By Rachel Hennessey ‘13Staff Writer
Most Scripps undergraduates will agree that our school is especially good at encouraging us to seek and chase our individual interests. This unique educational environment and heterogeneous—but oddly harmonious—student body urge us to grow into more open-minded, confident young women. We are grateful for and proud of our education, and the accomplishments that our peers and alumni achieve. Folk/ rock singer-songwriter Emmeline Miles (‘07) is a quintessential Scripps success story.” This incredibly genial woman makes use of her experience at Scripps in various aspects of her musical career.
Miles is hardly passive in her approach to music: she makes it, and often. A tenacity which reflects the Scripps woman inside of her. As an unsigned artist, Miles has exclusive authority over her music. Although this can be challenging at times, Miles sees it as worth the extra work. “Without the backing of a label, an independent artist is forced to learn a lot by trial and error. And while progress is sometimes harder to come by, success is much, much sweeter for the work involved therein,” she said. Instead of signing with a distinguished record label, she collaborates with a small group of people, whose biographies are available on her website.
Miles strives to publicize every aspect of her music, eliminating any “behind the scenes” secretive vibes that many artists emanate. Instead, she embraces direct communication with fans, and exposes the stories behind her songs on her website. According to Miles, her willingness to share the thoughts behind her music is a direct benefit of her Scripps education. “I gained a lot of confidence at Scripps. I learned to be unapologetic. Writing songs is kind of like reading one’s diary out loud. Some of the topics I was interested in addressing—heartbreak, domestic violence, addiction and war—weren’t necessarily dinner-friendly discussion topics. But at Scripps, they were,” she said.
Honesty, motivated by a genuine zeal for her art, is Miles’s main driving force. Music has been an integral part of her life since age four, but at Scripps her penchant for this hobby grew into a full-fledged love affair. Spending time in the Dorsey Piano Room, participating in the school choir and learning from life-changing professors made her time at Scripps quite inspirational. Said Miles, “Professor Huang’s boundless enthusiasm was (and still is) amazing—he never speaks about music in a way that doesn’t animate his whole body, and I was so touched by that love.” She explains that the support she found at Scripps from friends and professors enabled her to pursue music with self-assurance. The sincerity in Miles’s music and her utter accessibility are results of steadfast confidence. This confidence is her most powerful ally, and an outcome of her Scripps education. As Miles said, “The worst mistake you can make is to underestimate yourself. If Lady Gaga can wear a dress made of meat and walk in six-inch platform shoes that have no heels, then anything is possible.”
Miles has recently released a professional EP, “Early Morning Hours,” which is available on her website (http://www.emmemusic.tripod.com/).