Los Angeles Indie-Pop Artist Emily James Shares the Empowering New Single + Video “Happy For Me”
February 3, 2023 BY Jason Currell
“Ethereal, sparkling and meditative, James’ pop ballads give escapism to an audience swept up in daydreams and romantics…” – Atwood Magazine
Today, Los Angeles-based pop songwriter Emily James shares “Happy For Me,” an empowering anthem that touches on mental health and how so often feelings of anxiety can go unbridled and fester into self-doubt and self-loathing. The driving, synth-laden song empowers the listener to let go of the feelings that are holding you back and take advantage of the time you have. Emily’s vocals reach new heights on the impassioned chorus. Listen to “Happy For Me” on all digital retailers (here).
“Happy for Me is about wanting to stop letting anxiety get in the way of your joy.” Says Emily. “It’s so easy to beat up on ourselves and fixate on what we don’t have, or what we should be doing better, and getting sucked into an endless downward spiral. I wrote this song for anyone who needs reminding (myself included) of how important it is to celebrate yourself and not to let worrying take you out of the present moment.”
For the accompanying music video, Emily took on directorial duties, delivering a fun, expressive, carefree visual to go with the track. We see her at a decked-out party complete with a champagne tower and fine China. Yet inside, she can’t let go of her aprehension. As the video plays, we see her let loose, unafraid to just be herself.
“I really leaned in to the notion of letting go of all my worries and fully embracing the joy and celebration of the moment. I had such a blast filming this and I think the arc of emotions within the video really captures the lyrics of the song.”
“Happy For Me” follows Emily James’ acclaimed Nettwerk debut, Illuminate, released in July 2022. After being named an Artist to Watch in 2023 by Atwood Magazine, Emily is primed to have a big year with more new music on the horizon.
WATCH & SHARE “HAPPY FOR ME” OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO HERE:
ABOUT EMILY JAMES:
From her earliest memories, music has always played an important part in Emily James’ life. Raised in a small town just north of New York City, the singer-songwriter remembers, as a toddler, riding around town in her backseat “throne” of a car seat. There, she would perform for her family, or whoever else was in the car, belting out everything from radio hits, to classic rock, to her favorite songs from the musicals, Wicked and Annie.
Those early musical influences were quintessential to her story; nuanced and ever-evolving as the music the L.A.-based artist creates. Emily began her musical journey singing and taking piano lessons and, by the time she was ten, writing her own songs. She picked up the guitar a few years later, finding in the instrument a fresh new outlet for her lyrics and melodies.
In her early teens, Emily started performing her music at open mic nights around the New York area and, soon after, began driving down to Nashville and gigging at venues throughout the Music City. She went on to spend two years in Nashville and, while there, recorded her self-titled EP, Emily James, followed by her second release, the introspective, Til the Morning.
After Nashville, Emily felt the west coast calling and decided to expand her horizons by relocating to Los Angeles. Once in L.A., she gained the confidence to venture into producing her own music. Drawing from her experiences working with seasoned producers as well as her own musical influences, Emily wrote and produced many of her subsequent releases from her west coast bedroom. “I definitely attribute a lot of what I know about production to what I’ve picked up from the producers and engineers I’ve been fortunate enough to work with,” she says. Creating songs in her own bedroom instead of in a studio adds a level of introspection to her songs. “Being able to write, record and produce music in such a private, intimate space, and yet have limitless possibilities staring you straight in the face is, for me, a beautiful way to create. You get to eliminate any elements of self-consciousness and be totally free with your thoughts and ideas.”
Over the course of the next few years, Emily released a number of independent projects, while also attending college at UCLA. She combines artful storytelling with strong melodies that are often layered with beautiful, lush harmonies. And, while she most often writes her songs from personal experience, Emily’s music is altruistic. By her account, her songs are for anyone to embrace and attach their own stories and emotions to. “One of my favorite things about music and songwriting is that I can create a piece of art that is so specific to me and my life experiences, and feel like no one else has ever felt this way. But then, people will reach out to me and say that they relate to it, and that the song has helped them get through a difficult time, or makes them feel less alone. It’s amazing to have that kind of connection with someone… and knowing that my music has helped them in even some small way is all I can ever hope for.”
Soon after graduating from college, Emily signed with Nettwerk Music Group, and went on to release her EP, Illuminate, in July of 2022. The artist began rolling out her next project at the close of 2022, with the poignant and heartbreaking ballad, For an Evening. The single, solely written and produced by Emily, landed on Spotify’s New Music Friday as well as a host of other editorial playlists.
“…Could she be the next Taylor Swift? We wouldn’t be surprised…”
– American Songwriter
“…an intimate fresh take on a summertime love story — meshing Emily’s eloquent songwriting, soothing voice, and warm acoustics and synths together to create a luxuriant soundscape.”
– Early Rising
“…Emily James’ storytelling unveils a signature style…”
“Artist of the Week”
– Ones to Watch
“…James explores a new realm of narrative depth with textured, ethereal pop melodies and her enchanting vocals…”
“…Emily James just might be your new anthem for the [summer] season…”
– Sweety High