Queer Musician EMSKIII Was Born To Stand Out


“I remember why I’m doing this – for the little drummer girl in me.”

EMSKIII grew up as a red-headed queer woman in San Antonio, Texas. As one might imagine, she struggled to fit in, but now, thanks to her music career, she is embracing standing out. EMSKIII is set to release her fifth single of the year, “Pyscho,” in June and she says the song is her “most vulnerable track yet. It’s an uptempo, dark, dance track that portrays the feeling of being trapped, confused, and unheard. It’s about my own struggle of being wrongly defined and feeling like I was merely a reflection of someone else’s mind.”

EMSKIII plans to release a music video for “Psycho” which will be directed by by Austin’s “King of Music Videos,” John Valley. Until then, you can find EMSKIII slaying the local music scene around Austin. GO had the chance to chat with EMSKIII about her work, identity, and future vision.

GO Magazine: What led you to a career in music?

EMSKIII: I’ve truly loved music my whole life. I started learning to drum at the age of 8 and have stuck with it ever since, picking up other instruments along the way!

GO: What’s been the most rewarding thing from my work?

E: There’s something uniquely special about getting to perform your music for other people. I love seeing people dance and feel the music move through them. It’s such a vulnerable thing to create something close to my heart and share that with the world. Sometimes it’s scary not knowing if it will resonate, but it’s also what makes it exciting. I have performed in bands, but this is the first time I’m sharing my own work, so the stakes feel much higher. But high risk, high reward!

GO: To what extent has being a woman, and a woman who identifies on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, impacted your work?

E: It’s the core of who I am, so I’d say it impacts everything I do! In a space usually ruled by men, I believe that representation is hugely important. I want to be that representation for my community.

GO: Going forward, what is your vision for yourself? What do you hope to accomplish?

E: I hope I can keep creating great records to dance and move to, but more than anything, I hope to provide an environment/experience where people feel connected and free to be themselves. I want people to walk into an EMSKIII show and feel empowered to be whatever they want to be.

GO: How have you dealt with setbacks and adversity?

E: As a queer, red-headed woman, I am no stranger to adversity. Less than 3% of the popularized music in the world is produced by women. I am always feeling like I have to “prove” myself. Finding a space where I can fit in has been a challenge since the beginning but I continue to push through because I remember why I’m doing this – for the little drummer girl in me that always wanted to just see someone that looked like me.

GO: How has music allowed you to “embrace standing out”?

E: Unlike most other industries, music tends to reward uniqueness. You almost HAVE to stand out to make it. It only made sense, as someone that never quite fit anywhere, that I would gravitate towards something that allowed me to embrace my uniqueness. There are no rules, and that’s the best part.

GO: Is there a single/track that you are particularly proud of and, if so, what distinguishes this from the others?

E: I feel some form of the emotion “proud” for my single, Heartbeat. I allowed myself to step out of my comfort zone and not abide by the “normal” standard of dance music on this track. It’s different from what I would usually make – less on the “dance-y” spectrum and more of a slow, electronica, lyrical track where I am more focused on story-telling.

GO: Do you have any future projects/additional singles on the horizon?

E: So many! I am still learning so much and trying to find “my sound.” My goal is to keep exploring, pushing boundaries and taking risks with my music. Specifically though, I have a track I will be releasing with a label this summer (along with a music video) that I think is my best yet! Stay tuned!

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