Patricia Field's Musical Artist of the Month: Meet Emmy Wildwood
Posted: Oct 16 2013
I am so thrilled today to be introducing to you lovely readers the newest segment to the Patricia Field Blog Network, 'Musical Artist of the Month'. We'll be selecting artists who we feel embody the fearless Patricia Field aesthetic in terms and fashion and musicianship. It's all a process of bridging together our network of talented, creative individuals in the New York arts community. Meet our inaugural inductee: Emmy Wildwood.
Emmy is the perfect candidate because of her simultaneous love affair with both music and fashion. A Brooklyn-based rock n’ roll fashionista originally from Tucson, Arizona, she is releasing her debut EP this fall via her own self-run label, Tiger Blanket Records. Her second single “Luxurious Problems” just premiered last week. The upcoming video will feature tons of runway-ready, 80’s vintage outfits, as well as model Nina Burns from this Fall 2013 season of America’s Next Top Model.
Similar to Brooklyn-based sensation Betty Who, Emmy has a refreshingly authentic feel to her style of pop music & her fearless swagger screams "Cyndi Lauper meets Ladyhawke". She's received a lot of NYC-centric, fashion-oriented press, particularly for her gig as CEO of her Williamsburg-based venture, Tiger Blanket Records / Boutique. Even Time Out New York named her one of 2013's Most Fashionable New Yorkers (second only to Ms Patricia Field). Emmy has become a staple of the NYC live music scene, as the in-your-face front-woman for former punk trio VELTA and the lead guitarist in Guns N’ Hoses, the electrifying, all-female tribute to Guns N’ Roses.
Now, join me as I sit down with Emmy, for a mid-morning chat at Patricia Field about her life, fashion inspiration, and musical journey. Also joining us is her PR rep, Nathalie, and mother.
Andy: It's fabulous that you're here with us because your sense of fashion emulates the Patricia Field brand perfectly. Music and fashion go hand-in-hand. I'm excited to feature you as our first musical artist of the month!
Emmy: Thank you! I'm so excited, too. It's an honor.
A: You are the owner and curator of Tiger Blanket Records & Vintage Boutique in Williamsburg. Tell me a little about that!
E: The location is moving, actually. You caught us in a funny moment. We are transitioning right now and focusing heavily online. It's a small, more carefully curated collection.
Tiger Blanket Records & Vintage Boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
A: How did you come up that idea? That's brilliant!
E: I owned this store in Tucson (Arizona...her hometown) while I was in college. Over there it's a whole different story. I used to make clothes for my stage performances. People would always say, "Oh where did you get that outfit?" I would find some old concert t-shirt and an 80s dress at the thrift store and add a giant tutu to it. One day I walked passed this little space. It was open for rent and on the college campus. I filled it with about 23 things! (laughs) And slowly it did better and better. But the thing was, I always knew I wanted to get back to New York. I wanted to do music and I knew I couldn't do that in Tucson. It was called The Hang Up. And then when I moved to NYC, I was doing everything. I was styling, I was doing makeup. Anything I could do to make music work to support myself.
A: So that's the number one goal: You as a musician? And everything else is to further that goal?
E: Yeah, fashion came because of music. I wanted to put on an amazing live show; something that people were really excited to look at. Sometimes that's the thing that really reals people in...what you're wearing around the club. They're like, "Oh what's that girl going to sound like?" So it's really just an extra pitch for your music. And when you're good, then they really like you.
A: Icing on the cake.
Emmy Wildwood shot by Shervin Lainez
E: You have to have both things. A good show and a sense of fashion. Any successful performer will tell you that. When I moved here I was overwhelmed because I was doing so much stuff to make music work. It occurred to me that if I could put everything together in one place, that it could all work for me.
A: So you own the record label? And you're in charge of yourself.
E: That's exactly right. I do have really amazing help. You know, she (Nathalie) broke Gaga right?
A: No! Now you're part of the interview too, girl. What's that little side story? I have to hear that!
Nathalie: (Emmy's PR contact) I was on the digital team. I worked on her (Lady Gaga's) digital PR when she was first signed to Interscope. We were first doing all the blogger interviews and trying to firm up that base. For a long time, she had this whole cult following that was unbelievably loyal. In the beginning, it was launching a lot of contests and interviews. Stuff like that.
Emmy: She helped build a cult following and was part of the team that watched it all happen. It took a long time, right?
Nathalie: It was an eight month climb to Number 1 on the Billboard Dance Chart (for 'Just Dance'). It just shows that it takes a long time.
A: Well you obviously have an eye for special things. And now you're with Emmy. And Emmy, you're also in two other bands: the punk trio Velta, and Guns N' Hoses, for which you sing and play guitar.
E: Yes! Oh, Guns N' Hoses is obsessed with this store, by the way. All girls. And they're all fabulous. They are all lead women and they're all obsessed with Patricia Field.
Emmy Wildwood shot by Shervin Lainez
A: So in addition to being a store owner, you also are in three bands. How do you find the time?
