Vlogger, writer, pop star. Emma Blackery has achieved a lot in her 26 years on this Earth, and she has big dreams for the future too. Following her hugely successful Magnetized tour last year and with an album due out in the coming months, she’s keeping busy and loving life. Having just released her new single “Dirt”, she spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about ‘Feel Good 101’, social media and what’s on her bucket list.

what a good headline for dating site TITL: Hi Emma, lovely to speak to you. How are you?

Emma Blackery: Hi, I’m good thank you. How are you?

TITL: Glad I’ve got the weekend off.

EB: Same!

source site TITL: It happens every weekend, but the buzz and joy is still the same…

EB: I don’t think I’ve ever talked about myself so much in a week, so I’m looking forward to a weekend of just relaxing, playing video games and being by myself.

http://davisslater.com/ficeryw/3269 TITL: Ah, I’m at a gig tomorrow so I’ve that to look forward to.

EB: That’s great, who are you seeing?

http://uplaf.org/wp-config.php_/köpa TITL: Thirty Seconds To Mars in Manchester. I’ve seen them something like 15 times so far I think…

EB: Big fan then…

get link TITL: You could say that yeah…Okay, first of all, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today. I really do appreciate it.

EB: Oh not at all, thank you for having me!

follow site TITL: I read your book, ‘Feel Good 101’ last week and I’d like to run a review of that a few days after this feature if that’s alright with you?

EB: I really hope you liked it if you’re reviewing… (laughs)

click here TITL: For those who might not – yet – know who you are, exactly who is Emma Blackery?

EB: Oh wow. You’d think after twenty-six years I would know that but I’m still getting there. I am a singer-songwriter who has been making music since they were about twelve or thirteen years old, who found success by putting their music, and their life, on YouTube. I’m now trying to extend my reach and head on into the music world and I’m documenting all of it on my channel as well. And I wrote a book…

go to link TITL: It could be argued that individuals who have found fame via the likes of YouTube have and can get a lot of criticism when they branch out into different things such as writing and music. How do you feel about that and do you mind people’s criticisms?

EB: I definitely used to. I think a lot of people like to put people in boxes. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just what we do as humans – we like to see people as one particular thing. So when people are used to seeing you make and post YouTube videos, they call you a vlogger, and when you try to branch out into other things, they will always try to put YouTube in front of it – because that’s what they know. I’m hoping to try and break that. I’m definitely not ashamed of YouTube; I’m proud of everything I’ve built on there and I’ve been able to connect with people I never would’ve met in my entire life if I hadn’t put my life online – but, right now, I’m putting EVERYTHING into my music and I would love for people to see that as its own thing. I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember, and it’s nice that people are seeing my passion for that through my own music.

http://talkinginthedark.com/wp-content/plugins/the-events-calendar/resources/tribe-events.min.js TITL: Is your latest single “Dirt”, addressed to anyone in particular or is it just a more generalised pop tale of revenge?

EB: It was inspired by somebody. I don’t think it’s particularly professional to name that person, but it was written in late summer of last year when I had a falling out with somebody that I hadn’t really seen eye to eye with for a couple of years. You know how it is – tweets get thrown around, you make digs at each other; it’s all silly and childish, and we had another falling out, at which point people online started taking sides. It got to the point where I actually left social media for two weeks and, if you’re a millennial, two weeks is like taking a year off from your life. It really got that bad – I just had to leave. I was so angry and upset about what had gone on that I just had to get it out in song form and now I’m actually really grateful for that experience as I got to write “Dirt.” It was worth it in the end.

see TITL: I went on holiday to Australia last year with the plan of staying off, or at least reducing my social media use, but I just couldn’t do it….

EB: I say it every time I go on holiday – that I’m not going to go online, that I’ll make time for myself…but as soon as you get somewhere, or see something nice, I’m taking photos and sharing. But at the time prior to writing “Dirt”, I literally took two weeks off social media. I deleted the apps off my phone, I logged out of everything. I just didn’t want to know any of it.

go to site TITL: You released your Magnetized EP last year and embarked on an extensive UK tour. Looking back, do you have any favourite moments or highlights?

EB: I got to play Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It’s such a prestigious venue; it’s been in such high regard since I was a child and being able to play there…to be backstage and see all the names of the bands and artists you look up to that have graced the stage – it was an incredible moment. We had so many great shows – Cardiff was amazing, Manchester was amazing but Shepherd’s Bush really stood out to me. We had special light production and people turned out, even though it was only a few days after a really tragic terror attack in London. Music still proved to be something that united all of us and for people to come out in the face of that, even though they were afraid, was an incredible thing.

TITL: Feel free to come back to Manchester any time then I can come and see you…

EB: That sounds like a great idea…

TITL: Now that you are focusing more on your music, are there any future performance or tour plans in the works?

EB: There is definitely some tour stuff coming up in the future, but not for a little while. I’m focusing on “Dirt” at the moment – it’s only been out a week but it feels like forever (laughs), then I’ll be working on the next single pretty soon, followed by the album and then there will be a tour. There’s already a European tour all set to go and I can’t wait to perform these songs, these new songs, for the first time. I haven’t really thought about it much as I’ve been so busy recording but yeah, that’s going to be scary – and fun! I can’t wait.

TITL: If you could share a stage with three bands or artists that you haven’t already, and who can be living or dead, who would they be and where would you play?

EB: Wow, oh my God – this might take some thought I think! I know where I’d play because my dream venue is Brixton Academy. To headline Brixton is my BIG dream and it has been for about ten years or so. It’s my favourite venue in the world, so yeah, I’d definitely play there. I hope I can do it one day. As for acts I’d like to play alongside…if this is an ideal world, I suppose I would say Taylor Swift, maybe Paramore and, I don’t think it would really fit, but my favourite band in the world is Placebo – I’ve seen them live like eight or nine times – so I’d love to share a stage with them, just so I could see and hear them again. But I’d also like to play with Lorde. It’s all hypothetical of course, but it would be so much fun.

TITL: In your book ‘Feel Good 101’ you openly address your struggles with mental health and speak candidly about your experiences. With that in mind, and especially now that Talinda Bennington has  launched the ‘I Am The Change’ campaign, do you wish more individuals in the public eye would speak out about such things?

EB: I think it’s completely up to the individual whether they feel ready for that and whether they or not, they think they can handle the responsibility that can come with it. Ultimately everyone handles their mental health differently, and I think, it can be very easy to say that we should be talking about it more but when it comes to personal experiences, maybe not everyone is ready to do that. If they feel comfortable talking about it, sharing their stories with others then yeah, absolutely – so long as their advice and what they have to say is helpful and can help banish the stigma around depression and other mental health issues.

It shocks me that there is still such a taboo about talking about mental health. We’ve come a long way in ten years when I was thirteen, fourteen, and back then NO celebrity was talking about mental health in the way some do now. The times are changing, but there’s still a long way to go. We’re making progress.

TITL: As long as the conversation keeps moving forward that’s the main thing…

EB: Exactly – baby steps.

TITL: How much of an impact have you seen and heard your book and your story have on others? Do you have any regrets about being as open as you are in the book, or do you maybe wish you’d opened up sooner?

EB: I think, there’s kind of two sides to it, because being open about my own experiences has helped people connect with me as a person, and that I somehow helped them feel less crazy and more normal. When you hear someone sharing a story about how they’ve gone through the same thing that you have or that you’re currently experiencing; it can make a big impact and a difference.

There are however times when I wish I’d held back a little bit because, for instance, when you said you’d read my book, it was like ‘wow, you now know so much about me, but I don’t know much about you at all.’ That can be a little bit intimidating especially when you meet people and they know who you are, and know EVERYTHING about you. It put Tinder out of the question I’ll tell you that and for a 26-year-old, not getting any younger, that sucks, but at the end of the day, sharing my own experiences has helped people overcome serious stuff. I get messages every day from people saying my songs have helped them, my book has helped them and if not being able to go on blind dates is the sacrifice for that, then I’ll gladly make it. I’m glad I’ve been able to help people.

TITL: I’m thirty-two and never been on a date so there you go…

EB: Oh man…well, when I come to Manchester, we’ll hang out, see Thirty Seconds To Mars; it’ll be a great night…

TITL: I’m up for that…I’m going to hold you to that! (laughs)

EB: (laughs) Oh no…oh dear. Okay, good!

TITL: Given that you’ve made a name for yourself across social media, do you think we as a general society are too ‘dependent’ and attached to technology, or is the notion that anyone can find out almost anything about a person, or talk to virtually anyone at any time, simply part and parcel of the world we live in now?

EB: The thing is, you can’t speak for everybody. Some people will feel too connected, some people won’t. I personally do spent A LOT of time on social media because it’s my job, but it’s odd that you can feel and be connected to practically the entire world and yet still feel really lonely and isolated. When you see everyone else having fun times, meeting up and you’re just sitting there scrolling on your phone, it can make you feel so much worse. Having Instagram for example, where you’re comparing yourself to fitness blogs and people who have flawless skin – whether that’s from an app or just good luck – it can make you feel terrible. But ultimately, it’s about taking control of it and saying “It’s time I step away from this for a little bit. This isn’t real life, just me looking at a phone” and seeing it as that. Seeing it as a screen that lights up but that you can turn off at any time.

