British-Chinese singer-songwriter Emmy The Great delves deep into issues of identity on her third full-length album, Second Love. Born of her experiences of traveling the world, the record weaves together musings on technology, love, and ultimately, figuring herself out—a theme that continues in her decision to release a music video for her single "Constantly" in both English and Mandarin. Led by beachy guitars and choral vocals, "Constantly" is a 2016 love song that makes the age of information overload sound dreamy.
"While making Second Love, I traveled around the world, twice packing up and moving to a new city," Emmy explained over email to The FADER. "Each time I moved, I was a stranger, introducing myself to new people, and new communities. This forced me to confront my identity over and over again.
"The first time I moved homes, I was eleven, coming from Hong Kong to England. When you’re a child, a change of location means reinvention, a vital testing out of new selves, and this reinvention quickly became an exercise in assimilation. I had to accentuate the English side of myself to fit in.
"As an adult, I found that the further I went, the stronger my true sense of self became. Distance from both England and Hong Kong allowed me to assess them equally. It took a long time before I realised that I don’t have to choose. I was lucky to have met a lot of people with similar experiences, who helped me decide that having two cultures inside you is a gift. I am two people at the same time, and I always will be, and that’s OK.
Watch the English version of "Constantly" above, and the Mandarin version below. Second Love is out now on Bella Union.
Emmy The Great tour dates:
June 7 - City Winery - Chicago, IL
June 11 - U Street Music Hall - Washington, DC
June 12 - The Foundry - Philadelphia, PA
June 14 - Le Poisson Rouge -New York, NY
June 16 - Le Pop Up Du Label - Paris, France
June 19 - Teregram Ballroom - Los Angeles, CA
June 20 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
June 21 - Revolution Hall - Portland, OR
July 15 - Latitude Festival - Suffolk, U.K.
August 7 - Forgotten Fields Festival - Kent, U.K.
August 27 - Victorious Festival - Portsmouth, U.K.