Feature Interview: Hemming
Tue, 04 Aug 2015 09:33:27
The acoustic singer/songwriter, signed to Linda Perry's label, tells us she's an optimist despite her sad songs.
Hemming sounds like a cross between Christina Perri and Cat Power... but her voice is uniquely her own. This Philly girl may have won a reality talent competition, but she's not wrapped in the pretense that comes with those produced shows. She's as real as it gets. Hemming is in possession of mainstream chops and an indie ethos. She could effectively live in both worlds and succeed. Her voice drips with emotion; it is drenched and saturated in feeling.
You hear her sing and you instantly feel... something!
When we spoke to Hemming —that's Candice Martello to her parents and on all legal documents— she was on a mini vacation. She took time of her time off to chat with us.
You know what that means, other than she is infinitely cool? It means that she is a dedicated artist!
Hemming pulled back the curtain and gave us insight into Hemming vs. Candice Martello, her working relationship with her mentor Linda Perry, who has authored smash hits for Christina Aguilera and P!nk, her experiences on Make or Break and the fact that she's totally not morbid.
This is Hemming. Her self-titled debut is out now on Perry's Custard Records.
Who is Hemming? Is there a difference between her and Candice? What is the separation?
I have always been in bands. I never imagined my name in lights or people going to 'a Candice Martello show.' I never thought of it like that. Even as a solo act, I wanted a moniker or band name to separate things. I talked to my team and we thought about names. It's incredibly hard to name yourself when you decide you want a new name. It's like trying to figure out getting a forehead tattoo. It's permanent and out there for everyone to see. You don't want to make a terrible decision and be stuck with it forever. We brainstormed. There were terrible ideas and there were okay ideas. This came up and I liked how it sounded. Aside from the sewing term, it is derived from a Norwegian boy's name. It means 'shapeshift' or 'metamorphosis.' That described what my life was doing. I connected with it. It is the name I perform under.
Are you still based in Philly, the most misunderstood city there is?
I still live in Philly. I grew up an hour outside of Philly in Doylestown, which is a suburb. But I spent eight years in the area. I moved at least once a year in the past seven years. I moved to New York for six months, to Philly, then back home, then to West Philly and to South Philly.
Your voice has such icy emotion, like Christina Perri, who is also from Philly. It's got what I like to describe asa crystalline tone.
I haven't heard Christina Perri. But a friend posted to me on Facebook that I need to check her out, too. So now I have to.
It's more tone than anything! And since two people have referenced her and you are both from the City of Brotherly Love... But how would describe what you do to someone who never heard your voice?
I've been compared to Cat Power. I think you are definitely referring to the tone. [My voice] sounds a little more heartwrenching, in a way, like Chan Marshall. It is hard to describe, since I pull from so many different sources.
Watch the music video for "Some of My Friends" from Hemming: