“Utopia Reimagined: These Corners” from Coming Up Roses is absolutely stunning and haunting. When I first pushed play on the track and video, I figured I would be able to have it play in the background and continue working while letting the music take me over but, instantly, any hope of getting work done was gone. This song is haunting and the video is absolutely stunning with simplistic yet powerful imagery and the constant focus being on Emily Sera in a white dress. Again, simple, but I was shook by what I was hearing and seeing in a way that instantly gave me goosebumps. I jumped on the opportunity to ask Emily a few questions about the music, her Rubik’s cube skills, the video, and everything in-between.
How would you describe your music to your parents?
Music that they necessarily might not want to hear but need to hear. With the internet and the influence of perspective from the west, the generational gap has widened especially in traditional Asian cultures, or at least in my family. I love them but I guess my music reflects conversations that don’t particularly happen in my family so it is a good way to share my thoughts and feelings without being confrontational about it.
If you could compare yourself to a bird, what bird would it be and why?
Funnily enough, I don’t really like birds because they can poop everywhere, especially on our heads. But if I had to choose, it would be the Alpine Swift because of their ability to fly for months without landing. I think that’s where I’m at with life, I wanna keep going with what I do and never stop.
You started in Singapore but are now based in London– What was the biggest shock when moving for you guys?
Definitely the pace of life! People in London walk (understandably) fast but yet they are so chill when it comes to the rest of life. Hustle culture is definitely a thing in Singapore so it’s nice to know that people in London try to enjoy their lives to the fullest by not being too hard on themselves.
Favorite lyrics of all time?
“I heard that journeys end in lovers meeting but my journey ends when my heart stops beating” -Wolf Alice’s Visions of a Life
If you were to rob a bank, what would be the song playing in the getaway car as you escape?
The 1975 – Robbers. Haha.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
The 1975 – At Their Very Best (London 2023). Like who the hell brings a full house on tour? That’s crazy! And Taylor Swift? Legends
What’s one thing I should know before listening to “Utopia Reimagined: These Corners”?
It’s a slow burner but I promise, if you like heavier alt-rock, it will be worth it.
There’s something almost haunting about this amazing track– do you believe in ghosts?
I do! Have you ever dreamt of dying? I have and I’ve been one.
If you could have dinner with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Dolores O’Riordan. I just like how she is so unapologetic about the way she sings and doesn’t try to fit into what is in trend.
Have you ever been able to finish a Rubik’s Cube?
The only thing I know how to do with it is to mess it up.
What’s the worst concert you’ve ever been to and why?
I love Billie Eilish but her recent concert in Singapore didn’t have the best sound but that wasn’t her fault as it was a known problem we have at one of our open-air stadiums. But also, I kinda wished she played the full version of her hits!
What’s your favorite method of listening to music?
I love vinyl! I get to touch the vinyl and read the special inserts that come with it. Plus you can’t skip songs so it’s a whole mood!
You reference bands like My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins a lot and that influence in your music is clear but can you tell me maybe a surprise influence that you feel comes through in your music and writing?
Taylor Swift. I grew up with her music.
What does your “Utopia” look like?
I don’t believe in Utopia although a world without homeless or hungry people would be awesome! But yea, I don’t think there can be a Utopia for me that would be a Utopia for everyone else so…
“Utopia Reimagined: These Corners” is super cinematic and movie-ready if you ask me. Say this was to be added to a movie– who would you want the main actor to be to help convey the power of the music in the way of film?
A very frustrated Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams who hates the world but wishes for the better for it would be great.
Singapore to London– what’s next? Is there a place that you guys are dying to perform at now that you are truly conquering the world?
More music is definitely coming but live performances are our thing so we are definitely looking to play shows in the summer and hopefully one day, Glastonbury – Pyramid Stage!
I felt something so passionate about all of Emily’s answers and those are the type of people I seem to gravitate towards– those who are all about music so it’s no surprise why I felt so connected to Coming Up Roses. All of her answers were well stated and to the point but also gave a little insight to the mind behind the magic of the music. There’s something delicate about Emily in the video and music and I feel like that came through with all of the questions I asked her.
I truly wish I lived in London because I wouldn’t miss Coming Up Roses perform at The Camden Club on March 4th. Sadly, I’ll be up here in the Twin Cities but I will absolutely be going down the rabbit hole of Coming Up Roses on the 4th as if to be there in spirit.
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