artist profile: emily zuzik
New York is a funny place. Only in a city of this magnitude can someone so talented and active in the business remain underground for so long. Luckily for us, that’s all about to change.
Emily Zuzik is an extremely talented singer-songwriter who has toured extensively in the US and in the UK, is well-respected in the New York music scene and has been performing for the past decade. Her musical pedigree is also quite impressive: Emily has been a part of a number of bands of all genres and stylings, including everything from funk to acoustic pop to electronic. Emily frequently cowrites and collaborates with some of your favorite musicians and you’ve probably heard some of her music in TV shows and films. In addition, she’s an Epiphone/Gibson Guitars Endorsed artist.
I met up with Emily two weeks ago to discuss her newest projects. She’s featured on the song “The Low Hum” off Moby’s new album Destroyed, streaming now for free on Moby’s website and in stores on May 17, 2011. On top of that, she’s gearing up to release her fourth solo album, The Wild Joys of Living, this summer.
Okay, lip readers, I need to be honest here: I wasn’t quite sure how to approach this piece. It’s not every day that I have the pleasure of talking to someone so (no pun intended) instrumental in the New York City live music scene.
Sure, I can give you the typical run-down. Emily is a fit model when she’s not playing music; her favorite places to perform include Rockwood Music Hall and The Living Room in New York and the Troubadour in London; her favorite gigs include Liz Phair and Willie Nelson; her personal experience of being a woman in the industry has been good overall: she was a part of the women musicians’ collective Sirens Wild Ride; she played Burning Man; on and on. As we sat in the café, each of her stories blew me away. You name it, she’s done it – and done it well.
As I’ve been writing this piece, I kept coming back to one thought: her talent and presence merit something more than an interview write-up.
Emily kept referring to her sound as kind of typical blues rock ‘n’ roll, but the more I listened to it on her very new-media-savvy Facebook page, the more I was able to pick out production techniques and musical arrangements typically unassociated with this genre. I’m not saying she doesn’t rock your socks off, it’s more that her music has something else to it that encompasses more than one genre.
The refinement of her sound comes from Emily’s solid experience as a singer, songwriter and collaborator. A self-defined songwriter at heart, her process organically blends songwriting and added production. Her acute listener’s ear, honed primarily through “two straight years of listening to the Beatles”, yields an attention to arrangement that most singer-songwriters don’t have. She gives you the best of both worlds: delivering that arena sound with the girl-at-the-coffee-shop’s honest talent.