Quarantine Tapes

Quarantine Tapes: with Anika Emily in Champaign, IL

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We met up with Anika Emily in Urbana-Champaign to chat about her upcoming project (debut EP!), and she gave us a little sneak peak into what that is going to sound like! It was such a pleasure chatting with her, and even more so to listen to her sing her songs! I’m calling it now… she is the female Patrick Stump of our generation! These trained pipes and green electric guitar make a perfect combo for a stellar stripped-back performance. Enjoy!

Classically trained vocalist Anika Emily has taken her passion for vocals and harmonies to embark on a new journey of recording her first EP. While dropping her original dreams of being a choir teacher, Anika has channeled her passion for music and lyricism into forming her unique voice to fit the vibe of an indie-pop project. She expressed the trials and tribulations of finding her “voice,” while also showing herself grace, acknowledging that her voice will always be changing so it’s better to adapt with it, rather than resist it. I’ve had to “re-imagine literally every single that that I’ve ever sung to fit a new vocal tone,” she says. Personally I can hear the Midwestern indie-rock sad-girl influence on her voice and lyrics, so much that I’m deeming her the female Patrick Stump of our generation.

This Quarantine Tapes sessions is just a taste of what to expect from this up-and-coming Urbana-Champaign artist. All of these stripped back solo tracks will be heard on her upcoming EP with more instrumentals, rocking harmonies and a fully produced sound. I can’t wait to hear how she adds drums and bass to her songs for a more indie-pop production. Anika has just recently begun tracking her songs for the EP at Perimeter Road, the student-run label at Parkland College. Although it’s super early on in the process and she’s still figuring out exactly what she wants everything to sound like, Anika says, “the emerging vibe [of the album so far] that I’m getting is dreamy… Expect a lot of harmonies.”

The project will be a mish-mash of songs she’s written within the past few years, as well as a few that she’s re-worked from her younger years as a song-writer. One of her favorites that she can’t wait to share with everybody is a tune about an unrequited love from high-school; a typical freshman girl obsessed with a senior who doesn’t even know she exists… oh, the angst! She wrote this when she was much younger and has since re-visited it with new chord progressions and more mature lyrics. Regardless of the time period written, all the songs on this EP are meaningful stories that are really important to her. You can tell how close to her heart her songs are through her lyrics. Every word, sentence and word-play are intentional and full of soul. “That’s something I pride myself on,” says Anika. “My music is very lyric-based… I pull inspiration from my every day life and feelings I experience.”

Anika got her start with pursuing music at her first time performing her original music for a Writer’s Round atThe Canopy Club. She immediately dived right in and performed every single week after that, and now she is now a host! They are still doing these Writer Rounds weekly. If you would like to plug into the Urbana-Champaign local music scene, they host them virtually at Champaign Urbana Open Mic Nights. The zoom open mic opens at 7:30 CST, and they usually go live around 8pm. This is also a great way to stay in touch with Anika and follow her music journey!

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