Emily Wolfe talks her journey to the stage, becoming friends with her songs, and rock in 2019

Texas musician Emily Wolfe talks songwriting, being a rock artist in 2019, and her hopes to return rock 'n' roll to the industry


Austin J. Yerington, Arts Reporter

Emily Wolfe plans to bring intense lyrics, in-your-face vocals, and “sticky” guitar riffs— as she calls them — to the Mill tonight at 7 p.m. The journey to her sound hasn’t always been hers, but after years of playing and songwriting, Wolfe says she is doing exactly what she wants to now. 

“Over the past couple years, I’ve figured out with what I like and what I don’t like. It’s kind of a reflection of knowing what I want to with my music and my sound,” Wolfe said. “I know where I want to go and what I want to sound like.”

This year, rock isn’t among the most popular genres on the billboards, and as a musician of the genre, Wolfe said being a rock artist right now is difficult, yet rewarding. 

“It’s been pretty challenging but fun, trying to garner attention on something people aren’t used to hearing, like rock,” Wolfe said. “I still think rock will make a comeback, and I would love to be a part of that comeback.”

The hope of being one of the pioneers of rock is not something Wolfe takes lightly; the idea of being a pioneer in any field helps push Wolfe’s music in new ways. 

“I feel like what I want to say with my entire career is to just try your best to be a pioneer in whatever your field is,” Wolfe said. “I would love to be a part of the movement that brings rock back. That’s what my mission is at the moment, and I think it’s working out.”

This mission to bring rock back has been a long one for Wolfe, who picked up a guitar for the first time at age five. However, Wolfe was afraid of writing music for a long time. 

“I’ve played music forever. I just never wrote music,” Wolfe said. “I just couldn’t see myself, as a teen, doing this for a career because I was so shy.”

At 15 years old, while sitting in bed listening to a Rogue Waves album, Wolfe felt a newly lit flame inside herself. 

“It was so weird. It just unlocked this motivation in me to make my own music,” Wolfe said. “It was one of those records that just hit me in the chest.”

After that, Wolfe kept writing. The themes of her music have a wide range, but the use of relationships within them truly stands out. 

“I think I’ve realized, for me, that taking care of relationships and the people in my life that I value, is the most important thing,” Wolfe said. “So a lot of songs are reflections of the past and how I’ve been in relationships and friendships.”

These songs can reflect parts in an artist’s life that have long passed, and for Wolfe, revisiting these songs became a way to form a new connections with them. 

“At first, it was kind of weird, because it was like, I’m past this point in my life, but then I [with] realized these songs, I just needed to form a new relationship with them,” Wolfe said. “I’ve had to make friends with them again.”

But the experience of performing live for an audience is something that makes the challenges worth it, Wolfe said. 

“Being an artist in the industry is about how far can you get, how much money you’re making. It’s very business oriented,” Wolfe said. “But to me, the people who listen to the music and come out to the shows, that’s the most important thing. Everything else doesn’t really matter to me.”

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