Back 2 Beats: Q&A With Emay, Creator Of ‘Emay, Karen O, And The Kids’

I got the chance to interview Emay, the producer of a project inspired by the soundtrack of the movie Where the Wild Things Are, the movie and Karen O, lead singer of Yeah, Yeah,Yeahs. Karen’s one of my favorites so I was all in. The Hamilton/Toronto, Canada native and I discussed the project, producing vs. rapping and what’s next for the talented young artist.

me: Why did you create Emay, Karen O, and the Kids?

Emay: I was making it initially because I thought the soundtrack was amazing. I actually heard the soundtrack before I watched the music. Then when I saw the movie, it inspired me even more to reinterpret the soundtrack.

I also did it because the story touches on the topic of anger in children, which is something us adults and teenagers seem to overlook. It also brought back a lot of memories. I remember the story being read to us when I was in kindergarten, before I watched the movie* haha

Why did you keep the names of the songs the same as the soundtrack?

All the track names are the same as they were on the original soundtrack for the movie. the only one I changed was “Drift Rumpus”. The original track is called “Rumpus”. I added “Drift” because I thought of the part of the film where he was on the little raft that got him onto the island of the wild things. Since it’s just a re-interpretation of the original soundtrack, I didn’t want to rebel too far from the original ideas.

Interesting, how long have you been producing and rhyming? If you had to choose one which would it be?

I’ve been producing for about 4 years now. I’ve been writing since I was in middle school, but I began rapping officially around the same time I started producing. I put a lot more work into producing when I started off. I wasn’t as serious with the rhyming at first.

If I had to choose between the two, production would probably be my choice. No matter what happens, I have to make instrumentals! haha

The whole Emay, Karen O, and the Kids mixtape below


“CAPSIZE” was a standout and my favorite. It’s good NYC walking music. Tell us about that song.

I liked making CAPSIZE a lot because it sounds very pop and fun, which is something I haven’t been able to do really until now. The process wasn’t different in a sense of the way I created the instrumentals, but it was different because of how it sounds. I had to use more stock drums to create it, which helped give it that fresh sound.

If I had to choose a favourite it’d be “Furs”. I think that was one where I was able to tell a story through the instrumental better than I did with the other tracks.

Nice, anything else we should know about this project?

You should know that I created it while working on another instrumental project entitled PrismaSound. So I was able to learn new things while doing both projects at the same time. Sounds hectic, but I was able to intertwine what I learned from each project. Although the next project will sound significantly different, a lot of the same elements will remain for sure.

Tell us about PrismaSound and when people can look forward to hearing it.

It’s loosely based on the concept of versatility in light. I’m also working on my solo LP, which will include my vocals over my own production. Not sure which one I’ll be releasing first, but those are the projects I’m currently completing.

What does PrismaSound sound like? Please don’t say “it sounds like light.”

Yeah, it’s more like instrumentals that MC’s would be able to rap over. HAHAHA I’m not that corny.

Good, looking forward to it. Thanks Emay.

Peace peace!

Follow Emay on twitter at

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