E: I don't! (laughs) I don't have the time! Emmy Wildwood and Guns N' Hoses has been my main priority for the last six months because I definitely want both of those to be a success. Velta is the band of my best friends. We're all pretty busy. It's definitely a guilty pleasure.
A: And you just released your second single from Emmy Wildwood, called "Luxurious Problems". Can we expect a music video?
E: The video will actually come out any day. We shot it and it's starring one of the contestants from America's Next Top Model, Nina Burns. She's a corky little thing. It's an edgy video. Sort of a cartoony, Britney Spears 'Oops I Did It Again' circa-2000 feel to it. But there's also a lot of 80s fashion. It's a corky and a fun story.
A: Will there be a full length album?
E: There will be an EP coming out November 19th. You'll be able to get it anywhere you want- iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon. Check out tigerblanketrecords.com. My first self-titled EP! It's a wide range of sounds. Chick-Chick-Boom was a pretty eerie first song. Luxurious Problems was pretty straight forward. And then we have a vibey, sexy tune called Heart Attack. And then there's a pretty dramatic ballad.
Emmy Wildwood shot by Shervin Lainez
A: Also, congratulations on being one of Time Out New York's 2013 Most Fashionable New Yorkers! Listed next to of course, Patricia Field! How does that feel as an up-and-coming performer and fashionista to be compared to an icon like her?
E: Well, it's amazing. I'm getting chills just saying that. I had been featured on a few small fashion blogs because of things I wore in shows. I started pumping it out into my social media, and then with the attention from the store and everything...it just happened! I didn't even know Pat Field was in it, and when I opened it up and saw her, I was like, "This is it!" There's nobody else I wanna be next to more. Seriously. No one's as creative as she is, to me.
Pat Field featured in Time Out New York as one of 2013's Most Fashionable New Yorkers
A: You obviously have a lot to offer, too, or they wouldn't have picked you!
E: Aw thanks. I wore my crazy faux-fur jacket with a tribal print, and a lucky dress: a 70s dress from some Arizona thrift shop.
Emmy Wildwood featured in Time Out New York as one of 2013's Most Fashionable New Yorkers
A: So, how would you say that Patricia Field has inspired you over the years as a performer and fashion lover?
E: I will tell you that when Sex and the City came out, it clearly changed fashion for everybody. I had always loved vintage because of my Mom who made clothes and collected vintage things. But, the big thing that Pat Field did was that she infused expensive pieces and vintage pieces. And she wasn't afraid to mismatch, which turns things up to the next level. 100%. She knows how to dress her people all differently, but you can always see her recurring, over-the-top theme in every single person she's ever dressed. For me, it was a validation of vintage, because I loved it. You know, when you're in high school and you wear some trucker t-shirt and you get made fun of, you're not sure if you're doing the right thing.
A: Especially in a smaller city like Tucson, Arizona.
E: Let me tell you, I got some flack for the things I would put on. But, my Mom would always give me a dress-up drawer. I was aloud out in almost anything.
A: So Mom's supportive of the crazy fashion!
E: When Sex and the City came out, it was such a validation. If Carrie could wear that kind of stuff, then I could wear that kind of stuff. I could only hope to be half as cool as anyone on that show. Ironically enough, that series came out right when I was old enough to start playing in actual clubs. So I would borrow ideas from the show and then go straight to the thrift store and try to find something like it.
A: So when did you officially move to New York?
E: I moved once at 19, but then moved back home. It was always about "how am I going to get back to NY". When I first moved here, I didn't have a lot of friends. I didn't really know what it was going to be like.
A: Being in New York at 19 and practically by yourself. That must have been scary. But I'm sure it gave you courage.
E: It was scary. You know what's funny? I'm always afraid, but I always do everything anyways.
A: That's a good mantra. I loved your recent cover of 'Wrecking Ball'. Speaking of Miley Cyrus, what do you think about the current It Girl's transformation and why can't people stop talking about her?
E: I think Wrecking Ball is an amazing song. I'm a fan of a lot of the writers who wrote on that song. I saw Miley sing it live on SNL, and she nailed it. I think Miley is a really good singer. She's cool because she adopts a lot of different things from every artist. She's 19 and figuring it out. There's a progression to people's careers. A lot of times I think if there was a video camera on me when I was 19 and moved to New York...I mean, was I asleep on the Lower East Side? ...maybe? It's really hard to be put in the spotlight no matter what you do. If she would have toned it down, she would have gotten criticism, for not going far enough. At the end of the day, all that matters is if you sang the song well. And she does that, I think. Her costumes are crazy, and she's over the top, but we've seen that before from other artists. I mean, really smart people make mistakes. The President says stupid things sometimes. She's a musical act, so who cares?
Emmy and I at Patricia Field both sporting my new custom bedazzled VOGUE snapback, sold exclusively at Patricia Field.
You can catch Emmy live performing all her hits as part of the Deli Mag's CMJ 2013 Music Showcase tomorrow, Wednesday October 16th. She'll be playing the big stage at Rockwood Music Hall. Click here for more information and how to purchase tickets.
More on Emmy at these links: