By Aaron Wagner
Hailing from across the pond in the UK, Emma & Jolie is a new duo that dropped their debut single “I Don’t Need a Man.”
Emma Walker and Jolie Harvey met in college a few years and have been making music together ever since. The confident and inspirational song is the perfect song to introduce the duo. The song has a light and peppy fell to it combined with beautiful harmonies that make it an easy song to listen to on repeat. It’s equal parts a girl power anthem and the soundtrack to a weekend out with friends.
The two have made trips to Nashville to write songs with other singer-songwriters like Sammy Arriaga, Lena Stone, and SixForty1. One of the trips was during CMA Awards week where they wrote with Emily Hackett which led to the creation of “I Don’t Need a Man” which became their debut single.
Emma and Jolie were kind enough to take some time to talk with Raised On It about their debut single “I Don’t Need a Man.”
Raised On It: What was the write with Emily Hackett like?
Emma & Jolie: The write with Emily Hackett was amazing. We’ve written with Emily a few times now and every time we write with her we always come out of it with an amazing song. She’s one of the most talented people we’ve ever met and we are so lucky to have had opportunities to write with her.
The write was actually quite quick; we wrote the song in about an hour I think! It flowed very easily as we came into the session with the title & idea and Emily totally grasped exactly what we wanted the song to be like and the vibe that we were going for. It was such a fun session and when we left we were just so excited as we knew that was going to be the song that we were going to release as our first single.
Raised On It: Did you go into the write with the concept in mind or did it come out organically in the write? What was the inspiration?
Emma & Jolie: We went into the session with the title “I Don’t Need A Man” and we knew from the start that we wanted the song to be an upbeat song with powerful feminist lyrics. Both Jolie and I have been in relationships which have made us feel as if we aren’t good enough. We’ve been with men who have made us guess our self worth. Being single shouldn’t be this horrible daunting thing, it can sometimes be the best time of your life!
Raised On It: Is there a particular phrase in the lyrics that you love the most?
Emma & Jolie: We both love the lyrics “Don’t need Prince Charming picking up my heels, he and I have met, and if I’m being real, I think Cinderella got a bad deal.” This lyric was inspired by the idea that often when girls are younger, Disney films project the message that we need a man to come and fix our issues and complete us. Which is obviously completely untrue. We don’t need Prince Charming picking up our heels as we are fully capable of doing these things for ourselves.
The line “he and I have met, and if I’m being real, I think Cinderella got a bad deal” came about because we all thought, realistically, we believe this song would be a more realistic and positive message to send to young girls rather than the idea that our lives aren’t complete without men and that we should be dependent on them.
We also love the lyrics “I Don’t Need A Man to tell me I’m pretty, I think the mirror does a better job really” we love this because in life you’re often told that if you’re pretty you’re going to get far in life because of pretty privilege. Even just down to advertisement for female products, to impress the male gaze. So the fact that we feel that women should only do things to please no one but themselves is a very powerful message. So that when women look in the mirror, their appearance is to please no one but themselves. You don’t’ need a man to tell you you’re pretty, because you have enough self worth and confidence to know that what a man thinks of you doesn’t define you.
Raised On It: Did you have an active role in the production? It’s such a catchy production so I’m curious as to what it was like working on the production.
Emma & Jolie: In regards to the production, we had a lot of references which we gave to Johnny so that he knew how we wanted our sound to come across, but obviously we wanted o retain na lot of individuality as well, and Johnny really just nailed exactly what we wanted. We really cant thank Johnny enough for being the best producer and creating the most incredible track for us.
Raised On It: Why did you want this song to be your debut single?
Emma & Jolie: We knew that we wanted our first single to be upbeat & this was the song that we knew was going to introduce us into modern pop country as strong independent female women.
Raised On It: What do you hope women take away from the song when they hear it and then conversely when men hear the song?
Emma & Jolie: You can be your own Prince Charming, being in a relationship isn’t the be all and end all in life. It is engraved in us that men in a relationship complete you. We’ve both been in toxic relationships and we believed that we had this prince charming come along, but he turned out to be nothing what he seemed, and men may let us down, but we know that being our own biggest fans, we don’t have to depend on them! I’d like to think when men hear this song they will realize that their opinions of us, don’t define us. Women don’t live to please men, and that we would like men to empower the women in their lives not just think of them as that are there just for them.