Emerald M. On “I Could’ve Died” And The Collective Aspect Of Healing
Burmese artist Emerald M.’s new single, “I Could’ve Died,” is a raw and powerful piece that draws inspiration from from a personal experience during her COVID-19 isolation. Crafted amidst the physical and emotional upheaval of the pandemic, the song is a journey from distress to hope, underlining the pivotal role that loved ones can play during our low moments.
Contrasting Emerald M.‘s debut single, “Never Mine,” this new release addresses the darkness and the inner demons one faces in solitude, yet ultimately emphasizes the healing, almost life-saving power of love and connection. The song is universal, and its emotional tapestry woven with simplicity, features minimal instrumental accompaniment to let the artist’s raw, natural vocals shine.
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Your Burmese roots are intriguing. How has your cultural background influenced the way you approach songwriting and the stories you choose to tell in your music?
My cultural background doesn’t really have an influence in my music making process. I just tend to write about situations that revolve around me. If there’s a situation I want to write about, I like to get into that person’s shoes and write from their perspective.
The song “I Could’ve Died” touches on some profound emotions and experiences. Can you share a particular event or moment in your life that inspired the creation of this track?
I wrote “I Could’ve Died” two years ago in July 2021 when I was tested positive for covid and had to quarantine in my room for 14 days. I didn’t have anything to do and I wasn’t feeling the best as well and that’s what led me to write this song. It might not be related to something personal in my life, but I knew that there’s gonna be someone who can relate to it.
In your lyrics, you move from distress to hope. How do you personally navigate those highs and lows in life, and what advice would you give to someone currently going through a tough time?
Everyone has their highs and lows from time to time. When I’m feeling distressed, I like to hangout with my family. My extended family are people I cherish the most. I know that they will always be there for me. I have a very close relationship with my brother and my cousins. When I’m with them, I’m the happiest person. I would advise someone going through tough times to work on something they are passionate about and spend time with their loved ones.
You are proficient in several instruments like the piano, drums, and guitar. Did you use all of these instruments in this song, and how do they contribute to conveying the song’s emotional depth?
I wanted this song to be simple and wanted to only use necessary instruments to complement the flow of the song. Even if there were some imperfections in the vocals, I just left it there, because I wanted it to sound natural. William Lucey was my producer on the song. He did a fantastic job and delivered a piece exactly like I wanted.
Your debut single, “Never Mine,” set the stage for a recurring theme of deep emotional connection in your work. How does “I Could’ve Died” build on or contrast with that initial narrative?
I would say “Never Mine” and “I Could’ve Died” are two completely different songs. One’s (Never Mine) about an individual being obsessed over someone who they shouldn’t be getting involved with, and the other is about letting the listeners know that there’s always someone who is willing to help you and to not lose hope when they’re going through their darkest times. I’d say both songs are something a lot of people can relate to and went through in their lives as well.
The song also speaks about battling inner demons even in solitude. How do you hope this message resonates with listeners, and what steps do you recommend for someone who feels trapped by their own thoughts and feelings?
The lyrics in “I Could’ve Died” display how much the protagonist relies on that person who has been there for them. The protagonist shows gratitude towards that person. I would recommend for someone who’s going through tough times to just talk about it with someone. Take the first step to reach out and ask for help and talk about it with someone. I believe things will get better once they take the first step of talking to someone and asking for help.
“I Could’ve Died” emphasizes the life-saving power of love. Can you shed some light on the relationship dynamics between the song’s protagonist and their savior? Is it romantic, platonic, familial, or something entirely different?
The relationship between the protagonist and the savior can be a mystery. The song didn’t clear up the kind of relationship between them. It could be anyone. However, as the songwriter of the song, I would say it’s a balance between platonic and romantic. During the writing process I had the imagination of the feelings being romantic for the protagonist, but platonic from the savior. The protagonist developed some sort of romantic attachment to their savior.
Listen to “I Could’ve Died” here:
Watch the lyric video below: