We had the pleasure of interviewing Em Beihold over Zoom video!
Emerging as one of the year’s breakthrough acts, Los Angeles singer and songwriter Em Beihold (pronounced bye-hold) unveils the music video for her buzzing single “Numb Little Bug”...
We had the pleasure of interviewing Em Beihold over Zoom video!
Emerging as one of the year’s breakthrough acts, Los Angeles singer and songwriter Em Beihold (pronounced bye-hold) unveils the music video for her buzzing single “Numb Little Bug” Moon Projects/Republic Records.
The visual seamlessly translates the song’s story and energy to the screen, evoking her sharp sense of humor and even sharper songwriting sensibility in the process. It serves as the perfect companion to this rising hit!
“Numb Little Bug” has affirmed Em as a dynamic phenomenon. After tallying 12 million streams during its first week alone, the song has eclipsed 60 million global streams and counting. At the same time, the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and saw Em debut at #4 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists Chart. Quickly capturing #1 on the Spotify Global Viral 50 Chart and #2 on the Spotify US Viral Chart, the song has been flying up the Spotify US Daily top 200 chart and is currently Top 30 and climbing on the Spotify Weekly Top Songs USA chart. The song also leapt into the Top 10 on the TikTok US Top Tracks and has become one of the “Top 10 Most Added” songs at Top 40 radio. What’s more, the song is Top 40 on the Official Singles Charts in the UK, Canada and Australia.
Next up, Em accompanies Anson Seabra on The Wonderland Tour. It kicks off on April 19 in Dallas, TX at HOB Dallas Cambridge Room, visits major markets coast to coast, and concludes on May 11 in Los Angeles, CA at El Rey Theatre.
A quirky and pensive pop anthem, the lyrics of “Numb Little Bug” quickly resonated with audiences this Summer when Em shared a short snippet of the song on TikTok. Upon release, the clip generated a staggering 1.5M likes and 6.4M views on TikTok, with a new clip of the official recording receiving 1.7M views on the platform earlier this month. Laced with airy piano, the bouncy verses give way to an intoxicating and irresistible refrain as she ponders, “Do you ever get a little bit tired of life, like you’re not really happy, but you don’t want to die, like a numb little bug that’s gotta survive?”
“Numb Little Bug” illuminates the idiosyncrasies of what fans can expect from Em’s signature style.
It paves the way for much more music to come from Em Beihold soon.
We want to hear from you! Please email Tera@BringinitBackwards.com.
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Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with em by hold over zoom video and by hold born and raised in Los Angeles. And she talks about how she got into music. She was walking by a music store at age six, saw a piano, asked her parents if she could get a piano started taking lessons, had her first song written by age seven. Not only is she an amazing piano player and singer and songwriter, she's also an All-American fencer like sword sword fencing. 4 (2m 5s): She went to college for fencing was in the NCAA for fencing, went to college at UC San Diego, which is cool. We talked about San Diego a bit, but the music thing really landed for her during the past year and a half. When COVID happened, one of her songs ended up going viral and Tik TOK. The song city of angels followed by another massive song on Tik TOK Groundhog day. And then obviously the new one numb little bug, which is doing insane numbers. So, and hold goes through her entire musical journey with us and we hear about what she has coming up next. You can watch the interview with him by hold on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and tick-tock at bringing back pod. 4 (2m 52s): And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcast, Amazon music, it would be amazing if you follow us as well. And if you have time, hook us up with a five star review, 5 (3m 4s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 6 (3m 10s): We're bringing it 4 (3m 11s): Backwards with M buy hold. 6 (3m 13s): Hi, how are you? 7 (3m 14s): I'm good. How are you? 6 (3m 16s): I am doing well. Thank you so much for doing this. 7 (3m 19s): Yeah, of course. Thank you for having me. I'm honored. 6 (3m 21s): Where were you born and raised? I guess that's the first place I'm going to start. 7 (3m 24s): I was actually born in Los Angeles, so I've, I've been here my whole life. I'm currently in Glendale. I still live with my parents 6 (3m 31s): Really? So Southern California. I'm from San Diego. That's awesome. Not a lot of us are actually born and raised in Southern California 7 (3m 40s): And I went to school in San Diego. So 6 (3m 42s): Did you really? Where'd you go? Did you really? That's amazing. That is so cool. Well, I want to talk about that. That's amazing. So you're in Glendale. That's where you currently are and that's where you were raised. Yeah. So tell me about growing up there. That's kind of in the valley, right? 7 (3m 60s): I should know my LA I don't, I think yes, 6 (4m 4s): It's Easter. Isn't Sure why not? 7 (4m 9s): But yeah, I grew up with my parents. I'm an only child and I like, they're my best friends. So I mean, I probably could move out if I really wanted to, but I, I gotta lie. I'm still here. Yeah. But it's also nice. Glendale is sort of a nice break from like the city and Hollywood and like the normal things. People kind of don't love about LA. It's kind of like a nice suburban break. 6 (4m 31s): Okay. Okay. And did, where you, you said that you're an only child, but how did you get into music? I did read that you're classically trained on piano and multiple instruments, but how did music how'd you get into it? 7 (4m 43s): Yeah, so I was passing a piano store with my parents and I like saw a piano in the window. And I think kind of, I don't know. I was like, I of can I play like, I mean, yeah, if you practice and I promise that I would practice, but as most kids, you know, struggle with that, I wasn't the best at practicing, but instead I would like take classical music and start experimenting with the notes and seeing where I could go with it. And that's how I started writing. And then I did my first song. I wrote my first song when I was seven called America home, which 6 (5m 13s): Is wow. 7 (5m 14s): Patriotic. 