Meet Nashville’s Rising Stars: Emily Pyscher
An Interview With Edward Sylvan
Live in the moment. As my career is gaining momentum quickly, I have caught myself getting stressed out and worrying. My mom stopped that real quickly. She reminded me that right now, I am living the life that I have dreamed and prayed about since I was a kid. I try to live in the moment amidst everything that is going on, to take a step back and to be ever so thankful for my blessings.
As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Emily Pyscher.
Emily Pyscher is a young woman beaming with an optimistic perspective offset by a determination and work ethic that keeps her grounded and focused; she knows what she wants and makes no bones about her intentions to get there.
The aspiring teenage hopeful pursued her musical journey as a senior in high school, making frequent trips to and from her Michigan hometown to Nashville. Immediately following graduation, the small farm gal was on the fast track to make Music City her home. Quickly becoming a member of the community, Emily immersed herself into the music scene earning a music industry education by fire. She is now a frequent performer at famed Nashville hot spots including Ole Red and Tin Roof, and she’s headlined at The Local.
Drawing from the textures of her favorite song crafters and musical influences (Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert), the songstress creates a captivating ebb and flow between her verses and choruses as a signature to the storyteller’s unique vocal delivery and style.
Offstage Emily possess an inviting, girl-next-door warmth with sly self-deprecation; on stage the young vocalist morphs into a charismatic entertainer with engaging banter, high-energy performances and hair flips.
Emily recorded her first single at just 17. She has released four singles — “The Next One,” “My Turn,” “When I Said Goodbye” and “Different Bar” — the original tunes embrace hopeless romanticism, questioning love, flashbacks and the empowerment of letting go. Her music has been spotlighted on various notable playlists and podcasts (including Women of Country Music, Crazy Women Country, Country, The Next Generation, Boots And Whiskey, among others).
She will release her debut EP, boasting all-original tunes, in September 2022.
“We’re the ones holding the pen, let’s write how this story ends.” — Emily Pyscher.
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
I grew up on the back roads of a small town. I spent my summers on the lakes of Michigan, playing guitar by a bonfire, and spent much of my childhood and teenage years with friends and family as entertainment. My hometown adventures have sparked hundreds of ideas and are represented in my song titles, storylines, and the airy-country sound of my melodies. I’ve always been very close to my mother and sister; they’ve taught me to be strong, and independent, and that it is okay to be outspoken about who you are and what you believe in. My mom and sister are my biggest influences in life, and I often call them multiple times a day to share the “craziness” of Nashville! My music and songwriting is a direct representation of who I am and where I come from.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started playing guitar when I was seven years old, and wrote my first song (dedicated to my sister’s ex-boyfriend) when I was 10. I always had my guitar in hand and I always knew I was going to do something in this industry. By the time I turned 16, I knew, in my heart, I wanted to be a recording artist. I was performing at a local bar in Michigan, as I was playing one of my original songs, I noticed that everyone had stopped their conversations and were engaged in what I was singing. By the time I finished my song, I knew that this was my purpose in life. Creating an emotional connection with strangers over a shared experience, that was made because of the music I had written. I still live for these moments with my fans, and I still get butterflies every time they sing my lyrics back to me.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Well, I moved to Nashville by myself, and I prayed every time I got into my car (for fear it wouldn’t start or it would break down). Within two weeks of my arrival in Nashville, it completely broke down and I was left without a vehicle for about five weeks. Keeping in mind, that I came to Music City with not nearly enough money to afford the price of fixing it on top of all other expenses. Still, looking on the bright side that I was still living here, I kept booking shows and packed all of my equipment into very small Ubers. After many long shifts as a Bartender, I got the car fixed… just for the fender to fly off going down the highway the first day I got it back!
Can you share with us an interesting story about living in Nashville?
My producer called me about an hour before one of the first recording sessions (at Direct Image Studio), to tell me that Taylor Swift’s drummer, Nick Budda, would be joining and playing on my songs. (He knew I grew up listening to Taylor and that I’m a big fan). After he told me, I started to laugh, cry a little, and laugh some more. (I think he told me beforehand so I didn’t freak out in the studio; I was over the moon). It’s still one of my favorite memories about recording.
Can you share with us a few of the best parts of living in Nashville? We’d love to hear some specific examples or stories about that.
