honoring my friend’s experience felt like a huge responsibility that I didn’t want to mess up on.

You’ve been featured in notable campaigns and shows, lately. How have these experiences impacted your artistry and visibility in the music industry?

It’s very cool! They’ve definitely brought me to certain people who really believe in me and help me out further down the line. But in terms of changing my life overnight…it never does actually haha. I feel like these opportunities help fulfill me, more so, internally. They encourage me to take more risks and sometimes THOSE risks are what get me invited for bigger things.

How do you balance being a singer, songwriter, producer, and creative director for other artists? What drives you to take on so many roles?

I try to make each project something that can feed into another. I don’t think I’m good at balancing anything at all actually! It’s just that…once I start something I have to see it till the very end. I’m so driven to do all these things because each project feels like I get to meet a different side of myself. It helps me feel more confident when I take risks for my own songs and videos.

Where do you see your music career heading in the future, and what are your long-term goals in the industry?

For the first time ever I don’t have concrete goals and more of a general mission. I just want to challenge myself to make good art. With every song and video, I think to myself, OK I can do something like THAT…what next? I hope I always have the privilege, the community and the tools to create things that feel magical.

Before we wrap up, is there a special message you’d like to share with your dedicated fans and supporters who have been following your journey and music?

There is no right or wrong way. Progress is not linear. At the end of the day, it’s all about being honest with yourself and choosing the people who love you for you.

Thank you, ÊMIA, for taking the time to answer our questions. That final message in the last answer, “Progress is not linear”, needs to be put on a t-shirt, that was something we so needed to hear and we easily resonate with it. We are always connecting and relating to your lyrics and your music, and we’ve listened to “Super Fun Party Girl” on repeat so many times now! We can’t wait to see what 2024 brings to you.

“Super Fun Party Girl”, by ÊMIA, is available to download and stream, right now, across all platforms, via InternetGirl Records. Look out for the forthcoming music video for this single which is set to be released very soon. As you wait for the music video, why not check out ÊMIA’s artist profile on your favourite music streaming platform, if you haven’t fallen in love with her from this interview, we’re sure you will via her amazing music!

Follow ÊMIA on social media here:

Share this article and tag us @GoodStarVibes to let us know what you make of our interview with ÊMIA discussing everything to do with “Super Fun Party Girl” as well as her latest EP “VIDEO CALL: PM”.

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