In anticipation for his upcoming album, Emanate, singer-songwriter and producer EMAN8 dropped the music video for his song “IOU,” exclusively for the Kulture Fam.
Justin Frick, the video director describes the video as taking place in a 70s style world of imagination.
“Showing how love is tricky to find, we see a stewardess on a plane unsuccessfully searching for love… This is a quirky, bright and fun video showing how two souls can match perfectly in the oddest of moments,” said Frick.
What’s most important is that we realize that there’s always more to music, especially after the cameras stop rolling. We all know that there’s a lot of grinding that goes into making it big in the industry. The path can be different for everyone but for EMAN8, that journey has gained momentum in the last couple of years.
EMAN8’s positivity radiates through his outlook on music. For years as a successful songwriter, EMAN8 knew he was destined for more. In an exclusive interview with KultureHub, EMAN8 shared his story, talent and his knowledge of the music industry.
You might know EMAN8 from his hit “Amen.” Growing up in St. Louis, EMAN8 was heavily influenced by R&B, soul, blues, and hip-hop. His sound has notable influences from Outkast, Lauryn Hill, and The Fugees to Anderson.Paak, Chance the Rapper and Smino. EMAN8 told us,
“I really love creative lyricists.”
This is a no brainer considering his work as a songwriter. He has collaborated on hits with massive artists like Charlie Puth, Bebe Rexha, and the Backstreet Boys’ latest single “Breathe.”
You might also know EMAN8 as Brandyn Burnette. When we asked about the shift from ‘Brandyn Burnette’, EMAN8 told us it was “Not so much of a change but more of simultaneous evolution and rediscovery of my roots.” EMAN8 pronounced “Emanate” is Brandyn’s middle name which is of Jamaican heritage.
EMAN8 began his musical career when he began studying musical theatre at NYU, but he gave up his scholarship to pursue an opportunity to record his first demo tape overseas in Norway. This eventually got him signed to a publishing deal with Sony ATV at the age of 19. The artist told us he had to make other hard choices to get his music out.
In 2016, Brandyn auditioned for American Idol and sang his own song “Lost” which got him the golden ticket into Hollywood. Due to contractual reasons he decided not to continue on with the show but gained exposure when the audition still aired on television.
“It was ultimately a hard and tempting decision, but one I’m grateful I held out on. If it wasn’t for saying no, I may not have been able to make & release the type of music I am now.”
As a songwriter, Brandyn felt that his the industry was a very political and risky business. His work would go unheard and shelved time and again despite its reinforced quality.
He wrote the song “Breathe” over five years ago and it wasn’t until this year that the song was released on the Backstreet Boys’ No. 1 album DNA. EMAN8 has some powerful advice for artists trying to navigate the industry because of this.
“Hold on to your royalties. Build a good team. That doesn’t mean that prestige or big names are only important thing. Look for matched vision & inspiring excitement. Don’t wait for people to make your music, or make things happen with your music. Don’t take no for an answer, even if it’s a manager or A&R or blog or venue. Just because someone doesn’t get it, does not mean you’re wrong.”
His expertise and talent are indisputable. EMAN8 has been hard at work and it’s paying off.
EMAN8’ first album comes out June 5. He’s also got a second album in the works. When we asked what he’d like to do next EMAN8 told us he would love to work with more hip hop artists, listing EARTHGANG as one of his favorites on the come up right now.
“My sound reflects my headspace and with EMAN8 coming to fruition, things are feeling really positive right now.”
For sure, 2019 is EMAN8’s breakthrough year and we’re here for it.