Born in Leipzig, Germany, up and coming hyper-pop singer and producer Emma Philine releases her full length debut EP numerically titled ‘17 2 20’. A collaboration between producer Dennis Behrendt aka Zoetrop, sonically ‘17 2 20’ is a unique mixture of modern RnB and experimental Pop with buckets of soul led by Emma’s infectious vocal tone and delivery. The tracks were initially written between 2017 and 2020, at a time where Emma was facing difficult times. Lyrically, Emma shares her personal story of lust, identity and anxiety. ‘17 2 20’ sees Emma craft an intimate portrait of a generation struggling with mental health in a perpetual state of self reflection.
Emma describes that “the EP not only represents 4 songs but 4 years of my life. During this time I was drawing a lot. My sketches are characterised by a certain anti-aesthetic and they are always about the same archetype: The ego, the devil. After a long time we’ve decided that those drawings are a part of Emma Philine so we integrated them into the EP artwork and printed them on our merch as well. All drawings come together with a quote. One of those quotes reads: “the cameras are off so why you keep performing?’’
‘17 2 20’ packs a punch from start to finish with erratic synth lines, heavily distorted rumbling bass lines and thumping drum samples producing a multi-facetted blend of hyper-pop and dark alternative RnB. It is the contrast of Emma’s soft vocal tone with the dark sonic productions that make this EP so special. Lead single ‘GHOST OF MINE’ is a highlight of this EP with Emma’s strong vocal performance admitting that “she is just a ghost” of her former self. Emma displays her R&B influence in the verses before erupting into a catchy pop-centric hook in the chorus section. The sound design on tracks such as ‘INTERGALACTIC DESIRE’ make this project unique and unpredictable. Emma stated that “All of the songs are experimental and embrace the unknown.” She agrees that “even though I do want to connect with the masses I think it is important to avoid the generic and be bold enough to surprise listeners with disturbing and atypical sounds. That’s why I care so much about my sound design.”
When asked about the reason behind the title of the EP’s, Emma stated that “I’ve decided to call the EP ‘17 to 20’ because all songs were written in the time between 2017 (when Zoetrop and I first met) and 2020. A long time has passed between writing, finishing and now releasing those songs. It can be really tricky to promote songs which are that old. Your style changes, your choice of words in the lyrics, simply you as a person. And now, when I’m looking at the whole EP, it’s like looking at a different version of myself. A version that I can empathise with even though I’m not her anymore. This project represents my hard path through therapy, broken hearts, bad self esteem, all of that.”