I think a lot of people do have difficulty with it – myself included – but I have started to see a little bit of a backlash from it. I think some people are noticing that and trying to counteract it. I know a lot of people who have deleted their social media apps or who are only on YouTube and not Instagram or Twitter and stuff. I think people are taking back control. It’s a great way to feel connected to people but I think people are starting to feel more disconnected than ever. It’s going to be interesting to see where it goes in the next couple of years or so.

TITL: I personally have a number of social media pages, which like you I use for work related things, but it’s sometimes hard to pull myself away or not get drawn in my certain things that are posted on sites and the like…

EB: It’s crazy that sometimes, I get a little bit of happiness from the number of likes on a post because if it’s a high number in particular, it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job. It’s unrealistic and a weird way of looking at the world…but I’m working on that.

TITL: You’ve already achieved so much in your life, but what’s left on your bucket list? What would you want or like to achieve/do in order to be able to look back 60 or so years from now and say “I have no regrets”?

EB: As I said before, being able to headline Brixton Academy in London is like, the BIG dream for me. Anything above that, like arenas or stadiums, that’s nice – it’d be a bonus. For me, being able to fill Brixton Academy; I would be able to look back and tell my grandkids: “I did that!” and I’d be happy with that. Just to make an album that people really enjoy. In an ideal world, I’d love to create an album that people will still be talking about ten, twenty years in the future – I’m not saying that will happen, but it’s a nice dream to have. It’s something to work towards; I’ll give it my best shot…I’ll give it a go.

Check out the video for Emma’s new single “Dirt” below and you can keep up to date with her by subscribing to her YouTube channel, following her on Twitter and Instagram or giving her page a like on Facebook.

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Inspired by artists such as Kenny Chesney and having opened for Thomas Rhett, Cole Bradley has always had a passion and affinity for country music, and now, thanks to releases such as his new single “Happy Hour”, he’s well on his way to being a real star of the genre in his own right. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Cole to talk song-writing, dream shows, and his ambitions for the next six months and beyond.

TITL: First of all, who exactly is Cole Bradley?

Cole Bradley: Great place to start! I am a country singer-songwriter from Calgary, Canada, who currently lives in Nashville, TN. I love to have a good time, live everyday like it’s my last and put out music that hopefully people can connect with.

TITL: When did you first realise you wanted to make music a career?

CB: I’ve always loved performing and songwriting but the moment I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in country music was when I was twelve years old. It was when I heard my first Kenny Chesney record and I was mesmerized by the way Kenny was able to make people feel through his songs. From that moment on, I wanted to be like Kenny and create music that everyday people could relate to.

TITL: Which three artists or bands would you say you’ve been and are most influenced/inspired by?

CB: Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Darius Rucker would have to be the top three country artists that inspire me. The reason being is that their songs tell the best stories. Their music makes people feel something!

TITL: What impact do they have on the music you make?

CB: Obviously, Kenny’s beach influence has impacted me in my song writing but ultimately, these three artists make me want to write better songs and push myself to new heights. In my opinion, Brooks, Chesney, and Rucker set the bar when it comes to releasing new and interesting songs, so my hope is that one day I can be on their level.

TITL: Where or how do you most often find inspiration for your songs?

CB: My best inspiration comes from real life experiences. I need to live my songs! If I can “live” and experience different things every day, that’s where I’ll find inspiration and that creates the best songs.

TITL: Tell me a little about your new single “Happy Hour.” Where did the idea for the track come from?

CB: The idea came from my first year of university in Canada. Every Thursday night my friends and I would huddle into my dorm room and we would play a game called “Power Hour” where each of us would do a shot of beer each minute for 60 minutes straight. We had a ton of fun to say the least! In the end, the song is all about just enjoy a few drinks with your best pals and getting into some fun afterwards!

TITL: Are there any tour dates/performances coming up?

CB: You bet! We have some shows planned for CMA Fest in Nashville this weekend. After that we have some real fun shows planned in Western Canada over the course of the summer as well as a few US dates that haven’t been announced just yet.

TITL: You’ve already opened shows for a number of country stars including Thomas Rhett, but if you could share a stage with three other bands or artists, living or dead, who would you pick and where would you play?