6 (5m 15s): That is patriotic and impressive at seven. 7 (5m 19s): I mean, it's not, I don't know if you've heard it. I don't know if it's aggressive, but I was fortunate to have a piano teacher who like fostered my writing growth and like would help me, you know, when I have to like transition between chords and think of lyrics and all that, and then just kind of kept going. 6 (5m 36s): Wow. So when you S you started piano lessons, you said what seven or is that? No, that's when you wrote the first song, when, when did you pick a piano? 7 (5m 43s): I started 6 (5m 44s): 6 0 6. Okay. Wow. That was quick. Six to seven. And were you in piano lessons for a while? 7 (5m 50s): Yeah, I kind of stopped, I guess in high school when things started getting busier, but I would, I would go pretty once a week to my parents' house. Jameson Trotter. 6 (6m 4s): What'd you do like a recital is and all of that? 7 (6m 7s): Not really. He was a bit unconventional, which I, I enjoyed because the way he would teach was like a moment of scales, a little bit of classical, some jazz. And then, I mean, composing, I don't know if that was his lesson structure for everyone, but he kind of, he realized that like, you know, I didn't want to just play Bach. I wanted to like play the songs I was listening to. 6 (6m 31s): So he would teach you like pop songs or, oh, that's amazing. I feel like not a lot of piano teachers do that. And I don't quite understand that it's like, don't you want the kid to be interested in music. I feel like you hear a lot of stories where it's like, and then I had this piano teacher that would like make we play all this stuff. I didn't want to play. And then I gave up on it, but that's cool to have a teacher that really helped kind of boost what you wanted to do. 7 (6m 55s): Yeah. I, I don't think I would be here at all without him. 6 (6m 59s): Really? 7 (6m 60s): Yeah, definitely. I mean, he also told me Regina Spektor, who was my biggest writing inspiration. 6 (7m 6s): Oh, okay. I love Regina Spektor. That's amazing. Yes. So six, seven years old, you write a song. What was it called? America, America home and lyrics. Everything 7 (7m 20s): There is, I mean, lyrics. Yes. Lyrics. Not the best, 6 (7m 24s): But I mean, what seven-year-olds writing these brilliant lyrics. There's not a lot of light to pull from. 7 (7m 30s): It's true. The songs that came after were called alien sabotage and strawberry lumps. So, you know, young Emily Hunter's priorities. If anything, in my mind, I think it's only been, 6 (7m 46s): Do you have recordings of those songs 7 (7m 47s): Somewhere? Somewhere? I remember them. 6 (7m 52s): Yeah. That's really amazing. Have you ever, like, when was the last time you played one of those songs when you're eight? 7 (7m 60s): Probably 6 (8m 1s): You haven't any time any <inaudible> 7 (8m 7s): On Tik TOK and see what people think 6 (8m 8s): I was going to say, I saw this video of you on, I think it was on YouTube and you wrote a whole song using just comments from Instagram. That's so creative. 7 (8m 17s): Thank you. I did that during quarantine because there really was not much else to do. So 6 (8m 22s): You just struck how'd you decide on what comments to do, just any of them that you decided to pick out, like are something that kind of structured a song. 7 (8m 29s): I just put them on a document and like thought of a melody with chords and I was like, what fits basically. And then kind of played with them, like puzzle pieces. 6 (8m 38s): That's cool. I want to back up real quick though. So piano lessons, you write your first song at seven. And then are you in those that followed? Was that something that you continued to do? You said like in high school you stopped doing piano because things got busy where you, you jumped into something different, you just playing a lot more and you didn't need the lessons anymore. 7 (8m 59s): Oh, I mean, I was always writing like that never stopped, but as far as like being good at practicing it and doing the classical things that I was kind of going to the lessons for, to like strengthen my technique. It just got kind of busy with, like, I was taking a lot of AP classes. I was also doing competitive fencing. I was in show choir, 6 (9m 18s): Which 7 (9m 19s): Was not for me. I respected, but I can't dance learn that very quickly. But I mean, also, I, I did teach music a little bit during that time, I think so. 6 (9m 31s): Okay. Like younger kids or how'd you get involved in that? 7 (9m 36s): It was, so I went to the school called Oakwood where I was like further fostered in arts education. I was lucky because I had teachers who like also wanted to help me with my writing, like after classes and stuff to do that. And they did summer camps that I actually like grew up going to every year. And then I was a teacher that was really cool, like full circle moment. 6 (9m 58s): Wow. Wow. So you did summer camps that were arts based in the arts. That's cool. You said it was an arts high school was an arts high school. 7 (10m 6s): Yeah. 6 (10m 7s): Wow. Was that something you had to like audition for, or just, if you had passion for it, you could go apply there. 7 (10m 13s): It wasn't necessarily like categorized as an art school, but like a lot of attention towards the arts and support and, you know, I mean, not every school has like strong arts and choir and Opportunities, so I was really fortunate. 6 (10m 29s): That's amazing. And in your offense or you were like at a All-American fencer, is that what I read? Yup. Okay. When do you start doing that? 7 (10m 37s): I started when I was eight, I guess it all started around that. 6 (10m 41s): So piano and fencing. And how do you get into fencing? Is that something that comes from the family as well? 7 (10m 49s): My dad had been doing it since college and exposed his age but many years. And he started giving me lessons in the driveway and I was hooked by it. And then he took me to a recreational class and it was funny because we had to like all fence the teacher at once and everyone was too scared to stop the teacher, but I was just like, go, go, go. And I just kind of kept it after that. 6 (11m 15s): Wow. I didn't ask though. Or your family or parents musical at all? 7 (11m 20s): Not so much. 6 (11m 22s): Okay. Just fencing. 7 (11m 24s): Yeah. 6 (11m 25s): But then, then you were just interested in, then it became something that you continued to do as far as music went. 7 (11m 31s): Yeah. And it was kind of a nice balance and continues to be, to have like the athletic side and then the artistic side. Cause I feel like it's really easy to get caught up in one world and forget how, how much else there is, you know? 6 (11m 44s): Sure. W like to be that good at fencing. I mean, all American, you must've spent a lot of time practicing and that must've took up a big portion of your day or, or not so much. 7 (11m 56s): Yeah. I mean, in college I basically went to college because I wanted to do NCAA fencing more than I really wanted to do the major. And it was 15 hours a week. So basically a part-time job a little bit, and music did kind of, you know, go to the side for a second. I was in abandoned college, but it wasn't like an everyday thing. So it's kind of gone back and forth a little what I focus on more, 6 (12m 22s): But 7 (12m 22s): I think now the decision has kind of made for me. 6 (12m 24s): Sure, sure. In high school, are you in abandoned all or did you perform out at all? 7 (12m 31s): I was always in little bands often. We didn't really perform like here and there, but I didn't really grow up doing a ton of performances. I actually had pretty bad stage fright, which I got over funny enough by doing a lot of tick-tock lives. Like keep doing it. Like I did the over quarantine and see like a hundred people in the room, 200 people. And you, you just kinda get used to it after awhile. 6 (12m 55s): Right. That's interesting. I've interviewed lots of artists and most of them will say that the most terrifying thing is like doing the live Instagram, social media stuff like that. Like, oh, I can play to a crowd of 2000 people, but like going live on the Instagram or live on Tik TOK is just such a difficult thing to do. That's that's cool. That, that was kind of the thing that got you over the stage. Right? 7 (13m 18s): Well, it's so funny because obviously no one's clapping. So after June I just kind of learned like it's, it's more normal to me to be like, okay, that was that next song. I don't know how to, I guess. 6 (13m 36s): Wow. Okay. But you said you were in some bands in high school or just was for this fun, 7 (13m 42s): Just fun. I was in the band I was in, in college was called <inaudible>, which is Emily, but all the vowels are owes and Our biggest feat was performing in battle of the bands and we made it to the finals to perform at the big Sungod festival, but we lost. 6 (13m 58s): Oh, and was that just at the school? Okay. Cause you said he wants you to CSD. Yeah. Okay. Cause I've obviously I've was from San Diego. So I want to hear going from high school. You're in fencing. You obviously were really good. So you go to UCLA has a good fencing team. I take it. Okay. I didn't know any of this. So is that why you went to UCC to Ben's for the college? 7 (14m 22s): Yeah. It was kind of a choice of like going far away or staying local. Also you use, these are obviously cheaper for California students and all of that. And then they also took my AP credit, so I was able to graduate a year early, so it all just kind of lined up. Wow. 6 (14m 40s): And it's like, I mean, UC schools in California are like the thing, right. They're the harder ones to get into obviously. And like UC San Diego. I mean, yeah. You CSC it cause there's USD of a sudden San Diego, but you CSD. Yeah, my, actually my brother-in-law went there too, so he liked it. Yeah. And then he ended up getting a master's from somewhere else, but you, you went there for English and creative writing or something like that. I have no idea, but okay. So they, they have a good fencing team, so you're going there to fence. And then what is your, your major while you're in college? 7 (15m 12s): So I was a communication major and business minor, always with the intention of wanting to apply it towards music. I couldn't really tell you what communication is. 6 (15m 22s): That's what I have a degree and I'm still trying to figure it out. 7 (15m 25s): Okay. You understand? 6 (15m 26s): Yeah. They're like, I'm like, so, okay counselor. I I'm terrible at math and science, what can I do? They're like communication. So you're Like, okay, we're going to go with that. And I'm still trying to figure out what it means, but 0 (15m 43s): It all started with the taste of spicy tempura and the explosive blend of aged cayenne had you craving for more and more the heat, the spice, and most definitely the flavor of the crispy juicy, tender and spicy chicken 1 (15m 56s): McDonald's is bringing the spicy to chicken. Try the spicy deluxe or classic spicy crispy chicken sandwich or get the six piece spicy chicken McNuggets for just two 50 prices. And participation may vary, cannot be combined with any other offer combo meal. 8 (16m 10s): The bone, 9 (16m 12s): There are more ways to celebrate than ever before at the Jeep celebration event. Hurry in for great deals today on the only brand that lets you go anywhere and do anything. 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And then are you always, are you still, you said you were an abandoned San Diego. Where would you play? Would you play out around saying like I don't, I mean, I, the venues there, house of blues, anything like that? 7 (17m 25s): It's funny. We didn't actually do anything too major, but we were, we were invited to perform for something called the avocado Fest and we were all signed. Cause we like a festival to avocado. Like that's going to be, that's massive, 6 (17m 36s): Huge in San Diego, 7 (17m 37s): You would think. But then it was just on campus and it was like this one little table of guacamole. And I asked all my friends to come and it was only my friends who watched us do our like pitiful. We got fish on them. So that was a win. 6 (17m 52s): Did you play piano and singer just saying w what was your role in the band? 7 (17m 56s): I just sang. Yeah. Our guitarist and pianist was a lot better than me, so, 6 (18m 2s): Oh, really? You're an amazing piano player. Do you play, do you play piano on that, on the EAP that you released and for ed? 7 (18m 10s): Yes. I think it was a mixture of my teacher and I, 6 (18m 13s): What are the compositions on that record are so good. Like the piano part. I mean, the whole album is awesome. I listened to the whole thing earlier today and I'm like, wow. But the piano pieces, like really stuck out to me. It's such a good record. 