Emily Hackett speaks the truth. The singer/songwriter raised in Atlanta, GA pulls these emotions into her music, stirring in an authentic blend of self-deprecation that is both unique and refreshing. What poises her against the rest is the soul of a fiery artist ready to light up the stage, all the while still as honest as her Southern roots.
These haunting shadows weave its wave into the underlining of Emily’s music. With lyrics that admit the unthinkable – I’m a liar in the meanest of ways // Half the time don’t know what I would say // I don’t think there’s fixing this one // Cause he loved me without loving in vain // And I had him but I gave him away. In a minefield of songs where a topic of getting your heart broken never tires, Emily checks herself for matches, writing about her own short failings and repercussions. After all, there are two sides to every story.
“I find that speaking the truth, although it should seem simple, is one of the most difficult things to do as you grow up,” explains Emily. “Even if a negative thought about the choices you’re making crosses your mind, it’s rare to give it more than a few seconds of your time, let alone bring it to fruition in full lyrical form. That’s what I have learned to do as a writer. If I can’t be honest with someone to their face or to myself in a relationship, it’ll always come out in a song. Somehow it’s there that I have the bravery to admit to it.”
This heart of lyrical fearlessness for Emily was anchored at an early age. Growing up, there was not the slightest oddity to have a basement wall covered from floor to ceiling with records or to grasp the concept of speaking your mind. Her dad, a seasoned rock and roll critic brought out the musical soul in Emily, while her mom taught her to balance it out with sensible sentiments and a strong work ethic.
“My dad loves music. It’s hard to remember times in my house where there wasn’t something coming from the speakers downstairs or in the kitchen or outside. It was all day, everyday. I had no choice but to sink it all in and for that, I’m eternally grateful. My choice to pursue music, to even pick up an instrument ever, was never by my dad’s request, but absolutely his inception of the idea.”
My mom is an amazing businesswoman, earning her way to where she is by working hard, so she’s pushed my sister and I to be our best at what we do. I remember when I was a kid, she would drive me crazy making me sing and play everywhere we went. My dad may have given me the idea of music, but my mom was the one that wanted to see it truly come to life. Her belief in me has saved me from my moments of doubt.”
The result of Emily’s insatiable passion is undeniable. In the last few years, Emily has made a splash in the music scene releasing two EPs – As It Comes and Fury, Fear and Heartbreak. In 2013, Emily released an acoustic cover with Megan Davies of Lorde’s hit “Royals.” The response has brought in over half-a-million views on YouTube, was featured on Buzzfeed, won “Best Coffeehouse Cover of 2013” on Sirius XM and reached the final round of “Best Royals Covers” on Ryan Seacrest. This year Emily won the national Belk’s Modern Southern Music Showcase where she plays tour dates with artists Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts. In the same line, her duet with Parachute frontman Will Anderson, “Take My Hand (The Wedding Song)” reached over 50k streams on Soundcloud in less than two months and peaked at the No. 4 spot on the iTunes® Singer-Songwriter chart.
While the timing couldn’t have been more fitting, these career highlights can be flashbacked to a single moment in college when Emily wrote her wistfully poignant song, “The Part They Don’t Tell You.”
“I remember writing this song so vividly. I was sitting on my bed staring at this little wooden bird in a cage that I had, wondering what the hell I was doing with my life and thinking about how worn out I was already and I wasn’t even halfway through school. The words came so naturally – ‘I’m a caged bird waiting to feel the world that I see, tied like an old string fraying at the ending.’ The first time I played the song for my friend, she cried. Not in the way my mom would have cried as a proud parent, but because it struck a chord in her so deep. Those moments can be so far and few in between as a writer. A lot of people keep those thoughts to themselves so when it happens, when you see that a song you’ve written can mean that much to someone, it’s inspiring.”
There’s a compatibility between the novelty and depth found in Emily’s artistry. Her music has the power to transform listeners in a direction where many songwriters fear to tread. With her organic honesty and honey-sweet vocals, it’s no wonder that the possibilities continue to unfurl for Emily Hackett.
“Through my own truth-telling – most times in brutal honesty with myself – I’ve learned who I am as a person and the songs still remind me of that every time I play them. There are some songs you write as an artist that can mean one thing when you write it, but in a few years it might not connect in the same way. I think back to all those years ago when I wrote ‘The Part They Don’t Tell You’ and how my life has played out since then. That song will forever be my little bit of hope in tough times, and it’s funny, I don’t even know where that little caged bird is anymore.”
Maybe we don’t know where the caged bird is anymore. Or quite possibly she’s flown her coop, making daring strides across the skies to remarkable unknowns. Maybe she has finally found her place in this world. And that’s the best kind of truth.