Did you know that only 17% of UK songwriters are women? And that in the past 6 years only 12% of songs in the Billboard Top 100 had a female songwriting credit? Pretty shocking statistics. Write Like A Girl UK was created with the aim to “put female songwriting talent back in the spotlight and inspire more women to create original music.” Launched in 2018, the music tour showcases female artists in the country and Americana genres. At each performance, the three co-founders (Emily Faye, Beth Keeping, and Vic Allen) perform in a Nashville style writers round with a local artist sitting in with them. So far, in 2020, they have shows scheduled in London, Newcastle, and Bristol – you can keep your eye on dates here!
I spoke with one of the co-founders of Write Like A Girl UK, Emily Faye, to learn more about the organization and her recently released music.
+ Hey, Emily! Tell us more about your new single “Looking For A Real Thing”?
My latest single “Looking For A Real Thing” was born from being in a writing room with my two good friends and fellow songwriters Sue Mc Millan and Jake Morrell. Jake started playing the guitar part, I started singing along, and Sue said, ‘Write that down!’ and from there we built the story. The main line I wanted to use was ‘What happened to genuine?’ I wanted this song to be a hard-hitting number that might make people stop and think for a moment. Sue and I ended up writing two lyrical versions, one about self-growth and one about a drifting relationship – from both perspectives. Ultimately, we decided to go with the latter as we felt it suited the intended meaning more.
+ What inspired you to pursue music?
Music has always been my main passion. It is the classic situation of ‘she has sung ever since she could talk,’ which is what my parents tell people when they ask how it all started. I have always let my creativity lead the way; music is what I am passionate about. I also know it’s not an easy career to pursue, but, as they say, if you’re doing what you love, then you don’t work a day in your life – right?!
+ You recently toured with “Write Like A Girl UK,” a movement that celebrates female songwriters. How was that experience? What does the organization mean to you?
Write Like A Girl is one of the things I am most proud to be a part of. When Beth Keeping came up with the idea and asked Vic Allen and me to help her as co-founders, I was immensely excited. I believe that women should support women and that there is room for everyone, differences should be celebrated, and women should be encouraged in every way possible to share their truth. I really enjoy hosting the Write Like A Girl London showcases and listening to our special guests’ stories and songs. It is a safe place to share, and the audience truly listens. Honestly, sometimes you can hear a pin drop – I am very thankful for all of it.
+ Speaking of female songwriters, what is your songwriting process like?
My process varies depending on who is in the room. Generally, I start with an idea or a particular story, or sometimes there has been a situation I’ve been in, and I want to write about that. I’ll have the idea in mind and then start playing around on the guitar or piano and write the lyrics and music together as I go. Then, I will go back and improve the lyrics or change a chord so that it fits the song better. When I am working with some of my favourite writers, we have a good chat about what we are feeling that day, people share their thoughts, and then we decide on an idea and run with it. For me, the story is so important and getting the right message across. Recently I have been trying to write my ultimate truth and tap into my feelings and vulnerability. For a while, I solely wrote about others’ experiences because I was too afraid to write about my own – but not anymore!
+ Finally, what is coming up for you in 2020?
My ultimate goal this year is not to be afraid to open up and be vulnerable in my writing and my performance. Vulnerability and courage go hand in hand, and it’s something I am focusing on. I would also like to travel the world with my music, as I know there is so much out there to see and experience. 2020 is about pushing myself further out of my comfort zone, meeting and working with new people, and supporting and championing women in music through Write Like A Girl. I would also like to play some full band gigs, as I haven’t done that in a while, and there is nothing like when the drums kick in behind you on that stage!
+ Tess Clare is another Nashville artist who enjoys writers’ rounds.
+ This year I am intending to read lots of female writers through my reading challenge.
+ For more creative inspiration, read our interview with multimedia artist Kasumi.