Following the release of her EP, Egg in the Backseat, last year, which has her certified platinum hit song, “Numb Little Bug.” Em Beihold is back with a new single, “Rollercoasters Make Me Sad.”
When you found out your breakout song “Numb Little Bug” certified platinum, what was your reaction, and how did you celebrate? Em: I got the platinum plaque after playing the °1824 conference. We took photos with it in the parking lot. I don’t know that I’ve formally celebrated, but I’m the type to keep going and don’t really celebrate a lot. My team sent me some cupcakes, which was really sweet.
When did you start writing “Rollercoasters Make Me Sad?” Em: I wrote it in May 2022. It was actually right after I got back from the Anson Seabra tour. It was a concept I had been sitting on with my collaborators before I left for tour. Even just the title, we had a conversation about theme parks and how it relates to the music industry. When I get to the top of a rollercoaster, I don’t get scared, I just get depressed. They were like that totally makes sense with everything you’ve been saying about music. The day after I got back from tour -tour is very exhausting- and I didn’t want to be writing. Usually, my management schedules sessions, but I scheduled that one myself and I was like, “Guys, we just need to write the song, I’m too excited.” It’s funny that an Em planned session is the song that comes out.
How important is it to keep a close and engaging relationship with your fans? Em: Very important, the most important. I love talking to my fans, whether it is through DM, or TikTok, or Instagram. I’m always responding and talking to them. I definitely do keep the fans in mind when I write music. It’s fun to do things that directly incorporate what they say. But to an extent, to write about my truths, I need to have a bit of separation without going too far into exactly what everyone wants.
How did growing up in LA influence your writing? Em: Both my parents are in animation, and growing up, we would always go to cultural events or art events. I grew up often going to the Hollywood Bowl with my parents. I also went to a school where a lot of the kids were artists; it was kind of an art-oriented school. In those schools, there was a lot of support for the arts, and I had a few teachers who would stay after school because they saw potential in my craft of writing and they wanted to help me. You can be inspired anywhere, but I think LA is the hub of music, art and film and people who want to help you with that.
What gave you the inspiration to create your EP, Egg in the Backseat? Em: Basically, Dallas Caton -who does most of my stuff- did “Numb Little Bug’ and after that, it was such a good fit with him quickly. I had done so many sessions that didn’t feel right, but with him and the writer Alex Veltri, we had a great time together. The first day we ever met, we wrote “12345,” and it is so rare you cut a song you wrote with people you met the first day. Usually, it takes about four sessions to get into something like that. We were just talking about panic attacks and how to deal with them, and it just kind of came out very quickly. The next day, we wrote “Porcelain” because I was talking about a friend who called me saying I was big timing her, and I told her, “No, you don’t understand my life has changed very quickly, I don’t even have time for myself.” I just felt very fragile and sad that the rise of “Numb Little Bug” felt so good, but it put my personal relationships in a weird place, which I didn’t expect. Every song we wrote on the EP wasn’t written with the intention of it being on an EP. It was just songs we wrote about how I was feeling with days we had scheduled. After “Numb Little Bug” went so crazy, it was like, “Oh my gosh, we need to put out something fast.” Keeping the momentum, people want more music, and we just had all these songs ready. I guess we could put them all out together. There wasn’t much thought of how they all fit together. It was just songs that I had that I really liked.
Was there any defining moment that made you feel confident that you were on the right path? Em: I think when “Numb Little Bug” was released everything just happened so quickly that it’s kind of hard to pinpoint a specific moment. It’s just a blur of opportunities I never thought would have imagined. I remember when Anson Seabra DM'd me and said, “Hey, do you want to open for me on tour?” and I had known of him for a while. It was crazy to receive that message. I had never even thought of touring, that was not a thing I thought about until after “Numb Little Bug” was released. I never necessarily imagined the pop star route. When I got the call for Jimmy Fallon, that was really crazy! That was like a whole other level now -it was real and not just a TikTok thing.
Can you describe the feeling you get on a big stage in front of hundreds of people screaming at you? Em: It’s the most incredible feeling in the world, and it makes it all so real. On social media, when I’m talking to everyone, it’s incredible, but it’s so different when you’re looking at someone’s face, and they’re screaming the words you wrote. I wrote the first half of “Numb Little Bug” at the piano when I was really low, so it’s crazy to see so many people screaming the words that were kind of your innermost sad thoughts. But now, in a bonding way, it’s a touching, full-circle moment.
What was it like working with Stephen Sanchez on “Until I Found You”? Em: I think I saw him on social media. It was a reel of him playing the song on the piano. I liked the reel and followed him. The next day, my manager was like, “I hear you’ve been liking all his reels,” and I was like, “Yeah, I guess I just saw one.” They were like, “How do you feel about doing a song with him?” and I was like, “He has an incredible voice, I would love to!” I didn’t realize that it was for “Until I Found You,” I thought we were going to do something else. Then we had a call, and he was super sweet, I was like, “What are you thinking?” We kind of agreed on the girl’s perspective, and I sent him a voice memo of what I was thinking, he tweaked it, and I recorded it. I really did not imagine that it would blow up. His song was killing it, for collab versions they don’t usually do as well as this one is doing. It’s been a really great surprise and a fun journey to do with him. I’m honoured to be on it.
Is there any collaborations you would want to do? Em: I feel like my answer to this changes all the time. I feel like it would be really cool, full circle, to one day have a collaboration with Regina Spektor since she’s the reason I started writing in the first place. I do take a lot of inspiration from her ability to not think about the rules, and do weird chords and say weird things. I love that, so one day. Your songs are deeply personal, how do you approach bringing that vulnerability with collabs? Em: With collabs, I don’t really get there. There’s such specific stuff I want to say for my music that I want to save for my music. Not that I’m holding back from a collab, but with a collab, there’s a different intention. I feel like writing for a collab is a little more free and fun for me, whereas writing for myself, I feel like I have to be deeply honest.
What do you want people to take away from your music, more specifically from seeing you live on tour? Em: It is a goal of mine to have a show that people are like that’s a good show. I think last year it was a lot of learning for me, and I wouldn’t necessarily say that I put on the best show. You have to be on stage a bunch of times to understand how to have fun. I wrote “Numb Little Bug” about having extreme anxiety, and then I was hoisted on these stages, which makes your anxiety even worse. But I think to have more fun and be a strong performer is important. As far as musical messages, I always love when people tell me they feel less alone or they feel like hearing my music, they relate to things they didn’t know other people thought. I think there’s so many things in society that we don’t talk about. Everyone has their own problems, but we don’t really say that. We try and show this perfect side of ourselves. I like unveiling the norms that we accept a little too willingly.
Who are your artistic influences? Em: I grew up on Regina Spektor, Kate Nash, Lily Allen, Fiona Apple, Sarah Bareilles, and a lot of those singer-songwriter women of the 1990s/early 2000s. Those are mainly the influences I keep with me; I don’t want to copy any of the new stuff cause then I become what everyone else is. I stick with my early references.
What are you looking forward to most opening up for Lewis Capaldi? Em: That will be the biggest tour I’ve ever done. The fact that I’ll be playing Radio City Music Hall and the Grand Ole Opry is crazy to me! I never would have imagined playing venues that big. I’m also excited to be in his presence and see his show.
Tour dates to see Em Beihold:
March 30 - Nashville, TN April 1- Atlanta, GA April 3 - Washington, DC
April 4 - Philadelphia, PA
April 6 - New York, NY
April 10 - Boston, MA
April 11- Laval, QC
April 14 - Toronto, ON
April 15 - Detroit, MI
April 17 - Cincinnati, OH
April 19 - Chicago, IL
April 20 - Minneapolis, MN
April 22 - Denver, CO
April 23 - Orem, UT