Em Beihold Talks “Numb Little Bug”, Mental Health, and Self Discovery

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Photo Credit: Danielle Ernst

The landscape around music and mental health has shifted for the better. As we enter a new age of pop music, singer/songwriters have made these honest and vulnerable topics staples in their music. When talking to friends or family about mental health, sometimes it can be difficult to share those vulnerabilities and many people turn to music to relate to and find solace in what may seem to be a solitary feeling.

Chatting with Em Beihold felt like chatting with a friend. Our discussion reflected her music, the conversation was honest and real like her lyrics, natural and bright, like the music.

This La La Land native has achieved success and so quickly into her ever growing career. Her first album Egg in the Backseat was released last summer, with a collective 365.8 million streams and includes the smash single “Numb Little Bug”. Collaborating with artists such as GAYLE, Stephen Sanchez, and Eric Nam, Em has cemented herself as a staple to this new decade of pop stars. Opening for acts such as The Jonas Brothers, AJR, and Lewis Capaldi, Em is fresh off her first headlining “Maybe Life is Good Tour” and has much to share about her journey on the road and off and what making music these past few years has meant to her.

How did the remarkable success of “Numb Little Bug” shape your approach to your music career?
I think it was very special that “Numb Little Bug” did what it did so quickly and I feel extremely grateful for it. I also think a lot happened before I was even ready to know who I was, you know? I feel like being an artist there’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be laid and a lot of assurance; kind of who you are as an artist, what your visuals are, your branding, and stuff like that. I feel like that’s something that’s been catching up to the level that “Numb Little Bug” brought me to, which has been a journey I’m very grateful to be on but definitely different dealing with the virality of the song.

A lot of your music, not just “Numb Little Bug”, touch on the topic of mental health and self discovery. I feel like that really has become part of your brand.
Yeah, definitely. Writing music has always been my form of journaling ever since I was very young. So even before I knew people were going to listen to it it was just sort of the way I would sort through emotions.

How do you hope your songs resonate with listeners with similar experiences with self discovery and mental health?
I hope that my songs help people feel less alone. I feel like sometimes I have conversations with people my age and we’re kind of you know, close to college when the pandemic happened. Structure is gone in our lives, we’re very confused and even if you’re doing what you want it’s just like life feels very different. The pressure feels very different and growing into adulthood is hard for everybody. Sometimes when I’m having these conversations I’m thinking of songs that I wrote that I want them to hear because I feel like it proves that they’re not alone and we’re all feeling similar things at this stage in our lives. I have some friends that are working high up jobs and they thought achieving a high level of success would make them happy but it doesn’t necessarily. I think it’s sad that so many people feel that way but also kind of cool to realize that all these intense feelings you have aren’t only in you. I try to do that with your music.

In terms of your music, you’ve been able to blend the stuff that we’ve been talking about now – heavier life things – with upbeat melodies and lyrics. How do you find that balance between catchy melodies and meaningful lyrics?
It’s not even a balance I seem to find, it’s kind of my natural way of songwriting. When I was writing “Numb Little Bug”, I wasn’t like “Let’s make this sound happy” it just kind of poured out like that. But I would say I have a lot of influence from Regina Spector and Sara Barilles as well and they have a lot to do with my writing style. And again, music has always been my form of journaling so I think the way those meet is how I write.

I’m sure the producers you’re working with are also able to bring the vision to life! Whatever it may be.
I think something that’s also been kind of interesting about this headline tour that I’m on currently is how diverse the audience is. There’s a lot of little girls who I think just like the music but they don’t necessarily know the depth of the emotion it talks about. And then there’s like, college kids and people in their forties and up who actually relate to the lyrics of the songs. It’s kind of funny to see the different responses because some people are there because they’ve dealt with severe anxiety and some people are there because they want to dance. I think that’s kind of a cool thing!

A lot of parents have told me “My daughter started listening to you first and then I started listening and we’re fans for different reasons.” You know, you see the parents also dancing. They don’t look dismayed, they look like they’re having a good time and I just think that’s cool.

What has been your favorite memory from being on tour so far?
Ooh. Honestly, I’ve loved all of the VIP experiences and getting to have a little Q and A with the fans and talk to them…

If you want to read the full interview with Em Beihold and hear more about how she felt opening for the Jonas Brothers, future aspirations, and her favorite song to dance to onstage, head over to issuu to read the full interview.

Purchase your own physical copy of our magazine featuring Em on our shop, today!

Keep up with Em Beihold: Instagram // TikTok // Spotify // Website

Shauna Hilferty
Shauna Hilfertyhttps://www.shaunahilferty.com/
Concert going, coffee drinking photographer and writer. Never not holding a film camera. Never not in NYC.

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