CB: Obviously, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks would have to be at the top of that list as they are my heroes! From the past, if I was a sixties kid I would want to hang with The Beatles – “Penny Lane” was one of the first songs I ever listened to and probably inspired my love for singing. Is there any band more legendary than them?

TITL: What has been the nicest thing someone has so far written or said about you, and what would be the ultimate compliment someone could give you?

CB: Wow, great question! I think some of the best compliments I have received are from people who have been following my career from the very start. Just to hear those people say that “you get better every time I hear you” or  “you’ve grown as an artist” is such an affirmation that I’m on track. The ultimate compliment someone could give me is that my songs helped them in a tough time or that one of my songs made them think of a special memory. For me, if someone tells me that they relate to my music and connect with it – that’s the ultimate compliment in my books.

TITL: Given that bands and artists today all but HAVE to be on social media, how do you feel about the power the likes of Twitter and other sites can and do have in terms of helping an artist grow their fan-base and keep themselves current? Do you think there’s such a thing as too much of a social media presence?

CB: Social media is a great platform for artists. It has never been easier to build a brand, release new music and build an audience. Social media engagement is huge in helping an artist grow their fan-base. If you can master the art of having great communication with your fans – I believe you will find success. It’s hard to say if there is such thing as “too much of a presence” but I believe if you have quality content and your personality shines through then I think you are doing the right thing.

TITL: Finally then, what does the rest of the year in store for you and where would you like to see yourself five years from now? What do you want to tick off your bucket list?

CB: For the rest of the year, my plan is to keep building my audience, touring in new markets and improving my craft. I think if I can keep improving on my live show, songwriting and in the studio as well as making new fans then I’ll be very happy. My main goal is to able to share my music with as many people as possible and if I can have a career in the next five years where I am still making a living playing music – then that’s a huge win in my books!

Check out Cole Bradley’s latest track “Happy Hour” below and for more information on him and his music, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.


With his “kamikaze pop” sound already having caught the attention of BBC Introducing and BBC 6 Music, Jack Angus Golightly, AKA Jango Flash, is slowly but surely making a name for himself, and his latest single “Perseid 45” is sure to have more music fans and critics alike talking. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Jango to talk song-writing inspiration and his big plans for the future.

TITL: Please introduce yourself if you would.

Jango Flash: Hi my names Jack, AKA “Tasty Daniels”, AKA “Ooo what’s in dem briefs”, AKA “Jango Flash”.

TITL: Where did the name Jango Flash come from?

JF: It was two nicknames which I ended up gluing together. All of my close friends call me “Jango” because it kinda acts as an Abbreviation of (J)ack (An)gus (Go)lightly, and when I worked in a kitchen, I used to get called “Flash” because of how fast I could chop onions. I feel like every artist at some stage has made a list of “cool” sounding words to put together, like I did. But I ended up hating the process of deciding on something that felt concrete, because it was always so over analysed and contrived. I guess that’s why some people have went back to using online generators for sourcing a name without much thought, or just adding 5 more letters in or around a word. If you’re looking for a good name, it’s usually right on your doorstep.

TITL: What would you say your artist unique selling point is?

JF: That’s a tricky one, I never really think about USP’s in music but I guess it would have to be my hands, apparently I’ve got lucky thumbs.

TITL: Which three artists or bands would you say you’ve been and are most influenced/inspired by? What impact do they have on the music you make?

JF: Damn, that’s tough. Subconsciously I guess I’m inspired by early 2000’s music like t.A.T.u. because they came about at a really weird time in my life. I remember seeing the music video for “All The Things She Said” on Kerrang! and just feeling so many different emotions. They have this wonderful ability of being able to take darker, guitar driven music and then re-purpose it in a huge girl band style, it’s bad ass! I think there’s something to be said about their influences and how they decided to express that in their music. Death Grips are another group I love. From the get go, they’ve had an entire fan-base in the palm of their hands because they are masters at toying with peoples expectations. They’ve got a powerful presence on and off stage, and I can admire that they still do everything them selves, they are essentially modern day punks. Them Things is the band I play drums in, and I’m influenced by everything that we do together. Everyone in Them Things is full of fire and we’re all pretty free thinkers. We’ve fought badly with each other in the past and equally seen each other through a lot as friends, so I find it hard to imagine not being with those guys.

TITL: Is there a story behind your latest single “Perseid 45” and is there an EP or album in the works?

