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Sound Off: EMAN8


Mar 1, 2019

Meet EMAN8! He writes, produces and releases his own music! The music video for his new single Inspired, comes out today! So go watch it! We guarantee you will love it!
We met up with EMAN8 at our photo shoot in the hollywood hills. He was inspiring and smart, creative and overall fun to shoot with! We had a chance to find out more about his music, his personal style, and what inspires him to make music!

Check out his new music video:

Tell us about your single “Inspired”

“Inspired” is my second single following “Amen”. On this song I really started to lean into trusting my own production. I’ve played piano since I was about seven years old and I’ve always loved it as a main instrument in songs. I love live instruments, because they remind me of my first music experience growing up in churches in St. Louis. I knew that I wanted to write a song about inspiration. But it wasn’t until I met Lizzy Land after a show and we decided to plan a session at my house in North Hollywood. Lizzy has recently quit her job to pursue music. Molly Moore, another writer on the song, also stopped working to pursue music full time. Personally, I connected to this because I left a full ride scholarship to NYU for music. So for three independent artists to be connecting that topic was just so natural and honestly therapeutic. I knew right then that I had to put “Inspired” out next.

Tell us about your single “Amen”?

“Amen” was my very first single as EMAN8. I wrote it by myself and my friends Nick and Sean co-produced it with me. I had a lot to get off my chest at the time and “Amen” was the first time I decided to trust my writing style. As Brandyn Burnette, I was also experimenting with genres & sounds, but when it came to EMAN8 I really wanted to lean into my love for hip hop and soul, and stay true to my heritage which is Greek, Hungarian & Jamaican. So my writing style really got more defined on “Amen”. I started rapping my verses essentially, which allowed me to say more and more of my own unique way.

We hear you self title/ self produce and self release your own music, tell us about that?

When I left NYU I got signed to a label in LA for about 5 years. They paired me with producers and writers, which was an incredible learning experience. I was able to work with some of the best, but I think lost my creative voice in the process. Besides the politics involved in the major label system at that time, and the incredible changes like social media & streaming, I eventually found that the only way to break through would be to create things myself that I own. After parting ways with Warner Bros in 2015, I decided to start releasing my own music under my own company Home Planet Records. Around the same time I opened a few shows for Jon Bellion, who had been a friend since 2011 when we made an EP together. Jon and I spoke at length about major labels and independent music, and ownership and production. He was a major reason why I decided to produce my own songs. Having ownership and control is a huge task, but it’s ultimately more fulfilling because every day can be a success when you set the expectation for it yourself.

What inspires you to write music?

I write music because it’s healing for me. I love collaborating with other artists and writers an producers because it’s a chance to communicate from different walks of life and different experiences. To be able to come out of a writing session with a song that wasn’t there before – one that could potentially impact another’s life – that is what makes writing music so special. To be a voice for the voiceless. To be understood. To understand. To help express the things that are hard to say, or that have been inside of us all along.

Dream concert ticket (any band, any decade)?

Coldplay Live in Paris 2002

Favorite artist?

John Mayer

Karaoke anthem?

Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

Favorite Movie?

Requiem For A Dream

TV addiction?

Atlanta, Ray Donovan, SMILF, High Maintenance, Crashing

Three people – dead or alive, real or fiction- that you’d like to invite to dinner?

Frank Ocean, Jesus Christ, Lauryn Hill

Tell us a secret/ fun fact about yourself?

I’m starting a non-profit organization with my mom.

Do you have a party trick?

I roll a pretty good blunt. And love to freestyle and jam out at parties.

What does Popular mean to you?

Popular means culture & community. Popular means attention. Something unique.

Can you tell us about any other projects you have coming up?

I can’t talk about them all right now but I’ve been doing a lot more songwriting for other artists this year. I also have a project with my girlfriend called Cosmos & Creature. We have a single coming up that Steve Aoki produced. I’ll be releasing a few more single this summer and a full album followed by a tour.