Prove your humanity

Melbourne-based country star Emily Hatton spoke to Grok about her latest single, Greek mythology and favourite fruits.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a singer? And why did you decide to do country music?

I wanted to be a singer for as long as I can remember, but also in conjunction with acting. I always used to absolutely love being involved in musical theatre, so that combined the best of both worlds. And that was all throughout school and then after school as well and, in school, I learnt singing privately. It always just filled me with ridiculously happy vibes. I just want to do that as much as I can.

I have family in America, and they introduced me to what it was like to be in a big gathering and just have the best time. They created this loving, warm welcoming atmosphere and country music was constantly playing in the background, so I kind of developed this love for the sound and nostalgia attached to it—sentimental value. And then I started writing songs myself when I was a teenager. At first, they were poems but then I added melody to them.

Who are your musical inspirations?

My musical inspirations vary a lot. In the country genre, I love The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Shania Twain, there’s so many, the Dixie Chicks. And then I also have the pop genre that I love. Avril Lavigne, you know her album Let Go was the first album I ever asked for and I used to listen to that on repeat. She kind of taught me how to song-write in a way. I also love Maroon 5 as well as just everything in the ‘80s. My dad used to listen to artists like Sting and The Police, Genesis and Phil Collins and James Taylor, so there’s a country influence there.

Congratulations on the release of your debut single Hades. How do you feel now that it’s finally out?

Thank you so much. I feel amazing. It feels so good to achieve something, to get something out there that you’ve worked so hard on for so long because it’s not just the past couple of years that this has taken to release music, it feels like it’s been building my whole life. It’s really satisfying, and the reception has been nothing but positive. Everyone has just been so kind and giving messages of how they’ve connected with the song and the lyrics. It feels really nice to be supported by so many people.

Given that Hades was inspired by your own personal experiences of overcoming a negative situation, what was your songwriting process like?

Well, there was the initial realisation of what had happened and how this person had been dishonest with me, and I just kind of wanted to get rid of this feeling and make something good out of it because I believe that there’s a lesson in everything. Every negative experience can teach you something and you can get something positive out of every negative experience. So, obviously, I turned to songwriting—that’s my go-to now to make myself feel better. I was just sitting there thinking about the situation and picturing what it was like to be with this person, and I got this image of Hades, God of the Underworld, and I ran with it. It kind of all fell out in about 20 minutes, which is super rare for me. I usually take about five days to write a song. But this one kind of just came out and then I really loved it.

Let’s talk about the namesake of the song, Hades. You relate your own story with the Greek mythology of Hades and Persephone. How did this come about?

Ever since year 7 I have been obsessed with Greek mythology, the ancient times and the stories they told, especially the origin stories. They’re so fascinating to me and I think there’s nothing else really like them out there, they’re just so cool. The second myth that kind of inspired my song is Orpheus in the Underworld because he leaves the underworld and Hades has just told him to not look behind, but he looks behind and then he loses the love of his life forever. I’ve always loved those stories.

The single was produced by Hurricane Fall’s Tim Tricky who not only contributed five instruments but also played Hades in the music video. What was it like to work with him?

He’s amazing. It was just an absolute honour and a privilege. We’re really good friends and we just connect on a deep level and understand each other. He understood the message that I was trying to communicate, and we just have great chemistry, the right chemistry. Everything just flowed when we were jamming it out and he would offer me suggestions and I’d say, ‘Oh, I love the way that you did this guitar riff’ and then that one would end up in the track. And then in the music video, he was just fun because he’s a good actor as well. It was just so easy to work with him. It was awesome.

Speaking of the music video, it was filmed in the beautiful Tamworth, Australia’s country capital. What was it like to film there?

Incredible. I had no idea how absolutely beautiful that place was because I’d only ever been in the town centre, but I got to go and see Tamworth’s landscapes, its lakes and waterfalls and its cliffs. The caves, of course, was probably my favourite location. I just couldn’t believe that it was real, that it existed, and it was the perfect location. JC, the director, found it. He drove out two hours just to find this location and it was exactly like the underworld. We had to climb up mud hills, basically slipping and being pricked by blackberry bushes, and when we finally got to this cave … it was just magical.

Did you ever have any difficulties filming the music video?

Not so much difficulties; it was a really good choice of song because it was easy to work with, it’s a simple song, and Tim and JC were really accommodating. I guess it all comes down to the people you work with and the locations that you have. I mean, I guess all the blackberry bushes were a difficulty, but they were so worth it. Everything just kind of seemed to work out absolutely perfectly throughout this whole process, and it was a sign to me that everything that is happening was meant to be.

How does it feel being able to look up your name and see your video and listen to your song?

You know, I hadn’t even thought about that. Now that you mention it, it is really cool because I used to daydream about that all the time, and I just realized that that’s a life goal that I’ve achieved and that’s really awesome.

What message do you hope listeners take away from your music?

That you can overcome bad situations and try to find the silver lining, try to find the positive lesson. And if you lose yourself, so to speak, you can get yourself back. Just keep going, follow your dreams, live your dreams, do what makes you happy and find the people who light you up and support you.

What’s next for you? Can we expect a new single, maybe even an album in the near future?

I am currently in the process of recording my new single, not many details on it just yet, but I can say that it will be released this year and I think we’ll wait to see how that one goes before we confirm an album because the power really is with the people. It really depends on how people respond and if they want to see more of you. So I’ll leave it up to you guys.

Super random question, but if you had to be a fruit what fruit would it be?

I’m going to have to say pomegranate because it was in my video. It’s the fruit of the Gods. They must have known something to call it the fruit of the Gods, it must be the best fruit out there.