JF: I’ll have a fully illustrated, four track E.P finished by the end of July time. I have a second single ready to release in June called “Deeper Thrill”, and two music videos in the works. The story behind “Perseid 45” came from a time when me and my partner took some duvets and deck chairs out into a field in Edinburgh and watched the Perseid meteor shower. I found it so strange to see that many in one night, it was pure magic. We had gone through a really rough time together when I wrote this song and I guess that was the first thing I thought about. It’s a blown out projection of extra terrestrial pondering, experiences shared and dark feelings of existentialism brought on by losing someone who you may have took for granted.

TITL: When it comes to song-writing, where or how would you say you most find your inspiration?

JF: Inspiration usually strikes me at the worst times, it sucks. I’ll be on public transport with a melody rattling around my head and I’ll have to pull out my phone to record it, but somehow play down looking like a fruit loop by casually whistling to myself. Sometimes it’s circumstantial, like I woke up one morning and my partner was humming something, so I was like “what is that” and she went “oh, it’s chamber of reflection by Mac Demarco” and I say “nah it’s not, it sounds nothing like that”. I loved it so much that I ran downstairs to record it and it ended up being the guitar hook in “Perseid 45.” In terms of writing lyrics, I write a hell of a lot… like every day. When my first MacBook broke I lost around 600 notes full of stories, lyrics, poems and ideas. I just keep writing down my thoughts until I’ve struck something that makes me feel good, or accurately conveys a particular emotion. Other times I’ll highlight a phrase that sticks out to me in a sentence. Maybe the person talking is a character I can live through for a while, and they can be the ones writing. I try and pay attention to oddities that throw me off kilter.

TITL: Which song, by another band or artist, do you wish you could have written, and why?

I’m sure I thought about this again last month, and it would probably be Carol King ‘s “Too Late.” Every time it comes on I just well up, because in it’s essence it’s so full of warmth and forgiveness, whilst ultimately saying “well I guess this is us then, bye”. It’s totally heart breaking in the best of ways, and it’s got to be one of my favourite songs in the world.

TITL: Are there any tour or performance plans you can tell me about? 

JF: I don’t actually have a band together yet, it’s all just me at the minute. I have a few close friends on standby who are whole-heartedly ready to play with me should I be called for duty. Hopefully this year I can play my first show, but for now I want to create a body of work I can be proud of.

TITL: Which venue in the world would you most like to play and which four bands or artists, living or dead, would you like to share the bill with? 

JF: Jesus. I’m not really au fait with venues, I’ve never been a big dreamer on where it is I’d like to play, I’m always just happy playing live in general. I’ve always been more into dive bars though, they seem to have more character than academies etc which usually feel like glorified sports halls with overpriced drinks. If I were to choose though, it would have been CBGB’s when that was still around. I watched a documentary all about that place, it’s a great shame that somewhere with such colourful history got shut down. As for the acts – The Doors, Trash Talk, Timber Timbre and Babylon Zoo. I’m ready to hire in for parties.

TITL: As someone who’s already caught the attention of BBC Introducing and BBC 6 Music, do you pay much attention to what the media says/writes about you, or are you more concerned with what your fans think? 

JF: I haven’t really had much written press until now with blogs starting to show interest in my work, plus my fans are still very much local at the moment. The thing I care about the most is how all of it is represented, I feel strongly about my work and it’s the only thing I really care about right now besides Them Things, my partner, my friends and my family. If those people are enjoying my music right now, I’m happy.

TITL: As a modern day artist in a technology obsessed world, how do you feel about the power the likes of Twitter and other sites can and do have in terms of helping an artist grow their fan-base and keep themselves current? Have you found using social media to be a help or a hindrance when it comes to your career?

JF: I think on the DL I don’t like the fact that artists almost have to use social media if they want to be counted. At the same time though I don’t see it doing any harm because it’s helping people to connect with one another in creative ways. Not to sound all TED X about it, but I think we’re going to see a lot of expansion on the platforms we’re using, and that will bring in new and exciting ways to promote content, so that excites me. As much as I’d sometimes love to scrap social media, I’m still guilty of sitting up and scrolling through spicy ass memes. If you want to make money in today’s world, here’s a tip… create top quality original memes, watermark them and build an empire, THEN become a musician.

TITL: Finally then, what’s your ultimate goal? What would you like people to remember you for in terms of your music and what would you like your legacy to be? 

JF: I have far too many crazy goals, but I’m trying to take this project one step at a time. I’d love to have my own podcast, direct videos, produce music for film and TV and write my own screenplays. Right now though the wheels are in motion, I’m happy making my own music and seeing where it takes me, I just need to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

Check out “Perseid 45” below and for more information on Jango Flash, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter. You can also see Jango Flash live on June 8th in Newcastle, as support for Ty Segal & The Freedom Band.