MoPOP Sound Off! 2022 - Meet the Artist: Emma Wang
MoPOP’s Sound Off! gives up-and-coming artists mentorship from industry leaders, entrée into an artistic community invested in their growth, connections with peer musicians, and the chance to showcase their original music in MoPOP’s iconic Sky Church venue.
This years’ three live showcases — set for February 19, February 26, and March 5 — raise the bar for an all-ages show with a first-class experience at MoPOP for performers and the audience alike.
Whether it’s falling in love in the 50s or being a famous actress, with Emma Wang’s music you can be whomever and however dramatic you want. If music is an escape, why not take it to the extreme? It's pop with hints of glittery childhood imagination playing on a vintage CD player whilst you play dress up to your heart's content.
We took some time to get to know Emma Wang ahead of the artist's Sound Off! 2022 performance on March 5 at MoPOP. Check out what they had to say!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an artist!
Emma Wang: "I am a singer, songwriter, and producer from Seattle, Washington, mainly from Bellevue — that's where I grew up. I started by singing Disney channel songs, like High School Musical, Hannah Montana, all the classics, you know? I was singing covers of songs, mostly pop songs, and then I discovered songwriting and realized I could be thinking about my own ideas and my own thoughts."
How did you hear about Sound Off! and what led you to apply for this year's program?
Emma Wang: "Because I live on the east side, there still is a community of artists but it's certainly not as big as it is here in Seattle. So, I have this wonderful friend who is from Seattle and we came and visited MoPOP and she was like, 'You've heard of Sound Off!, right?' And I was like, 'No, what's that?' She gave me the whole rundown. She knew it would be perfect for me. She was super supportive the whole way through which I'm really grateful for, that she showed me about this and I'm really happy to be here."
What was your initial reaction when you found out you were going to be part of Sound Off! 2022?
Emma Wang: "So, because I'm part of the Youth Advisory Board I [recognized] the MoPOP [phone] call, and I actually missed it the first time. I tried calling back as fast as I could. We were playing telephone tag the whole day. Finally, I was able to reach the call and they broke the news to me and I was so happy. It was wonderful."
How would you describe your sound?
Emma Wang: "I would say my music is colorful and youthful as its overarching theme. I try to take inspiration from many different genres. Part of my inspiration comes from film because many people believe film to be a source of escapism by living through different characters, and you can live as many different lives as you want. I like to bring that idea to my music by taking on the experiences of a character. I'm only 16-years-old, I only have 16 years of life under my belt. I have my own life experiences I want to express, but I also want to explore a kind of world out of my own. That's part of the fun."
Why do you make music?
Emma Wang: "It's a very freeing feeling to be able to sing and express your own ideas at the same time. On top of that there's production, which brings everything to a whole another level. It kind of puts life into the song. You know, once you add that drum and the bassline, it's like everything's a whole another level. That sense of creating a song is truly such a freeing feeling that nothing else can replicate. I don't think so. I'd say I make music because I have to, because I don't know what I would do without it."
Outside of music, do you have any pop culture passions?
Emma Wang: "Film, fashion, and music are my three big ones. Part of the reason I love them is they're so interdependent of one another. Film and fashion both inspire my music because film has characters that convey an attitude, and fashion does the same, right? Fashion conveys an attitude. Like, when you think of the Ramones, you think of leather jackets, sunglasses, and denim, right? And they have this idea associated with them. I think when I'm writing my own songs, I love to put together little mood boards of photos and fashion that inspire my songs as well. That's part of the fun."
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT SOUND OFF! 2022...
We know you may be curious about health and safety protocols, so here are the extra steps we’re taking for these in-person Sound Off! showcases in our 140,000 square foot museum:
Performers will be separated from the audience by a 20-foot buffer.
All guests 12 years and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to the event.
Masks are required for guests 3 years and older.
Please only bring what you need as coat check is currently closed.
There will be no concessions sold during Sound Off! events. Please come hydrated and consider eating before you arrive.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the museum.