Philly based singer/songwriter Hemming has only been on the music scene for a short time, but she has already made some amazing strides. The lovely chanteuse first jumped into the scene as part of the punk duo Omar, where her and her bandmate, Nick Fanelli, appeared on ‘Make or Break:The Linda Perry Project. However, it was her solo work that caught Perry’s music attention, and soon the two gals would join forces to produce Hemming’s solo venture on Perry’s Custard Records label, which is set to hit headphones everywhere on July 14th.
Beginning April 8th, Hemming will launch on a month long residency at Philly hot spot, Ortlieb’s Lounge, but before she takes that coveted main stage, she was gracious enough to take some time out to spill some delicious music tea with Philly Mixtape. Get lost in our fun chat below, where Hemming spills on her humble beginnings, what you guys can expect from her Ortlieb’s residency and what it was like working side-by-side with the incredible, Ms. Perry.
PM–Kicking things off, tell everyone about how you got your start in music…
H–I started playing guitar at age 9 and started writing songs when I was around 14. I think I fell in love with songwriting because I was such a quiet kid and needed some way to express my feelings without actually having to talk to anyone.
PM–You’ve also worked with the one-and-only Linda Perry along your music road, I’m sure that must have been quite a ride…
H–It was a very intense experience but also very fun one. We got along great in the studio and she had a weird way of reading my mind when I didn’t know how to verbalize an idea or a sound. We goofed off a lot and had fun but then there were also days where she would walk in and be like “ok kiddo I want you to write me a new hit by the next time your in the studio.” It was stressful and exhausting at times but overall an amazing experience!
PM–For those that may not know, you weren’t always a solo act, as you were in one-half of the punk rock group, Omar. I hear the decision to go your own way was a very tough one for you to make…
H–I loved being in Omar, there is really nothing like being a two piece punk band and screaming your brains out drunk in a Philly basement, but my songs always come out folky and dark. I was adapting myself and my songs to fit into Omar and my bandmate Nick could see that and helped me realize that I should be playing my solo stuff the way it was meant to be played.
PM–Let’s get down to some Philly business, shall we? Spill some music tea to everyone as to what they can expect from your upcoming residency at Ortlieb’s….
H–You can expect some great local music! I’m lucky enough to be friends with a lot of talented musicians so every night I can guarantee good people and good tunes.
PM–I know one song you will be performing is your hit single, “Vitamins.” Where did the inspiration for that track come from?
H–It actually started with a bottle of vitamins, they were in my room because I was using them as a shaker in a recording and at the time I was trying to write songs from the perspective of inanimate objects. I thought it was a fun idea, eventually it became a song about relying on other things instead of yourself to make you happy, which is something a lot of people struggle with including myself.
PM-I totally agree with that 100 percent. As artists, we are always looking for ultimate happiness and continuing to work on our creative craft. What would be one thing that you felt you needed to work on to perfect your craft?
H-There is always room for improvement in everything Ido, I’d like to eventually start playing my solo songs with a band which will take a lot of time and practice because I’m so used to following my own drum, which is generally all over the place.
PM–I just have to know, any big plans while you’re in Philly? I would love to show you around!
H–Aside from the Ortlieb’s residency, I’ll be playing a couple shows in NYC, other then that just hanging out with friends and enjoying Philadelphia!
PM-Now, this one question stumps everybody….if you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
H–I never know how to answer this question because no matter what you pick you’re going to end up hating it eventually, too much of a good thing always makes you sick. So what you’re actually asking me is “what album would you not mind hating one day?” I wouldn’t want to pick an album I love too much because what if I end up getting saved from the island? I always imagine myself on a desert island with Wilson and a discman that some how has unlimited battery power. But if I got saved I wouldn’t want to come back to my iTunes and be like, DAMNIT I USED TO ALWAYS LOVE THIS AMAZING ALBUM BUT NOW I JUST THINK OF THAT TERRIBLE ISLAND!
PM-One last question, what would you say to somebody like yourself who was just starting out in this crazy/beautiful music business?
H-I would say “Hey, are you ok?! How are you dealing with all of this?! It’s ok, I’m freaking out a little too!!” … Because I myself am just starting out in this crazy music business!
To scoop of tickets for her Ortlieb’s residency, check this out!