Singer-songwriter Emily Kopp has been involved in music since her youth growing up near Orlando, Fla. During her teenage years, she learned to play alongside others, playing different instruments like the drums, guitar, and of course, singing. She pursued this through college and began to book her own gigs. Through this she eventually interned at a local music venue, working in the office, and providing hospitality for national touring artists.
She cut her teeth about the music industry during her time behind the scenes, and from there she began writing her own songs and performing locally. She began touring the Southeast during her junior year of college, and in December 2013 when she graduated, she became a full-time touring artist. She has shared the stage with Matchbox 20, Brandi Carlile, Marc Cohn, Gin Blossoms and many others.
Kopp will be releasing several singles this year and has recently released her new single, “Hold Your Head Up,” which can be listened to here. We chatted with Emily about her upcoming EP, song placements in TV ads, her first experience at SunFest with Rachel Platten and much more.
AXS: You have a new band, with all new songs, featured on your new EP due out later this summer. How did all of this come together; was it planned?
Emily Kopp (EK): The band is a grouping of old and new players, sort of in various lineups depending on the tour or specific show. My previous band was a built in, set group. We’d been playing together for a long time. I traveled a lot back in 2016 before returning to the States and so, I expected somewhat of a change when I came back. I’m looking forward to finding new ways to keep the live show exciting and I think a fresh start can certainly do that.
AXS: You’ve had a lot of your music featured in numerous TV ads… how did these placements come together?
EK: My indie-rock alias, Midnight Riot, has had a lot of success in that world. It began as fun co-writes with my long-time friend and producer Justin Beckler. Honestly, at the time, we didn’t realize that what we were doing would eventually turn into something at that type of scale. We worked together to make something that felt great to us. I suppose the stars aligned.
AXS: You’re very empowering through your lyrics and music. Where does that strength come from, and what motivates you?
EK: Thank you! I love all types of music. I’ve explored a lot of territories musically and I think that’s just a part of coming into your own as an artist. When I was 19, I wanted to be Tracy Chapman. 21, Sara Bareilles, 23, Haim and Lissie. I’m finally taking the pieces of what I love musically and finding myself through it. Right now, I’m loving making tracks that energize and pump up your soul for one reason or another.
AXS: You recently played SunFest… what was that experience like, and what was one favorite memory you had during your time there?
EK: SunFest was my first show back in the States playing as a full band. That alone was a wonderful feeling — the camaraderie that comes with playing alongside others. Having that shared experience makes me feel connected and excited to play live.
AXS: Your new single is “Hold Your Head Up.” What does this particular song mean to you?
EK: Every time a little seed of an idea is nurtured and ultimately created into something larger that can be consumed and enjoyed by others, it feels very fulfilling. To me, “Hold Your Head Up” is an anthem of positivity, confidence and optimism. You can even feel it in the production. It means a new chapter, musically. It means an important message that hopefully resonates with someone. It’s a song I’m proud of.
AXS: You just kicked off your summer tour on June 11 with a performance at Eddie’s Attic; an iconic venue in Atlanta. What are you most looking forward to during your tour?
EK: Yeah! We’ve played Eddie’s a lot over the years. It’s always a favorite. I’m really looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in far too long. Friends and fans that have been long time supporters. My dear friends Meridith and Leigh brought their 2-year-old son Jack to our Atlanta show and it was his first concert. I was most excited for that.
For more tour dates and updates with Emily, check out her website.