On February 18th, up-and-coming electro rock/pop artist Emma Peridot released her newest single “Could’ve Been.” This bold and unapologetic track revolves around wondering what could have happened between two lovers if certain circumstances would have enabled them to pursue their relationship. Through unfiltered lyrics, the singer gets real about her experiences navigating love and relationships as a young person in the modern age. The catchy pop tune features an electric disco-pop flare which leaves her listeners wanting more, and her addictive choruses have you belting along to the anthemic tune instantly.
Emma Peridot is paving her own way in the music industry. Her multifaceted and genre defying sound offers a fresh yet universal appeal, and her innovative approach to songwriting has allowed her to stand out. Peridot puts all of herself into each project that she produces, making "Could've Been" a bold, refreshing piece of pop with the utmost authenticity.
Emma Peridot is driven to create music that will capture the hearts of masses, all the while remaining unapologetic about who she is. Her alt-pop sound blends elements of pop-rock and electropop, and her lyrical content examines traditional themes of love, lust, angst and heartbreak, while also getting vulnerable about anxiety, self-doubt, and insecurity. As a young LGBTQ+ pop artist, it’s all about the journey of documenting her experiences in a way that resonates with all those who feel misunderstood. She states, “If my music impacts any number of people in a meaningful way, that’s all I need to feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose.”
The Indianapolis-based singer has teamed up with American singer-songwriter Fifth Lucky Dragon to release the song, blending together their distinct yet complementary sounds to create an epic sonic experience. “Could’ve Been” creates a dazzling and upbeat vibe to accent her effortless charm, putting both of the artist’s remarkable musical abilities on display.
Although she's just getting started, Emma Peridot's overall vulnerability makes for a seasoned, attention-grabbing body of work. Her beginnings are humble; during her college years she began releasing music on Soundcloud and performing in small clubs and dive bars around Indianapolis and other nearby cities. But after securing an opening slot for Quinn XCII at Butler University, a confidence was ignited in her that she has something special. Fans have witnessed her hustle since then, and she shows no signs of stopping.
We were able to sit down with Emma to talk about the new song and her artistic background. Scroll down to listen to “Could’ve Been” and read the full interview below!
Can you describe the creative process for writing “Could’ve Been?”
“I started writing ‘Could’ve Been’ way back in like 2018 or 2019. I originally just wrote it on acoustic guitar, fiddling around with chords, humming a melody, and then later writing lyrics to fit that melody, which is usually how I approach the initial writing phase of a new song. Then we started the production phase. Originally the production sounded much different and I couldn’t quite figure out what direction to take it in sonically at the time, so I actually shelved it for a few years. Then in mid 2020 I got inspired to revisit it and add that disco/80s vibe. We added real guitar and bass and changed up the vocal chops in the drop, and that totally took the track to another level. I also have been having a lot of fun collaborating with other artists lately. I showed my good friend Fifth Lucky Dragon the track and he was super stoked about hopping on as a feature, which added another super cool element to it.”
“Could’ve Been” has a really cool disco flare to its sound which caught my ear right away. I sense a lot of different influences in this song, and I’m curious to know what artists or albums you were listening to during the time period in which you wrote this piece that might have affected how the song came out?
“Definitely Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia album. That vibe was exactly what I wanted to capture with this track. I think around that same time I was also listening to Lady Gaga’s Chromatica and Charli XCX’s How I’m Feeling Now a lot as well, which probably inspired some of the more electronic elements like the vocal chops.”
How would you describe this single in three words?
“Funky. Danceable. Summer-y.”
You have certainly come a long way with your identity as an artist, do you feel like you have finally settled into a sound and image with this new music? Or is it ever changing in your career?
“Image, yes for sure. I feel like my artist brand has gotten to a place where it’s really clearly defined, and I’m really happy about that. As far as sound goes, I feel like I’m settling into a cool hybrid of electropop and pop rock. Some songs lean more towards one style or the other, but overall I’d say I’m refining my sound and it blends influences from both those genres. But I also think genres are becoming more and more vague, which I really enjoy. I like feeling the freedom to dabble and pull totally different influences into my music and make it sound like me.”
Do you have a specific audience that you are trying to reach with your music? What is the one thing that you hope people walk away with after hearing your songs?
“I want to reach as many people as possible, of course, but I definitely have seen LGBTQ+ teenagers really resonate with my music and overall message, which makes me feel so good. A huge part of the reason I started making music in the first place was to be the example I wished I would’ve had for myself at that age. We as a society have come so far since then, which I’m so grateful for, and I just want to be a part of continuing that progress. That’s the one thing I hope people walk away with after hearing my music: to live authentically and be unapologetically themselves!”
How would you define success in your career?
“I think I may have had a different answer for this if you had asked me pre-pandemic. But now, I genuinely just want to document my life experiences through my music and connect with people along my journey. Of course I, like every artist, want to ‘make it big’ and play sold out tours around the world… But during the pandemic I had to spend a lot of time with myself and get back to basics, like why am I really doing this? And that was the answer I settled on. Self-expression and connecting with others. As long as I feel like I’m doing those two things, I’ll feel successful.”
You have always been very open about your experiences with anxiety, and as a member of the LGTBQ+ community. Do you find it challenging to be so open in your life and career about these subjects?
“Sometimes I may feel nervous about how people are going to react to a particularly vulnerable song or post, but I feel like it’s so important for artists to be open and honest about those things. I think we all feel like no one understands what we’re going through or like we have to face challenges on our own at times, so I hope that by sharing my experiences that I can help people know that they aren’t alone and hopefully help them overcome their own challenges in some way.”
Who are your biggest inspirations when it comes to your music and personal life?
“When it comes to my music, Christian French and Lauren Sanderson are both huge inspirations, because they both started out in my home state of Indiana and are now national touring artists. It’s been really cool knowing about them from early on in their careers and watching how they’ve grown, and I figure if they can do it, why can’t I?
In my personal life, it sounds cliche, but my family and friends are my biggest inspirations. The small handful of people in my inner circle who have been there for me, heard my deepest darkest secrets, my hopes and dreams and fears, and who deeply care for me and want to see me be happy, healthy, and successful. By knowing that I have that support system no matter what, it makes me want to be the best version of myself.”
If you could take credit for one existing album, which one would it be and why?
“Channel Orange by Frank Ocean. I discovered that album in a time when I really needed it, and it pulled me out of a pretty dark place. The lyrics are so poetic and beautiful, and the soundscapes are so unique and intricate. It’s my all time favorite album; it’s truly a work of art.”