You will not find a more creative artist or adventurer than Emily Deahl. Confident and resilient, she’s been working at getting her name in the industry for quite a few years now. Deahl initially thought she wanted to be a dancer, and after she moved to LA at 17, she realized dance wasn’t her passion: music was. After getting a deal to perform pop music in China off and on for a few years, Deahl spent some time in Charleston before deciding to move to Nashville to focus on songwriting and her sound.
She worked on learning new instruments, recorded two albums of music, and kept practicing. “It just became all about doing things I was afraid of, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and getting better. I was like, I want to be sure I’m not giving anyone a reason to tell me no anymore.” In Charleston, her sound became very singer-songwriter, but it didn’t quite fit, in the same way the LA pop sound wasn’t the right sound for her either. “I realized, I’m somewhere in the middle of both of these.”
She’s been in Nashville for the past year, working toward releasing the new music she recorded with a producer in Charleston. After just joining TikTok in February, she found her videos going viral one after another. That’s when she realized “I can actually promote my music on this app.” She brainstormed and came up with the idea to “do outrageous sh*t to get my song into the Top 100 on iTunes.”
“Everyone told me that was an impossible goal, so I thought, if I want to get it, I’m going to have to do something outlandish and crazy, and what better place to do that than TikTok?”
On Day 1, she highjacked a grocery store’s overhead speakers to tell shoppers to stream her new single My Baby Hates Me. Day 2, she stopped traffic in Nashville, Day 3 she hid pink boxes at radio stations around town, on Day 5 she called an ex-fling that she wrote the song about, and this weekend she (with the help of her fans) tried to convince Diplo to remix her song. Talk about hustle.
But that’s not the only focus of her creativity. “I have a lot of conceptual ideas behind what I do. I’ve written two children’s books about the music I’ve created under the alias I sometimes call myself ‘The Ice Cream Girl’. In my most recent children’s book “The Ice Cream Girl Presents Ghost Stories” I walk you through my first EP where each chapter of the story has a coinciding song.”
“There’s so many things that have inspired me over the course of figuring out who “me” is. I have so much creative energy and lately I’ve been saying that it feels like finally I’m proud of what I’m doing and everything is just exploding out of me. I can’t even keep up with all the ideas that are in my head right now.”
Many eclectic musicians have inspired Emily along thee way, such as Jack white, Lady Gaga, Freddie Mercury and Elvis.
“I’ve always been inspired by theater and musicals. Mostly I think I get inspiration from things that are just authentically themselves. I also think it’s every artist’s duty. We listen to music because we want to be set free. And the only way you can do that is if you’re listening, watching or reading something that’s real, that’s coming from a vulnerable place. And that, in turn, as a fan, I am inspired by those people who who are unapologetic about it.”
After about a week of doing outrageous sh*t on TikTok, Deahl had an awesome moment: 107.5 The River radio station played My Baby Hates Me.
“When the radio station here played it, I said ‘this is the best moment of my life’ and I was not kidding. I couldn’t sleep that night. It was so validating for so many reasons. For all of these years I’ve been like, ‘I want to do this my way.’
“I hate the rules that the music industry has. Everyone told me it would take 10 years for that radio station to play my song. I was like, ‘No, I don’t have that amount of time. I’m going to figure out how to do it in one.’ And it’s all coming full circle now. I’m so glad that I stuck to my gut and did it my way and made the music from my honest place.”
We can’t stop playing My Baby Hates Me. If you haven’t heard it yet, head over to her Spotify to check out her music. Big thanks to Emily for sitting down with us to chat! You can follow Emily on TikTok here and Instagram here.