7 (18m 24s): Thank you. I kind of, it feels like old me. I don't know if I relate to that, that music I've released as much as the current stuff. Yeah. 6 (18m 32s): Oh, it's definitely different. Well, okay. So you're in the band in college fencing, and then you can, like, where does fencing kind of lead your life or was that when the pandemic happens and then this tick-tock thing kind of happens? 7 (18m 47s): Yeah. So it wasn't really fencing during the pandemic of 6 (18m 50s): Pre pandemic where you fencing 29. If we look at 2019. Okay. 7 (18m 56s): Yeah. I competed in like NCAA regionals and all that kind of stuff, but yeah. And then the kids, I didn't, I really didn't leave the house like most people. So I just started doing tick talks and it just kind of went crazy from there. I fenced a little bit in the backyard with my dad just to like stay active, but I actually fenced other people for the first time, like a couple of weeks ago. And I did lose to a kid who started in September, which was quite embarrassing. 6 (19m 25s): Oh. So you're back at it. Yeah. Okay. Well, that's good of back at it. Well, okay. So where were you in 20? I think 2017 was when infrared came out. Where were you back in LA at that time? Or were you still living in San Diego? 7 (19m 42s): I think 2017. I had just graduated from high school. I hadn't my one month job at Ralph's, which I talk about, like, it was a lifetime because there was so much, I don't want to say trauma because that's a heavy word, but 6 (19m 55s): It was a brutal, brutal job, 7 (19m 57s): Not my favorite time. And then college in August. 6 (20m 3s): What happened at Ralph's now? I'm curious. 7 (20m 6s): Well, it, it was my first job job. Like I made our situation, my coworkers all call me Barbie because I was a little too delicate to be dealing with like meat slicers and 6 (20m 22s): Right. I wouldn't either. And carts, are you kidding me? I would not want to push it, like grow in the parking lot and grab all the cards 7 (20m 30s): I was in bumped the cards I wasn't 6 (20m 31s): Above that. Okay. I'm good. You jumped the cards. Okay. That's good. 7 (20m 37s): But frankly, I might have preferred that. 6 (20m 40s): Okay. So you're in the deli. Is that you said that's where you were at deli department. Okay. But yeah, I wouldn't want to cut the up and that would kind of just not. Okay. So you just short period at routes? 7 (20m 53s): I did say it was, I was so bad at that job that I said it was my first day for like two weeks for anyone. I'm so sorry. It's my first day. Then when I had repeat customers, they were like, wasn't your first day, last week. 6 (21m 5s): Are they asking you for like some obscure meat? And you're like, I don't, I don't know. Like, 7 (21m 13s): But there was one particular occurrence when this guy was asking me to make him a sandwich. I didn't realize there were sandwiches in the dough. I mean, maybe that's obvious, but I never got a sandwich from Ralph celly. And he was like, I want tomatoes. And I was like frantically looking around for tomatoes. And he's like, I think they're down there. And I was like, for sure, 6 (21m 31s): Like I'm not a sandwich artist is not the sound way. Let me just cut up your ham and be on your way, sir. So you're working at route. So will, was, I'm curious about the EAP where you working at Ralphs when the EPA came out 7 (21m 47s): Before that 6 (21m 48s): Four hours. Okay. So tell me the process of putting the EPA together. It sounds like your teacher helped you on the record of it. 7 (21m 55s): Yeah. So I had written the title track infrared about my first breakup. 6 (22m 2s): It's a great song. I really that one in the last one on the, there are my two favorites from the record. 7 (22m 6s): Thank you. The other ones I had just kind of written throughout the years and we just collected them all wants to put on any PA there was no like through line to the story per se, but just wanting to put out, but just fine. I still like that one. The other ones. I'm not sure how much I love the writing on them anymore, but I liked just fine. 6 (22m 25s): Okay. And you had one song though that made it onto a motion picture. I mean, a film with like, you know, Jackie Simmons and Mandy Moore and a bunch of people are in the movie. 7 (22m 36s): Yeah. So I had played a show at the Republic of pine in 2016 and we had a family friend in the audience who I think like always knew I wrote, but didn't really like, I don't know. I think, I think she realized 6 (22m 52s): She know you're like a really good, 7 (22m 55s): I'm not really good, but I think like something maybe clicked for her. That seems so conceited. I don't want to say that, but anyway, 6 (23m 3s): But okay. But it's not because yeah. I mean the song made a film. It's somebody chose that. So I'm going to film you look at your ear, Spotify over 8 million people, listen to your records monthly. I mean, it's okay to be a little truthful. You know what I mean? 7 (23m 22s): I don't know. Yeah. The, the 8 million thing, I, I, I feel like it's someone else. I feel like it can't be me. 6 (23m 29s): It's crazy. That's so awesome though. That's such a huge thing. 7 (23m 33s): Thank you. I don't know how one is supposed to process that kind of number because everything so far has just been like metrics. It hasn't been real interactions, you know? 6 (23m 42s): Well, yeah. I could see how it it's difficult when it comes to that, because it is, I mean, no one's really doing, I mean, recently shows have come back, but not within the past year and a half, it's kind of an odd time for that. And then you look at a song like, I mean, we'll talk about your new one. I'm a little bug, your newest one. And it's, I'm looking at it now and almost a 64 million times. People have listened to it. That's a lot. That's a lot of people, 7 (24m 7s): A lot of people. 6 (24m 8s): Yeah. So, okay. Well, so somebody comes to the crowd, we'll get to that. So somebody in the crowd, that's a family friend CG play and it was like, okay, wow, you're a really good songwriter. I want to use a song. Or can you write a song for the film? Like how does that conversation begin? 7 (24m 24s): Yeah. So she came up after my show and was just like, Hey, I have this film. I was wondering if you'd consider writing a song for it. And I tried to keep my composure, but I wanted to be bouncing off the walls. Cause I was so excited. And she was like, we have a really small budget. And I was like, don't you even worry, like to get paid $1 to do what I love is fine with me. And then she sent me the script and I just kind of wrote the song based off what I read in the script. I actually wrote it in 10 minutes. That's probably the shortest time it's ever taken me to write anything. 6 (24m 56s): And you, so you read the whole entire script. You're like, okay, I got an idea and just put it down right away. Wow. That's incredible in not having, had you ever read a script like that before? Or was it the first time 7 (25m 7s): I had read scripts? More like play stuff than 6 (25m 13s): Like a film. 7 (25m 16s): There's one particular part of the script where she talks about like water droplets and the sink. And for some reason that like inspired the piano part for me, Never know what it's gonna take. 6 (25m 29s): Sure. And do you submit the song and right away, they're like, this is perfect for, or there's some back and forth. 7 (25m 36s): I sent it and she just like put it over the montage and it literally like fit the editing. It was insane. She invited my mom and I over to watch it. And she was like, this is just like, how did we have this kind of communication? 6 (25m 51s): Wow. 7 (25m 52s): Since then I'll tell you, you know, writing for other projects, hasn't been as easy as that is that. 6 (25m 57s): Sure. But still, I mean, that's a huge moment. What a huge thing to kind of validate your, your songwriting and you as an artist. 7 (26m 5s): Yeah. I, I was insane. 6 (26m 7s): So that happens in, you're still like I'm going to go fence and I used to <inaudible> it was just kind of a thing that happened. 7 (26m 14s): Yeah. I mean, it was, it felt really good that that happened, but I didn't really know how to continue the path to being an artist. At least before tech talk. I was like, I was writing and posting things on YouTube and Instagram and performing here and there, but I didn't really know, you know, what to do. 6 (26m 30s): <inaudible> and that just all kind of came together through Tik TOK then. Cause you have some other songs, he put it, I mean, looking at when I came out and, you know, forgive yourself, which I think is another incredible song. And was it when city angels came out, that's kind of when stuff changed for you? 7 (26m 46s): Yeah. 6 (26m 47s): Okay. 7 (26m 48s): That was the first time something of mine went viral. I think it got like 300,000 views or something. And it was the first time I like couldn't keep up with comments cause I do try to like and respond to everything. And it's when I actually posted that I hadn't written the rest of the song yet. So after it was going viral, I was like, maybe I should, 6 (27m 7s): I should probably finish this. So at that point, tell me about Tik TOK and how that all kind of came in. So were you, was that an app that cause my son that's, he just turned 14 and he was on it when he was musically and he would just kind of was watch eat. He doesn't like perform on it or anything. He just is like one of the billions of people that have, it was Tik TOK, something that you started to really invest time into when the pandemic happened. And then tell me about how city of angels kind of happened. 7 (27m 38s): So I, all my friends had sick talk during like early quarantine days and I really didn't care to, to do it, but I think I just wanted to see like what all the fuss was about. So I downloaded it, I posted Dua Lipa cover and I forget exactly how many views it got, but it got like three, maybe 300 views and I had 10 followers and that didn't make any sense to me because you know, on YouTube or Instagram, I feel like your subscribers and followers are very correlated to the amount of views. 6 (28m 8s): Well, there are the people that are seeing your stuff, right. I mean, that's, what's such a crazy thing about Tech-Talk it's, it's just like this massive like focus group pool of people. 7 (28m 17s): Right, right. 6 (28m 20s): Sorry, go ahead. 7 (28m 22s): I like, I kind of saw a little bit in a moments what can take, talk is capable of, and I just started posting all the snippets of things that I write instead of putting them in my voice memos, which is normally where they go for no one to hear. I just started posting them for everyone. 6 (28m 40s): Oh, okay. So we're just right away. You just put little teasers up and see what people thought. 7 (28m 45s): Yeah. And I mean, frankly, most of those, most of the things I posted aren't finished songs. It's kind of, it's interesting because it tells you what you should finish and what you really don't need based on. 6 (28m 55s): Yeah, right. Yeah. The focus group. So it's like, oh, a lot of people are latching onto this. They like this. Maybe I should try to finish the song up. Yeah. That's incredible. That that happened with city of angels where it was just, okay, I have this piece and then it starts being used by all these different people and it's going viral and then, okay. I should finish the song now. Yeah. 7 (29m 16s): I would funny is, is I thought like that was a viral moment. And then Groundhog day like blew it out of the water and I thought it couldn't get any crazier than Groundhog day. And the numb little bug did probably a hundred fold, so shows how much I know. 6 (29m 33s): Wow. Wow. So when city of angels starts taking off, like, was it something that, you know, you put your phone down and then you come back to it a little later, like, whoa, you know what is happening? And you're watching it just kind of grow and grow and grow and grow. 7 (29m 45s): Yeah. 6 (29m 46s): What was that like? 7 (29m 48s): I mean, it was exhilarating sometimes you kind of see it grow along the way. And then other times I would just wake up and I'd see a video has like a few hundred thousand views. I kind of prefer that one because I think your mental health can get very tied to all the numbers and it's, if you can't avoid watching it, I think it's a good thing. 6 (30m 9s): Right, right, right. And so that one does well and then you're like, okay, I just need to finish the song. So you finished the song and then are you like, how do you chase what you had just done? Like obviously, I mean, granted groundhogs, they did more than that. And then, you know, numb little bug does even more, but so when city, city of angels is done, you're like, okay, I should work on this right on it. Like, what is your next step kind of moving forward to keep the ball rolling with that? 7 (30m 35s): So what's funny is I, I posted that original snippet that went viral, but I don't think I posted much more about it. Cause I was like, oh, I don't want to annoy anyone with like posting this over and over again. And then the only other time, well, there was one video I made where I, I do edit a friend of mine who made a tic talk about the story of city of angels going viral, which helped it stream. And then I did one more tech talk when it was out, but that's all I did cause I didn't want to bother people. And then I realized little NAS, X posted Monteiro probably 300 times. So I was like, okay, that's I can bother people. So then it was kind of a drought. Nothing was doing very well. 7 (31m 16s): Grandpa day actually popped off. After the third video I made to it, the first two didn't hit. But the third one, I had my parents in the back and that's what sold it. That one I made like 20 something videos. And then for reference, I think that little bug is like probably 60 something videos at this point. 6 (31m 34s): Okay. You just do different ones. Like, so you, for Groundhog day, you did like different videos, different versions of the song or like what do you like just different pieces using the same sound to kind of see what people would react to. 7 (31m 45s): Yeah. Like I would do the chorus or I'd do the verse. And then when the track came out, you know, I would, I would do like different versions of the track. I also like told the story of it. I think there's a lot of creative ways you can use the same audio, but have different 6 (31m 60s): Right. Different videos and then numb a little bug comes out. You put the song out originally though an August. Is that what I read? 7 (32m 8s): Yes. I put it out in August and I was excited and equally stressed when it was going viral because the recorded version wasn't ready yet. And it ended up going through 13 variations. 6 (32m 19s): Oh wow. 7 (32m 20s): I wanted it. And then I was like, I was nervous as to how to bring the momentum back. But luckily it happened and I had a friend who's handled his live to create who helped me strategize some video ideas. So credit to him as well for viral. 6 (32m 38s): That's really cool. So with like our people, like managers of record people, or, you know, industry folk reaching out to you on that first Tik TOK success, or does it take a couple, a couple of big, big ones for them to come knocking at your door? Like how does that work? 7 (32m 56s): So the label talks started after Groundhog day. And then I signed before none little bug to moon project slash Republic records, Marybeth Mani, who I signed to said that she had been following me since city of angels. So I guess you never know who's watching and when they're watching, 6 (33m 14s): That's incredible. Yeah. So they probably saw what was happening and were like is a am going to be able to pull this off again and then you do. And it's like, okay, let's get in here. And then obviously it works again, you know, for the, for the final one, not works, but you have the song to, to, to follow it. But, so what was that, I mean, was that pretty cool to have these label people coming out and, you know, chatting with you, trying to, you know, court, you to get you on their label. 7 (33m 42s): It was exciting, but equally overwhelming. Also during that time I had started on antidepressants and through that, like I didn't realize that HIAs could be muted as well as low. So I was kind of just going through this period of like my dreams coming true, but not really feeling and I'm happy it happened because I wrote a little book. I'm not happy that you relate to that. I hope that's clear. 6 (34m 6s): No, no, no. You're like, yes. I'm happy that you have issues. No, no, no. I know I saw it. I didn't understand what you're saying. Okay. So that was happening. And then S sorry, walk me through that one more time. 7 (34m 21s): So yeah, I was, I was meeting with like, I dunno, RCA Arysta capital And, well, it was kind of funny cause they, they wine and dine you, but then they kind of disappear a little bit. It's like dying down, but married from Republic, like just kept emailing me. And even for my first meeting, I just kinda knew she was the choice. 6 (34m 44s): Okay. But it was, but you said you had just started on anti-depressants when the label talk happened, was happening. And was, did, did you have a numb little bug written at that time or no. Cause obviously that talks a lot, quite a bit about what you just spoke out. So 7 (35m 4s): None of the bug was soon after the label talks. And I think I actually, I remember having a conversation with my mom where I was like, mom, I don't know if music is making me happy. It's all happening, but I just feel like kind of sad and overwhelmed and I don't know why. And she was saying like, that's ungrateful Kind of explain to her. It's not really ungrateful. It's just that feeling I hadn't experienced before. So I think in writing them little bug, I was also trying to explain it to her. 6 (35m 32s): Oh, okay. