From Canada via Wrocław to Berlin, Emma Czerny has immersed herself into Neukölln’s music scene. Her bedroom recording approach has evolved to more distinct compositions of soulful, electronic pop.
Which specific music or artists influence you when writing new music?
Lately a lot of Motown, since the songs usually have pretty simple lyrics and messages but are so, so powerful. That last Tirzah album really knocked me out, I couldn’t get it out of my head!
Your new single Warm Heaven is a teaser to your new EP. How, in your mind, does the new material fit into a continuity for Magic Island?
I’m starting to really see a musical development through my releases to date. Of course, with every album my production and singing gets better, but thematically I think the project is really true to my character—honest pop. Simple loops and hooks contrasting with deep questions of existentialism and love. I’ve finally found my voice with this EP though so I’ve fallen completely in love with singing again, it’s so pure and therapeutic. I think so far this project has been a growing period and I’m finally getting to who I am.
When you’re not making music, how are you making a living?
I’m working on a couple of different things, but I actually have a pretty stable job as a production assistant to another artist and curator. Someone once told me that an artist shouldn’t be an assistant to another artist, however I’m virgo and gain so much out of helping and supporting others that I need some responsibility like this.
What does it take to build a sustainable career as a musician?
Everyone I know has at least a little something on the side, but I think if you work hard and have patience you can build a sustainable career and get into Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) [social insurance for artists] so the government will help support us all when we are 75-year-old non-touring artists.
“If you work hard and have patience you can build a sustainable career.”
Why did you choose these songs for the playlist?
This playlist is probably better for a bit of a sad or angry day or for those early mornings after the party ends. It’s a bit melodramatic and dark. I’m focused on these ‘epic’ songs right now, with elegant compositions and powerful female vocals, like the tracks by Soho Rezanejad, Zoee or Austra. That DsorDNE album on there is my favorite thing right now so it was hard to choose which of those to put. I need to listen to something that brightens me up right now.
Magic Island’s new EP Warm Heaven will be out on Berlin-based label Mansions & Millions on May, 1, 2019. In the meantime, check out Magic Island’s music and look out for shows in Berlin. Find more interviews and music in our Mixtape section.
Text: Fabian Ebeling
Photography: Rachel Israela