The soulful singer-songwriter and recording artist with a southern flair, Emily Curtis, teams up with Surrey, Canada-based DJ and engineer Carson Hoy for their feel-good single, "The Background."
Emily Curtis first stormed the music scene in Charleston, SC, making waves with her bright guitar melodies and smooth vocals. She's performed everywhere from local bars and amphitheaters to concert halls and showcases, not to mention supporting national acts like Parmalee, Sister Hazel, and hometown favorites Hootie & The Blowfish.
More recently, Emily Curtis teamed up with Kool Keith's recording engineer Carson Hoy for their collaborative single, "The Background."
They felt inspired to write the song at the height of the lockdown in 2020, where they would hop on Zoom calls and imagine summer parties and gatherings with friends. Now that we're starting to live socially again, the song has become the perfect summer tune for any jam.
Diving headfirst into "The Background," the song peacefully opens with soft whistles, bright acoustic guitar melodies, and light percussion. As Emily Curtis makes her warm and heartfelt vocal appearance, she begins to playfully poke us with lyrics about playing in the background of someone's mind.
Before we know it, Carson Hoy joins the party to add a brilliant back and forth to this harmonious and uplifting duet. It's truly one of the most refreshing singles we've heard this year, and the timing of its release is impeccable. As they reach the outro, Curtis and Hoy let us sway in the wind to their soothing instrumentals and head into summer without a care in the world.
Allow Emily Curtis and Carson Hoy to keep you company in "The Background" of your mind with their latest lush single, now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Emily Curtis. What an uplifting experience you've provided with your latest single with Carson Hoy, "The Background." At what moments during the lockdown did you feel most compelled to write this feel-good piece?
Initially, we didn't know what we wanted to write. We both just wanted to stay creative and make the most of the time we were spending at home. Most good co-writing sessions come from easy natural conversations. That's when someone hears a standout phrase, and the concept starts to take shape. We started talking about how we were feeling emotionally, which led to discussions about relationships and exes that we wished we could forget about. I think we were laughing about it when one of us actually said, "It's like they're that annoying song playing in the background." I started playing some laid-back chords on the guitar, and Carson created a beat track, and we just wrote.
How did the collaboration with Surrey-based DJ and engineer Carson Hoy take place for "The Background?" Was this your first time working together?
We met in 2018 at a songwriting retreat called Neverland Retreats in Nosara, Costa Rica, literally in the middle of the jungle. There were about 40 attendees from all over the world and six music industry panelists. We all became friends really quickly. There's something about sharing that kind of unique experience on top of sharing similar career aspirations. Musicians are weird, and it always feels comforting to meet other weirdos, and I think that's why Carson and I clicked. A few months later, a group of us got an AirBnb in LA to attend the 2019 ASCAP Expo and heard some of Carson's tracks when we had some down time. I loved his style and knew I wanted to collaborate at some point. We had no idea the hurdles we were about to face in a few short months.
Did you face any challenges when creating "The Background" with Carson Hoy over Zoom? Or was this process easier than expected?
It was daunting, but we were doing this for us, so the pressure was off. Personally, it was a little tricky at first learning how to get the guitar, and vocal stems tracked and sent over to him quickly, but that pushed me to learn skills that are serving me now as I track vocals for other remote projects. There's obviously nothing like being in a room with people and making music, but only a few short years ago, this alternative would not have existed. I was excited to be co-producing, tracking my own vocals and guitar, and just overall challenging myself to become more efficient as a musician.
What was your favorite part about creating "The Background?" What did you appreciate most?
The fact that a pandemic didn't stop us from making an upbeat, fun song is pretty wild when I think about it. I'm so grateful that technology allows us to make music like this. Co-writing with Carson was just so much fun. We laughed a lot and enjoyed the process at a time when the world felt like it was falling apart.
What's next for you?
I'm continuing to collaborate and write authentic songs that are sync licensing friendly so that I can pitch them for placements in tv and film while also playing them live and releasing them as an artist. Thanks to all the skills I learned through projects like this one, I'm now also working for hire as a remote vocalist for other writers and producers that may need background vocals or a demo vocalist to bring their songs to life. As long as I keep challenging myself, I think music will be something I am able to do for the rest of my life.