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At 19 years old, Emma Ogier Gets Her Career Off to a Winning Start

Change is part of life. Yet, most of us initially resist adapting. Emerging singer-songwriter Emma Ogier explores this theme on her second track, “Consider Me A Winner,” out in July through Cardinal Records.

The singe Emma Ogier made her official debut with “First Base,” introducing listeners to her lyrical skills and Americana-meets-indie-pop sound. “Consider Me A Winner” came to Emma Ogier after her best friend and roommate left while they attended school. 

Emma Ogier was born in Houston and now forging her career in Nashville, the 19-year-old singer pulls from diverse influences and has been using TikTok to grow her visibility – most notably, her series of duets with Maggie Rogers. These aspects paved the way for Emma Ogier to opening for Michaela Slinger on her U.S. tour.

How did Emma Ogier start with singing and songwriting?

I grew up in a pretty musical family, and we had a grand piano and acoustic guitar setup in our living room. My dad played music when he was in college, so I credit the beginning of my love for music to him. However, a lot of my creative energy growing up went into musical theater, though. That’s where I found my love for storytelling and expressing myself through song. 

Both of my brothers are self-taught pianists and guitarists. They’re two of the most talented people I know! I was never very savvy with instruments, but I’ve always loved to sing, so eventually I learned to play piano and guitar so I could accompany myself. I wrote poetry from a young age, so I would play around on the piano and attempt to turn the poems into songs, but I didn’t necessarily feel like a songwriter.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

My older brother Aidan was the first to really pick up songwriting. I was inspired by the way he was able to express himself and started writing my own songs. I wrote my first few songs with no knowledge of how to fit into them. They were just stories to me. But over the years, I’ve begun to recognize myself in the work.

I recently looked back at the first piece I’d ever written and could almost pinpoint the exact feelings and thoughts I was having at that time. I realized songwriting for me had been and still is the way I cope with all of my feelings — hurt, exhaustion, joy, etc. I have never been well-spoken, but my songs have allowed me to be. They say the words I have a hard time finding in the present moment. They give me a voice that I hope others will confide in. 

While your sophomore track just dropped, why did you select “First Base” as your debut? 

I think we (me and my team) decided on “First Base” as my debut single for a few reasons. Firstly, it was the first song I had gotten recorded that was fully mixed and mastered. Secondly, I think this song is quite unique and dangerous.

This song keeps me out of a box that will define what I create for the rest of my life, and I like that. Lastly, when I would show my friends and family the demo of “First Base” or play it at shows I performed, the song was very well-received, and I loved it, too. 

I recorded “First Base” in November 2022 in Brooklyn with Doug Schadt. The rest of the songs on my forthcoming EP were recorded in Woodstock, New York, a few months later. 

What’s the inspiration behind “Consider Me a Winner”? 

I was inspired to write “Consider Me a Winner” towards the end of my first semester of college when my roommate decided to transfer out. She has become my best friend, so this news was hard to cope with. I just couldn’t imagine entering into my next semester without her.

I wrote this song as a way to imagine what this next period of my life would look like without her. The song is about fear and how it can be such a driver of how we understand what we do not yet know. I did, in fact, survive the semester, and I didn’t have to do it alone — I was constantly surrounded by support and passion.

Who or what influences Emma Ogier as a singer and songwriter? 

I find that I have a lot of influences that all inspire me differently. For example, lyrically my biggest inspirations are Lori McKenna, Joni Mitchell, and Harrison Whitford. I’m also very inspired by my brother and all of his friends, as well as the incredible talent I’m surrounded by in Nashville. 

I’m infatuated with acts like George Clanton, Dijon, Mk.Gee, MJ Lenderman, Charlie Hickey, Laura Marling, Ging, Indigo De Souza, and Big Thief. Because I spent a lot of time playing in rock bands in Houston, I also have a huge appreciation for acts like Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – the way those artists use harmonies has been heavily influential on my own sound.

Why did you decide to bring together the sounds of country and indie pop? 

I never really make a decision as to what kind of sound I’m going to create when I make music, and I don’t think I should box myself in that way; however, I am very careful in making sure the sound I create is something I’m proud of.

I’m so curious about all genres of music, so I never go into writing with genre boundaries in mind. I want to create all that I am able to and allow different kinds of music to inspire my sound however they may. I mean I might put a hyper-pop record out one day – you never know! 

How did it feel to have Maggie Rogers join you for a series of duets on TikTok? 

It was such a blessing to have Maggie Rogers and Del Water Gap duetting the video of me covering their song “New Song.” It’s a huge reason that I’m now getting to accomplish so many of my goals as an artist. The duets helped me connect with my now managers Charlie Stent and Seb Mahal, who have been dedicated to elevating my career ever since.

It was just such a huge form of validation to receive encouragement from people I look up to in the music industry. I was actually able to meet Del Water Gap at his headline show last year, and he’s absolutely someone I would love to collaborate with and get to know better! 

You also recently wrapped up a U.S. tour supporting Michaela Slinger: Tell us about your experience? 

Going on tour with Michaela Slinger was incredible. I learned so much! It’s always been my dream to go on tour, so I am beyond grateful to her, my team, and my parents for making that tour possible for me. Understanding how much support I am surrounded by was so moving, and I’m glad I was able to experience it. 

Fernweh Editions Candles

Touring is fun but also exhausting. I relearned how bad my tendency to miss people was, because for the first leg of the tour, I was solo, and didn’t have my support system around me. However, it was also rejuvenating to see new places and wake up in new cities every morning.

Michaela and her friend/photographer Sydney quickly made me feel comfortable and safe with them. They’re so kind and personable, and they inspired me to be so passionate and work harder. Props to Michaela for setting up the whole tour herself, too – it’s an incredible feat! 

As your career is just beginning, what are your goals for the next couple of years? 

I am so grateful for all the support I have received already! I am so excited for what’s to come, and I can’t wait to go on more tours, work with people who inspire me, and continue to inspire others.


Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born EDM and synthpop enthusiast and interviewer who recently relocated to beautiful Boston, MA.