Emily Hackett is the rare songwriter who doesn’t just pour her heart into her lyrics—she inspires every listener to reach a deeper honesty in their own lives. With her stunningly detailed storytelling, the Nashville-based artist sheds light on the liabilities of being human, transforming even the most painful feelings into something glorious. Most recently, those feelings lean optimistic, with a magical story about trusting the universe in “Making Room,” the first single since the release of her latest EP, My Version of a Love Song in October 2020. The 6-track body of work represents what American Songwriter calls “an eclectic compilation of love notes,” showcasing Hackett’s signature emotive songwriting in a new musical space, with full band moments like “Can’t Help Myself,” a self-deprecating, energetic anthem, featuring indie-rock act, Hardcastle, as well as intimate, layered acoustics that hold space for vulnerable lyrics like “Expecting” and “Handle,” the latter pairing with a beautifully artistic video designed and hand-painted by Bo Rinehart (formerly Needtobreathe). Each lyric remains as forthright as ever, and in turn, the music lends itself closer to her folk-rock upbringing while still playing with what she loves about modern indie-pop. Crowned one of CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2019, a finalist of Nashville Indie station, Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem, with Rolling Stone hailing her a “smart meeting-point between early-Aughts pop, country’s current genre playfulness and the one-name women of the Nineties,” Hackett continues to make it clear that she will not be confined to a genre. She intends on reaching the heart strings of whoever’s headphones she can sneak into.

Please share a story that includes a happy memory as an artist and has hugely impacted your artistry.

I recorded a song for a friend's wedding, long before I'd released any music into the world. I was urged to just put it out there, because "why not?" It ended up hitting number 4 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts the week it came out and continues to help fund my entire career. Taking those kinds of chances with things I create is what I try to keep doing as often as I can. How do you choose to lead a Happy Healthy life as an artist?

Surrounding myself with positivity and supportive people. It takes a village! I also try really hard to have a meditation practice so I can remind myself to feel it all, to live in the present and to just always do my best, whatever my best looks like in that moment. Who did you learn from to instill those values?

I learn from fellow artists and songwriters everytime I sit down to co-write. We are all so used to being vulnerable, it's one of the great gifts we receive out of our job. The world gets the song, the product of our conversations, but I get that direct insight and time and ultimately, true friendships. Was it hard work to make sure that you focused on your well-being and not only your art?

Absolutely. It took me years before I even realized that my well-being is what drives the art. I went through many phases of my career and just life where I didn't really know myself and wasn't even aware! It's so easy to let down the blinders and get trapped in this boiling water of comparison and chasing trends and all that before you're like, "Wait a second. What the hell do I actually want?" Was there a turning point in how you decided to put yourself first?

I spent much of my pandemic getting my head right and finding my inner artist again so that the art was coming from a genuine place. It was a luxury to have that time (and some federal income!) that allowed me to not have to feed the beast, so I could instead feed my spirit. I knew it would be worth the time it took, because it was filling the well. How do you like to promote a healthy lifestyle?

I feel like I'm very open on social media about things I'm going through and reposting inspirational things I see. On a smaller scale, I'm always that girl who is encouraging people to talk about stuff, to seek out therapy, to learn how to communicate with the people they're venting about. I know it's not alway comfortable, but it's so much better than bottling it up. Being communicationally constipated is no good for anyone.

In what ways are you connecting with fans to check in on each other?

That's a great question! I feel like that's a beautiful challenge for me to figure out. It's so important, and what a beautiful way to connect--through music that speaks to you in a similar way that it might to someone else. Just letting people know that they are seen can do a lot. Who checks in on YOU when you need it most?

My husband is the first person in my world that has ever really challenged me and held a mirror in front of me in a way I've never seen myself. He knows me so well, I can hardly hide when I need a shoulder to cry on or to run off some steam. He's good at disarming me with humor and hugs. I've also got a little sister that's made of pure gold. She always knows when to ask what's up and never brings judgement with it. Changing habits can be hard. Which was the habit that you had to change and how has it changed your life now?

You're right! I think I'm still changing. I've got a habit of imagining worst-case scenarios, or preparing for failure so it doesn't hurt as bad if it happens. That's a terrible way to use my imagination! Cause that's exactly what it is. If I can imagine those things, why can't I spend that energy on manifesting it to go up instead of down? I talk about this frustration in a song I'm putting out in June, actually, called "Different In My Mind." Had to recognize it in order to begin making the change. Is there a song, book, movie, show, or anything that always gives you the motivation you need?

Oprah's podcast! Or anything with Deepak Chopra. I feel like I always hear just what I need to when I put on my headphones to hear those two. And as a songwriter, I was very inspired when I watched Ed Sheeran's documentary from a few years ago. Highly recommend it! What is the mantra of 2022?!

To thine own self, be true. Give all the inside scoop on your latest project!

Next tune is out June 16th! We have been slowly working on a record over the last year and it's the most authentic music I've made. I believe in it so much and I'm so excited for people to hear it. We are trickling it out of the fountain as we prepare to launch the full thing in the spring.

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