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I was going to say the song is really, really talks to that people. I said, I also take antidepressants and medication for that. And even listening to a song, like forgive yourself, that one spoke to me too in the same way, because I was like, oh wow. Like, that's interesting because that's one thing that I personally have a problem with. Like, you know, yeah. I'll forgive everyone else. But if I do something stupid, it's like, oh, I got to be hard on myself. Right. And like, that's kind of what that song said to me. And then hearing, you know, numb little bug come out and I'm like, oh wow. This is also like a very relatable song. 7 (36m 7s): They are kind of, they come from different paths. What I wrote, forgive yourself with Ian Walsh, I came into the session and he was like, you know, it always starts with what's going on. And unfortunately my friend had just committed suicide. 6 (36m 21s): I'm so sorry. 7 (36m 23s): Thank you. But I was just like, I, I wish these are the things I wish I could say to him. So that's how we, we wrote that. Just kind of putting it like a message along and it's kind of crazy the response to that one specifically that I got from people saying that it feels like they're being supported or hugged by, 6 (36m 45s): Right? No, it totally does. And it's yeah. That's what I felt when I heard it. I was like, wow, like this is really something people need to hear because that's, for me, that's a really hard thing to do. It's like, it's easy to forgive everyone else. But then when it comes to yourself, I don't know. I'm hard on myself. So that's just me, but my story, my, my analysis of the song, but like, it makes a whole lot of sense, like listening to it. And then when I heard a little bug, I was like, wow, this is also speaking to me in the sense that, you know, you talk about, you know, picking up the prescription, getting, reading the name, you don't know how much, what the dosage is supposed to be. And like all this stuff. And I mean to have to write a song like that, AF like that's pretty, I mean, it's a bold move, not a bold move, but it's very, it's, it's, it's an honest move. 6 (37m 31s): And was that like a difficult thing to share with people? I mean, to be that kind of transparent. 7 (37m 36s): No, I've always been way too blunt. My friends have told me that my greatest strength and weaknesses that I'm just blunt. Sometimes it hurts their feelings. So I've never really, I've never felt like, oh no, I'm exposing myself. Cause I don't really know what else my purpose in this world is then to just make that, just shed light on what, 6 (38m 1s): Aside from the, the, the benchmark of getting a song on a, on a playlist, like, did you have another big milestone? Like what was the big milestone for you with, with your music career? 7 (38m 12s): Oh, one that seemed incredibly unachievable was to be in a genius video and that just happened. 6 (38m 18s): Wow. 7 (38m 19s): Crazy. The next one is to be on SNL, which is definitely going to take a lot more time, I think, but I I've never had a ton of music. Like it's never been about Grammys for me personally, you know? Cause I also just never thought being an artist was feasible. So I didn't to set my mind on that too much. 6 (38m 38s): Is this kind of a, and now you kind of have to, I mean, this became your career, right? It was, it wasn't something you really sought out for. What is that hard to process to? 7 (38m 48s): I mean, it w it was something I wanted, but I just, I was trying to be realistic with myself that it's likely it would just stay kind of in a I'm doing it for fun range. And that was fine. Cause it's my favorite thing. But the fact that it's working mean I'm so grateful. I don't know what else I could be doing. Definitely not Ross Kelly. 6 (39m 9s): They probably won't hire you after all these interviews. None, little bugs been out for a bit. It's obviously doing incredible. What do you have other songs ready to come out and you have a project. 7 (39m 20s): Yeah. Hopefully the next single is in may and then another single following that. And then an AP that's the current plan. I'm not sure of the exact timelines yet. 6 (39m 31s): Sure. But wow. That's that's and everything's done. Was this, were these songs written when recently or over COVID time or 7 (39m 40s): A lot of them were written over the past year after Groundhog day. I just, I got, I was fortunate to get a lot of opportunities to be in sessions and meet more writers and producers. So a good chunk of them were with people that I met last year, but I have to say like teasing, the next single has been terrifying because I don't know how to exit no little bug para. 6 (40m 1s): Okay. So yeah, it was that I was going to ask that question, do you well, but you've kind of done it, right. So you had city of angels which went viral and then it's like, okay, I got to follow this up. And then you follow it up with, with Groundhog day and then it's like the next level. And then you're like, okay, did you have a thought even when that came out, like, is the next song going to hit like that? And then numb little bug surges. Did you even have that thought on when Groundhog day came out? 7 (40m 29s): I mean, yeah. I feel like, I always think I'll never fall, but, but between the songs, like there's a good chunk of songs that don't really do much, you know? So it's a bit stressful. Cause this is the first time that like there's a plan with the releases and it's not just like go with the flow for me. So they kind of, they have to have to do something. 6 (40m 49s): Yeah. I have to hit well, Groundhog day was the one that you really straight before numb a little bug, wasn't it? Or was there a song in between there, 7 (40m 57s): There were like songs that I teased that didn't do. 6 (40m 59s): Oh, I see. Okay. So the next that, but as far as a full release, it was Groundhog day. They hit numb a little bug that hit. So now it's our, is the next one. Get a land. 7 (41m 11s): Yeah. 6 (41m 14s): Yeah. But is that even a thought? I mean, it sounds like the songs were already written and done, so it's not like you're trying to chase something. 7 (41m 21s): It's true. But I mean the like Tik TOK pre-sales make the biggest difference. And I think, I mean, none, little bug got a million streams the first day with 87,000 presets. 6 (41m 31s): That's crazy. 7 (41m 33s): I hopefully the next one's called too precious. Hopefully that one can do something. 6 (41m 40s): Have you been teasing at all? 7 (41m 41s): I've done one teaser. 