Stephanie Steinbrecher ’16Staff Writer
We love the Motley so much now, so why wouldn’t we want to come back after graduation? Some Scripps alumni return not just to reacquaint themselves with the coffee and cozy atmosphere, but to perform. Returning to her alma mater, Emmeline Miles (SC ’07) graced the Motley Coffeehouse with her original music and lively spirit for a concert on Thursday, Nov. 29.
Traveling from her home in Dallas, Texas, Miles performed original, self-declared “pop music for smart people” as well as some covers and mashups to an audience of studious, sociable, and live music-appreciating Motley-goers. With only her keyboard to accompany her soulful vocals, Miles appeared confident and quite at home on stage. Her love of music as well as her vocal and piano talent led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in general music from Scripps College in 2007. She cites her time at Scripps as not only influential in her musical career, but in all parts of her post-undergrad life as well.
“A Scripps education gave me confidence not only as an intellectual and as a musician, but as a female. Without a doubt, the relationships formed during my years at Scripps gave me the strength to chart an unconventional course into the music industry,” Miles said. Which is not to say that finding her way has been an easy experience. “When I got home [from college], I tried really hard to be a practical person who did practical things. I tried to put music behind me…[but] within a few months, I was dragging my keyboard into a coffee shop that looked almost exactly like the Motley.”
Incidentally, she wrote one of her first songs in the Motley about a relationship that developed in the time she spent at the Motley. It is only fitting that she should return to the place where her career as an independent musician really began.
Miles has worked hard to find her musical niche and is happy to share her talents in order to connect with other people. “There’s no shortcut to success,” she said. “I have this crazy hope, though, that if you trust yourself enough, and you love your work enough, you will eventually do something great. Scripps women are motivated to actually change the world. It’s not just a motto for us—it’s a calling.”
She is motivated by one lesson held very dear at Scripps. “Women have a unique voice, and it’s one that not only deserves to be heard, but needs to be heard. Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to speak out and advocate for ourselves and others like us,” she said. “As Scripps women, we’re given the education and the opportunity to do that, and that’s not a privilege I take lightly.”
Keeping Scripps friends close, her passions close, and never giving up was the recipe for success to which Miles credits her growing musical success. As for future plans, she hopes to play Cowboys Stadium and perhaps win a Grammy. “My goal is to keep making music that makes people feel like they’re not alone. I want to make records that people put on to feel better about the world. To play a song and hear people singing along is the coolest feeling in the world, so I’d also like to make sure that happens a lot more,” she said.
As she continues to navigate the intricacies of post-college life, Miles promises to never lose sight of her talents, goals, or her past time at Scripps. To Miles, paying a visit to the Motley so she can be surrounded by Scripps women facing the same challenges as she has is inspiring. This is a habit she hopefully will do until she’s on the Grammy stage.