On my first trip to Nashville, I had to see the alley behind Tootsies. (I take everyone who visits there!) I also love Broadway at night, with all of the neon signs and music playing. I don’t think you have experienced Nashville unless you have seen it all lit up.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think I wrote a song that was just a little too personal… I posted a snippet of it on TikTok, and the phone calls that came in after were hilarious; but to “others,” not so much! I guess I learned where to draw the line when it comes to writing about boys who broke my heart. But trust me, I will keep writing it all… just maybe hold out a few details.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
The first phone call that started everything, before I moved to Nashville, was to my producer, Ken Royster. He knew that I was a young rookie; but Ken believed in me and saw how much I wanted it. Over the past two years, his commitment and personal attention has given me so much confidence; his advice has guided me to become the artist that I am today. As an example, there was a time I was getting upset with myself in the studio over one note that was difficult to hit; we took a break, shared some laughs, and worked through my mental blocks.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m releasing a new single, “Callin’ You Mine” on June 24. I am especially excited for the release of this single because I’m also filming my first music video. I wrote this song sitting on the floor in my bedroom of the house where I grew up. I am so proud of what this song has turned into, and I can’t wait for my fans to hear it, and watch the video! I am also releasing my debut EP in September. With close hometown ties, this EP is a stroll down memory lane and shows exactly who I am as an artist and a person — whether it’s with a love interest or just missing home.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
-Continue to believe in yourself, even when it’s hard. The first time I came to Nashville, I saw how incredibly talented everyone is; it’s hard to maintain faith when you see everyone here for the same purpose.
-Take public negativity like a grain of salt. Being a public figure, you won’t be able to satisfy everyone’s interpretation of you. Some people will not like you or a picture you posted… and that’s okay. I remember when one of my early songs came out, and some people I grew up with were not fans. I was so upset, but realized that I have so much love from my fans, why would I let one person’s opinion of me or my music ruin what I have created.
- Live in the moment. As my career is gaining momentum quickly, I have caught myself getting stressed out and worrying. My mom stopped that real quickly. She reminded me that right now, I am living the life that I have dreamed and prayed about since I was a kid. I try to live in the moment amidst everything that is going on, to take a step back and to be ever so thankful for my blessings.
-It’s okay to get scared. I always have some fear in the back of my mind — at important shows, right before I release a song, and of the unknown in general. I have learned that being a little scared actually fuels me to keep pushing and to keep writing better and better songs. Don’t let the fear overtake you, let them guide you. Use fear to put some gas in your tank to keep running to the finish line.
-It gets lonely. I never expected to be lonely when I moved. I knew I was going to miss home and my family, but I thought I would keep busy. While I am constantly surrounded by so many people, nobody truly knows who I am inside. This form of loneliness took a long time for me to understand; it makes going back home so much more special when I get to make a trip back.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Your songwriting is your super-power, even though it has slowly turned into a career. Keep writing songs every day, even songs that will never see the light of day. Writing songs that are just for family or yourself will keep your spark and passion alive.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
As a newcomer and a woman in this industry, I am faced with hardships. Whether it is being the only woman in a room full of male musicians, who are also pursuing their music careers, or trying to hold my tongue when a man tells me that I am “pretty enough” to be an artist. I’d like to shine the light on the difficulties women face simply because they are a woman, and lend a hand to change the music industry to help the next generation of female songwriters feel more invited to pursue a career.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite quote that I feel is very relevant to my career thus far is from the Pistol Annies song “Lemon Drop.” “Life is like a Lemon drop, I’m sucking on the bitter to get to the sweet part, oh I know there’s better days a head.” Mindset is so important in the music industry. You have to keep working hard, even on the days when it all feels like it is too much. Maintaining a good work ethic and positive attitude will make the bad days not so bad and the good days even better.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
I would love to have a private lunch with Dolly Parton. I’ve admired Dolly since I was a child. She came from humble beginnings and landed a beautiful music career. She has done so much to help people and she is an amazing person inside and out. I would love to hear all of her stories about how she started; right where I am now.
How can our readers follow you online?
Readers can find me on all social media platforms! I’m Emily Pyscher on everything.
Stream Emily Pyscher on Spotify and Apple Music!
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!