What’s your year end goal? Emma’s story

Experian are spending 100 days following the fortunes of three people with hopes of achieving their dreams this year. Singer-songwriter Emma Ballantine‘s end of year goal for 2014 is to plan her next EP, and to go on her first tour.

I spoke to Emma to find out more about her 100 Days challenge.

How did your interest in music start? “From quite a young age I learned the piano and violin, but when I was about 10 or 11 I remember being shown the basics about how you build a song. I wrote my first song about the age of 12 or so. Very simple, about three chords – about heartbreak, of course! I do occasionally still perform it!

“I remember being given a mixtape when I was nine, of Alanis Morrissette, Tori Amos and Suzanne Vega. I listened on repeat for ages, and I think that really influenced the songs I write -even now, I still listen to them for inspiration.”

You work part-time now, don’t you? ” It seemed like the right time to devote more time to music. You can do a lot in your spare time, but you reach a point where you can only do so much. It’s difficult to carve out enough time. On a practical level, it means I can now say yes to gigs in other parts of the country, on weekdays and during working hours.

“I went to university so I could get some experience and a career before I did this.  You learn a lot about how to interact with people, and I think I’ve learned a lot about how to present myself, write my own press releases.”

Is it easier or harder to get noticed now?  “On one hand there’s never been so much competition to be noticed, as anyone can make a great-sounding demo & post to YouTube, in the way they couldn’t, say, 20 years ago. But on the other hand, it’s fantastic that any musician who has a great idea or wants to create something on their own can do that with a really professional sound, on a level playing field.

“It’s fantastic to know that as long as I want to make music, I can record it and share it with people. The songs I write are based on my own experiences, but hopefully they’re about things people can relate to.”

What do you want to achieve by the end of the year? “The aim is by January, I’m there in the studio, actually recording all the tracks. I’m in the process of booking a tour and I’ve so far got dates in three or four places. The deadline will focus my mind and give me a real sense of working towards something. Hopefully, fingers crossed in about 100 days’ time, I will have achieved all of that. “

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