June 14, 2024

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Interview with Emily Mazzella: We are ever-evolving beings of flowing energy!

Interview with jazz singer Emily Mazzella. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Emily Mazzella: – My adventure with music is quite a trip. According to my mom, I’ve been creating music since I was in the womb! When I was still hanging around, not even in the world yet, my mom used to put headphones on her stomach and play Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, all the greats, and she said that was the only time I ever moved around!

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

We used to joke that I was creating my own music while that was going on, and I think at some point it became pretty serious! I realized music, and especially jazz was not just a passion, but elevated expression of the soul, and something I could make a living out of after discovering and playing a few gigs, and always seeing and feeling the endless potential that each one has- you never know who you can connect to in the audience, how wonderfully people may tip you if they can feel your passion coming across, etc.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

EM: – I feel my sound has evolved over time in terms of my harmonic and melodic ideas, the amount of body behind and under my singing, and how I’ve really grown into the idea of both lyrics and scat always telling and building a story. For that, I owe eternal thanks to all the masters of the music, especially Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and many others; they have all led me to the jazz language and shown me how to merge that with being your highest, most expressive self. Just absorbing their sounds is such a potent experience, and inspires me every day to continue getting deeper into my own.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

EM: – A large part of my musical routine in terms of improving my concepts on rhythm and harmony is again just continuing to absorb the music of the masters, and really absorbing how they each tapped into their own endless potential when creating the music. Usually, after a bit of listening I feel so inspired by what I’ve heard that I’ll just flow with whatever tune enters my mind at that point, and really use my internal ears to sing through the changes of the tune, make new melodies, play with a new rhythmic concept. I start most of my mornings scatting over a blues that pops into my head, and just see how long I can build off one melodic or rhythmic idea until another one comes along. I also make sure to take great care of my voice by doing long tones, various vocal exercises I’ve been taught, hydrating, and making sure my diaphragm stays strong.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

EM: – I feel I change every day! Life is beautiful in that way, we are ever-evolving beings of flowing energy! Of course in some moments I feel more significant spurts of evolution, because we all go through big moments in various aspects of our lives, such as our career, love life, sense of self; but I always feel I’m evolving with each moment that flows by.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

EM: – I feel, in music, the key to balance between intellect and soul is allowing the intellect to be a vehicle for and behind your soul expression and sound. Understanding the form, its changes, its core structure and DNA of what makes a tune its own, is key to allowing yourself to work it into your own musical DNA and soul expression.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

EM: – I am more than okay with it- in fact, I live for it! The magical, sacred energy exchange between singer and audience is something that inspires me from the moment I wake up, to the moment I put my head down on the pillow at night.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

EM: – I think a key way to get young people into this music, despite how old some of the tunes are, is through understanding that music is simply music; it is infinite, of endless potential, and eternal creation- music surpasses time and takes its own stance on the matter. These standards are so beautiful in that their forms are common, and well known, and imply a sense of community around them, all while it also promotes itself as a vehicle for individualism and evolution of the song.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

EM: – Coltrane was spot on when he said that. Music is your spirit, and in your spirit you will find, see, and hear music. The spirit is not just outside of us, or beyond us, but rather in the deepest parts of ourselves- it’s what makes us, us. The meaning of life is this way too, it is not just beyond us, or inaccessible, or outside of us, but rather in the deepest of our heart and soul-space. The meaning of life is whatever we want it to be, as we as souls have that ability of endless and infinite potential and manifestation; but for me, I know I see, hear, and feel it in every single note I sing, because every note I sing comes from love, which is the creation of all.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

EM: – If there is one thing I could change in the musical world, it would be to bring back or bring forward a newfound sense of soulfulness to every aspect of the industry: from how people work with one another and conduct contracts, deals, business, the environment an artist gets to create in, promoting a stronger respect of the artist’s originality, promoting individuality, etc.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

EM: – I find myself listening to a whole bunch of wonderful masters of music: whether it is Bird, Billie, Betty, Sarah, Ella, Miles, Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, Lennie Tristano, or even the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, or many other artists of the 1960s.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

EM: – I would love to see as much of this planet as possible through touring. I would love to visit Italy, where most of my family is from. I would also love to tour in Paris, as its another hot spot for jazz and the city of love- how could you not love that!

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

EM: – My question to you, is what draws you to music and discuss a bit about its cosmic connection to yourself, the planet, etc. I want to thank you for such beautiful, soulful, questions for an interview- it has been so incredibly inspiring as an artist to have an opportunity like this arise, and be provided a space to express such deep parts of my soul expression.

JBN: – Jazz is my life!

Interview by Simon Sarg

Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/useujba/

All of Me: Emily Mazzella At Yorktown Stage - YouTube

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