Only 18 years old, Emma Shackelford is country music’s newest sensation in Nashville— already impacting people of all ages with her music. We sat down with Emma to ask her a few questions before her major appearance at Orlando’s Cheyenne Saloon on Saturday, May 16th.
Question: Your latest single “Take It All” is surprisingly foreboding for such a young artist so new to the music industry. Where did this song come from?
RJ: When I wrote “Take It All”, I didn’t realize it at the time, but it really was out of this fear of ever becoming messed up and losing sight of what really matters in this world. I’ve seen so many people become the victim of fame and success and just spin out of control falling “down a spiral staircase the wrong wrong way”. I just want to stay grounded and keep a healthy perspective on this journey.
Question: Both your singles “Saturday Dreamin’” and “Take It All” were produced by Robert White Johnson. How did you get such a legendary songwriter/producer to work with you?
RJ: I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to record and produce my first two singles with Robert. I met him through a sweet Nashville friend, and we instantly had a musical connection. I came over to his studio and played the two songs live, and I could tell he really connected to them and believed in the project. We actually co-write together now. He’s a great friend and mentor.
Question:You just turned 18 and now living in Nashville on your own. Are you nervous or excited about that?
RJ: I’m definitely very excited about it. It’s neat to be entering this new independent chapter of my life, but I am also very grateful to have an amazingly supportive family who always have my back. Yes, I’m on my own, but I’m not alone. And at the end of the day-every day, I want my family to be proud of me.
Question: What are you working on now?
RJ: I’m currently working on producing around 30 demos of original material to be able to showcase my songwriting in a bigger way. While I am definitely a performance artist, I’m also a passionate songwriter. Not just writing for myself, but for others as well. I’ve written lots of songs that I don’t necessarily think are the right fit for me, but I believe in them and think they could be a great fit for someone else. I look forward to releasing those demos shortly. I’m also constantly rehearsing with bandmates for live shows!
Question: What can audiences expect when they come see you perform at the Cheyenne Saloon May 16th?
RJ: Audiences can expect to rock out on the 16th! I’ve been preparing lots of new original music for this show and I’m so excited for people to hear it. They can also expect some Country and Rock & Roll classics. I’m always game for a little Tom Petty or Shania Twain…