“Growing up in a household where my dad came from rural, rural China and my mom journeyed to America with just 50 dollars in 1988, the biggest thing I got out of it that I bring into my career right now is they’ve always been head-down, disciplined, just no excuses. I’m so lucky to have their support,” the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Emei candidly shared with PEOPLE magazine. The feeling resonates deeply, as it is often said that while raw talent can open doors, discipline and determination keep them open. Without delving too deep into the subject, one could argue that this blend of talent and tenacity is one of the most pivotal recipes for lasting success in the music industry. The scene is littered with promising stars who made fleeting appearances before fizzling out. But it’s the artists who harbor that blend of passion and persistence that manage to carve a niche for themselves.
The Scatterbrain EP stands as a showcase of Emei’s journey, reflecting both her deep-seated musical talent and her commendable work ethic. It presents a potpourri of emotions, from the fervency of powerful pop numbers to the hushed introspection of tracks like “Dear Emily“. Not all songs aim for the immediate gratification of catchy hooks; “Cynical“, for instance, opts for a more complex, layered approach to songwriting.
The spotlight shines on the focus track “711“, a spirited pop anthem that embodies the very essence of Emei’s multifaceted musical persona. “The sound of 711 is inspired by the hectic feeling of a night out and the pounding in your head from being so worried about what other people think. I feel like we’re all under the pressure of trying to be this person that other people want us to be and saying things that they want to hear (always being ready with the regular acceptable “party stories”).”
Beyond the music, Emei’s story adds depth to her artistic profile. Her parents, both emigrants who dared to dream beyond their circumstances, instilled in her the values of discipline, grit, and relentless pursuit. Such foundational beliefs are palpable in her new EP, in tracks that delve into themes as diverse as social anxiety, ADHD, and the tumultuous journey of young adulthood. “Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot about myself as a young adult. I’ve moved into my first apartment. I’ve made new friends in a new place. I’ve transitioned to working full time on my music. And the more I grow, the more I write. The more I write, the more I learn about myself. “Scatterbrain” is a self-reflective collection of songs that made my scattered brain very happy.”
In a landscape where the line between fleeting viral fame and uncertainly artistry can be quite thin, Emei seems to have mastered the balance. Emei’s music, as showcased in Scatterbrain, blends a quick charm with consistent depth. “Writing music allows me to have creative control and say what I want to say and be myself. I don’t overthink it. I just write about my life.” This expression is the backbone of the Scatterbrain EP, making it a deeply personal and relatable journey for listeners.
Photography by XKYLAR