Emma McGann Performs at Believe in Music Week’s Global Livestream

Elizabeth Dale

During NAMM’s Believe in Music week (January 18-22), the Global Livestream introduced audiences around-the-world to over 40 emerging and established artists from 23 countries across six continents offering 12 hours of live performances.

Believe in Music week served as the online, global gathering to unite and support the people who bring music to the world. In addition to the Global Livestream, participants have access to 983 interviews; professional development and training sessions for all sectors of the music products, pro audio, and entertainment technology industries; and NAMM Foundation education for music educators and administrations, nonprofit professionals, and college-aged students and faculty, among others. Education and training tracks included Business, Audio Production, and Technology, Entertainment Technology, and Artists, as well as others.

Emma McGann is one of the 40 artists that participated in Believe in Music week’s Global Livestream. The British songwriter and award-nominated (three-time Shorty Awards and iHeartRadio Music Award nominee) artist infuses “undeniably anthemic pop melodies with brave and beautiful storytelling” when creating her music. While McGann’s path has been non-traditional, her DIY artistic style allows her to connect and grow her audiences in a meaningful way by breaking down the “traditional wall between the artist and the audience,” and remarked on this and the importance of including her viewers in a TEDx Talk.

Emma McGann TEDx Talk

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We spoke with McGann about her participation in Believe in Music week’s Global Livestream and her career.

How did you get involved with Believe in Music week’s Global Livestream?

I was asked to participate in the Global Livestream after taking part in Make Music Day UK last year (www.makemusicday.org). Make Music Day is the international annual day (June 21) of music-making and a campaign that connects music makers and promotes music to new audiences. 

What are some of the benefits and the challenges of participating in a livestream performance?

The biggest benefit of livestreamed performances is fostering a connection with a worldwide audience. Growing and nurturing a community around your music online is a beautiful thing, and much like a traditional show, a livestream gives you the opportunity as an artist to present your true, authentic self. There's no room for filters or edits because everything is live and in real-time, and I love that. The direct line of communication to the audience in that live moment is a unique thing. With that said, a challenge that artists can face with livestreamed performances is the isolating circumstances of being in front of a camera instead of being on the stage and getting into the mindset that the audience is there; you just can't see them as you would at a traditional show. Because I've been livestreaming music performances for seven years, it's almost like second nature, but I can understand how that would be a struggle for artists that are now diving into the space.

Now that Believe in Music week has wrapped, how was your experience?

It was awesome to be involved - it felt great to be a part of that chain reaction of artists passing the torch across to the next as the day went on. Not only did it connect audiences to new music but also artists to each other. I was thrilled to see some new fans hopping over to socials to say hello after my performance.

Do you have any insight on your return to live performances?

I hope to perform the US Tour I had planned for 2020 as soon as it's safe to do so. Whether that happens this year or next, I can't wait to get back out there.

Emma McGann Global Livestream

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What advice would you have for artists considering participating in programs similar to NAMM’s Global Livestream?

Prepare as you would for an ordinary show and rehearse as you would. Take time to iron out any potential tech difficulties beforehand, so your stream runs as smoothly as possible. Under the circumstances, artists are wearing all the hats when they're streaming from home - you're now your own engineer, lighting tech, guitar tech, etc., so putting in that time to ensure everything is working beforehand is imperative.

Where should fans go to check out your music?

I'm hosting monthly live performances as part of a virtual tour on my website (www.emmamcgann.com). Fans can attend by picking up a Virtual Tour Pass. You can also catch my regular livestreams on Twitch (www.twitch.tv/EmmaMcGann) and YouNow (www.younow.com/EmmaMcGann).

McGann’s unique approach to her craft provides audiences with a refreshing experience. A statement McGann's website epitomizes it perfectly, stating, “Crafting songs that inspire bravery and encourage us to celebrate our imperfections, Emma’s performances convey an infectious charisma entwined with vibrant pop sensibility and are a refreshing flash of color in a world of same old, same old.”

To hear more from McGann, head over to her website www.emmamcgann.com. Content from Believe in Music week is available until the end of February at https://attend.believeinmusic.tv/ for anyone who registers.