An up-and-coming American singer/songwriter based around Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Emily Kopp developed a passion for music and travel at a young age. Following the release of her debut album “Serendipity Find Me” in 2013, Kopp toured the United States extensively to widespread support.
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Mike O’Keefe: Where in Florida are you from? Describe your hometown a little bit. What would you suggest a first-time visitor to see?
Emily Kopp: I was raised in a city called Plantation, Florida. It’s in the Fort Lauderdale area. I currently live in Orlando and went to college there. So, I kind of know the Orlando scene slightly better. There’s definitely a lot of culture and nature. There’s something for foodies. There’s something for outdoorsy-type people. In central Florida there are a lot of natural springs that are pretty cool — 30-45 minutes away. I would definitely suggest that as a first-time activity.
Photo courtesy | Matthew Paulson
MO: What’s the first destination that comes to mind when you hear the word “vacation”?
EK: Hmm … anywhere with a beach. That’s how I would enjoy it. There are some vacations where you really vacation, and there are some vacations that you need a vacation from. The outdoorsy, physically intensive things like rock climbing and hiking. But, beach for sure.
MO: What’s the first thing you try to do when visiting a new destination?
EK: Find the best food!
MO: If you had the choice to perform anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
EK: Red Rocks Amphitheater. I’ve yet to go, but I’ve streamed a lot of shows that took place at Red Rocks and they were incredible sounding, incredible feeling. Yeah, that would definitely be on my list.
Photo courtesy | Norm Lanier
MO: When creating music, where does the inspiration come from? Does traveling to new environments play a role?
EK: Inspiration can come from lots of places. Typically, for me, it sort of comes from what might be happening in the moment. Sometimes I’m thinking of a cool phrase or an idea and I can build off of that. Sometimes the inspiration is a melody. I think traveling, especially touring with a band, shifts your energy a little bit. Each place that you go to emotionally can invoke a lot of things. Experiences can invoke different ideas. I think touring as a whole definitely has that ability to do that. You’re hypersensitive.
MO: Yeah, when you go to somewhere new you’re always on your toes taking everything in. What are three places that you haven’t been to yet, but are on your list?
EK: There are so many places I haven’t been yet that I’m sure would be on the list. This year I’m traveling a lot. I’ll be in Auckland, New Zealand — throughout all of New Zealand and Southeast Asia actually — Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. I’m probably making my way over to Europe too. I’ll be seeing most of the world this year.
MO: Wow, you must be super excited for that.
EK: Yeah, super pumped! This is kind of the last month of preparing.
Photo courtesy | Ghislain Mary
MO: How does the preparation go for all that? What goes into it?
EK: Well, this is not a music tour. I’ll be going on a backpacking trip where I’ll be staying at hostels and gigging my way around. I’m starting a travel blog too. This has been months of planning, thinking and setting goals. I would say that when you’re planning an extensive backpacking trip like this you need to set goals for yourself — weekly goals. If you don’t set yourself goals it will be that never attainable thing.
MO: That’s awesome. To get involved with the culture in each place you’ll remember that forever.
Photo courtesy | Davidlohr Bueso
MO: How does travel and music fit together?
EK: For me it’s gone hand-in-hand since the beginning. I associate my musical career and job itself with travel heavily, because we’ve been touring from place to place. I definitely associate travel with music, because whenever I’m in a place I always want to see what’s going on in town. I want to see what’s playing at the local clubs – what shows are going on. They are both high on my list of most important things.
MO: I feel the same way. That actually goes right into my next question about seeing and experiencing different cultures. What does that mean to you?
EK: I honestly think it’s the best education you could ever get as a person. I think when learning about other people you discover things about yourself. When you understand people it makes you a really empathetic person. When you understand that not every person in the world is like you — not everybody thinks the way you think, not everybody likes the things that you like — I think that just opens your personal boundaries and helps you connect with people.
MO: Absolutely, everyone is an individual. For you to go around the world and see every form of that is awesome. Lastly, is your next trip for backpacking? Anything else coming up?
EK: I just did a few tour dates in [North and South] Carolinas. It was kind of my last, little tour before the end of the year, as far as music is concerned. Nothing before the end of the year, but my backpacking trip starts in January. When I get back from that we’ll have to see where I’m off to next with my band.
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For more on Emily Kopp visit her website: