It’s currently midnight on 30th May and I’m finally letting the adrenaline highs from a music gig settle down. Yesterday was pretty interesting in the good kind of way. As you know, I write for United By Pop and yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing singer-songwriter turned YouTuber, Emma Blackery.
I’ve been a supporter of Emma’s for some time, now. I love her music and her sense of humour, but her being a fellow LUSH fan really drew me to being a regular viewer of her channel. My friend, Lily, and I often watch her videos and talk about the products she discusses. I’ve been doing interviews since I was 15, but I still very much get anxiety, but having been rather poorly with my mental health for about six months, this was my first interview since beginning to get back on my feet and the anxiety was quite something.
Put it this way, my mother always tells me to go out and do what I want to do in life, but I was so anxious, she was suggesting I call the thing off. But I couldn’t. I knew. I knew that if I let my demons win again, I will be kicking myself for a good few months. It’s happened before and I wasn’t going to let it happen again.
My cousin, Emily, was my plus one to the concert that night after Emma’s PR kindly gave us press tickets in exchange of a review. We decided to get to Cardiff a few hours earlier because we haven’t seen each other in a while and also, going to do something would ease my stress a bit. Emily was a total saint and really calmed me down throughout the day, but when it came around to the interview, the anxious side of me took over again.
I felt exhausted – I spent the past 72 hours in and out of hospital for other health issues and though I slept the night before, my body was pretty fed up. But those anxious vibes were racing around me. I was listing every single possible issue that could go wrong.
After meeting with her tour manager and being escorted to her dressing room, we were introduced to Emma, who was sat on the sofa looking very at home. She looked as if she was a friend sat in your living room, ready to have a casual chat. And that’s how she made it feel. Emily suggested prior that, since we both know the kind of down-to-earth and realist of a person Emma is, for me to just be honest and say I’m feeling anxious. So I did, and Emma helped me calm down. In a fluster, I couldn’t find the voice recording app, but she helped me find it on my phone and as I began to ask her questions, her relaxed posture and body language seemed to rub off on me and I began feel more at ease. Being someone who has been open with her own struggles with anxiety, Emma really was understanding and when I explained that this was the first interview in a while, she praised me on doing so well.
I really wanted to share this story, because it’s going to be a story I won’t ever forget. Letting your health get in the way of what you want to achieve is a shitty thing to happen and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. That can be an incredibly difficult thing to do, so having other people go about their business, not aware of your personal battles, some people can be ignorant and make your battles more difficult. But with Emma, she really made the situation so much more at ease and that helped a lot.
I think this is the kind of thing we need to all do in life. I try and stay very quiet about how I’m feeling in professional situations, but with Emma being such an open and “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” kind of gal, I felt I could open up to her. Because we’re all human after all. I’d love for society to be more like this situation; if someone is struggling in any situation, be it professional or unusual or whatever, we should be able to be open and honest and help one another because all we are is human. We shouldn’t have to feel the need to keep a guard up, just all be real. I think we’d be able to combat so much bullshit if we took this kind of approach.
The gig was incredible. My feet are crying in pain, but that’s when you know it’s been a good one. I won’t give the details here as my review will be on United By Pop this week (stay tuned!) and I have no doubt I’ll be including Emma’s gig and her new EP, Magnitised, in my monthly favourites over on All That Jazmin.