6 (41m 44s): Okay. Did you mention any of that or you just put it up and see what people said? 7 (41m 48s): I put it up just to like test the waters. It's funny. Cause I have a friend that I tend to like do song campaigns with and he's like, you didn't tell me you were going to post that. Maybe you should've given me a warning. And I was like, I just, I got trigger happy. I want to see 6 (42m 3s): That's cool though. It's really cool that you have that, that there's this thing that exists now, right. That you can kind of do that. Are people going to care? Let's see. And then, like you said, you did different versions of the video for numb little bug. You said 60 different videos for it 7 (42m 17s): Probably. 6 (42m 18s): Yeah. And then it just took one that really landed to, to get the success behind it or the pre-sales and all of that. 7 (42m 26s): It took a few, I don't know. Cause none of them actually popped off as much as the initial acoustic version of them. A little book that I posted in August, but I just kind of a collective effort of all of them. 6 (42m 39s): Okay. Cause you did a video where you're like brushing your teeth and then you're laying down and you're eating. Like that was all that was later. Was that later than the acoustic version? 7 (42m 49s): Yeah. Yeah. That was after. 6 (42m 52s): Okay. 7 (42m 53s): I was trying to do, I was trying to do a version of what everyone else was posting and it was hard. I don't know how they did their videos are so smooth. I admire them. 6 (43m 3s): You're just as good though. And then you had this huge tick talker, right? That con that did a video to it. Like things, women are tired of hearing 7 (43m 10s): Crazy from tech talkers that like when I first got on the app, I was big. I mean, it's still am big fans of it, but like they they're definitely celebrities to me, like there's a girl named over who I recently saw, made a video. I think there's another one named Brooke monk. 6 (43m 26s): I'm looking at it as Brooke monk. 7 (43m 29s): Yeah, yeah. 6 (43m 30s): Yeah. So she did one. Right. And that was pretty recently. 7 (43m 33s): Yeah. 6 (43m 35s): So I mean, seeing these people like 7 (44m 10s): Like I cannot believe blank. Use my tick-tock sound. There's been a few Cobra was definitely one. Brooke was one. There's a girl. I think her, her username might just be Maddie, but I know she, she was in the Demilio show. She used it also do you know the guy like Joel, who does tick talks with his dad and his dad is like the Ratatouille guy? 6 (44m 35s): No, I I'm. I'm too old. I don't know. I'm sorry. 7 (44m 41s): His girlfriend. And they they're like all my free page all the time too. 6 (44m 45s): Okay. So new song coming out and, and a record. And like you saw, I'm wrapping up here. I don't want to take all your time, but I'm curious with, you know, you said you you'd go live on Instagram or, I mean, live on Tik TOK and do stuff there. Are you planning on doing any live shows? Like now that stuff is kind of opening up? 7 (45m 3s): Yeah. I'm actually going on tour, starting in April. I'm opening for instance, say Abra, which is going to be very fun, but that's April may and then a good chunk coming up. I mean, my manager just called me and he was like, so late June, we're going to be doing LA San Francisco in Boston. I, it just, it appears as it appears, you know, crazy. 6 (45m 26s): So the w like, so the tour is in April. And how far are you going with the tour? Is it like a full us store? 7 (45m 33s): It's a Dallas up to like New York and then kind of going to Denver and San Francisco and LA it's 13 places over all over 23 days, one in Canada, which makes it an international tour. 6 (45m 50s): That's awesome. I'm looking at it now. Very that. And w you said, like playing live, wasn't a big thing for you yet, right? You haven't done a whole lot of it. 7 (45m 59s): Yeah. I've only done like acoustic versions of my songs. Never like the full-out version with tracks and like being able to really be on stage and have fun. So I'm so excited. 6 (46m 9s): Have you prac, do you have like a band that you've been playing with? 7 (46m 12s): Yes. They actually started rehearsing today without me just to get it all dialed, I guess. And then I I'm going in tomorrow. I can't wait. 6 (46m 22s): That is cool. You're playing the rickshaw stop in San Francisco, which is an amazing venue. I will tell you that right now. Cool. Well, I appreciate your time. This has been so fun. Thank you. Am I, I, I love what you're doing. I love the records. I even loved the old EAP that you put out in. It's cool. Cool stuff. Last question for you. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 7 (46m 44s): Yes. Use Tik TOK reels and YouTube shorts religiously. And don't stop posting. Even if the numbers aren't reflecting, what you think the videos could do.
Like drawing the curtains to let natural light flood a dark room, Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and All-American fencing champion Em Beihold sprinkles sunny melodies over sadness, sowing the seeds for pensive and powerful pop. She turns moments of anxiety, doubt, and all the uncertainties of growing up into relatable and vital anthems uplifted by vulnerable performances and skyscraping vocal dynamics. Born and raised in Los Angeles of half-Persian descent, music called to her at just six-years-old. She spent years in piano lessons, learning classical and jazz. Simultaneously, she obsessed over favorite artists such as Regina Spektor. At her very first live show in 2016, director Michelle Schumacher enlisted Em to contribute a song to her film I’m Not Here starring Academy® Award winner J.K. Simmons. The songstress penned “Not Who We Were” for the movie, and it also adorned her independent debut EP, Infrared, a year later. In 2020, she launched her TikTok page. The chorus to “City Of Angels” reacted virally on the platform, translating to 5.6 million Spotify streams. She maintained this momentum in 2021 with “Groundhog Day.” Not only did the initial teaser light up social media with 20 million views, but the song cracked the Spotify Viral 50 in the U.S. and The Philippines, surpassing 6.6 million Spotify streams. After generating tens of millions of streams independently and receiving acclaim from The Wild Honey Pie, Indie Shuffle, Voyage LA, and more, she immediately makes a connection on her Moon Projects/Republic Records debut “Numb Little Bug.”