“A new surprice from Emina Sonnad is here. Sophisticated piano-driven song with the singer’s sensual voice echoing elusively in your head! Regardless your music preferences, “Aperol” worths the listening.”

Aperol is a tribute to being unapologetically yourself even when your world is falling apart. I wrote this song while feeling very abandoned at the beginning of the pandemic. I was going through a rough breakup and had unexpectedly ended up quarantining alone in a foreign country, which gave me a lot of time to think about what it means to love someone, and what it means to stand your ground in the face of heartbreak. I remember walking home from the grocery store one night and being stopped by a couple who had spotted a line of strange lights in the sky. It was surreal, just standing there with two strangers and staring up at the sky in silence, wondering if the world was about to end and realizing it wouldn’t surprise me at all. The guy had his arms wrapped around his girlfriend as if he wanted to be as close to her as possible, just in case. Turns it was only some satellites, but in that moment it hit me, “yes, I deserve to be with someone who would stay by my side for the end of the world.” I think having this sense of self advocacy makes it easier to embrace the absurdity of your pain when things get bad. It’s kind of like looking in the mirror and saying “I see you, and you are absolutely ridiculous, but I love you anyway.”

Emina Sonnad is an American singer-songwriter who stumbled upon her musical identity after unexpectedly losing her job teaching English in Madrid. In an effort to find her place in an unfamiliar city, she attended her first open stage night at Sala Alive. Her soft, melancholic voice cut through the chaos of the bar, captivating the crowd, and she was quickly swept away by the vibrancy of the Spanish music scene. Mentored by a tight-knit community of indie musicians, Emina spent the year songwriting, performing in small venues and recording her first single, “Pretending to See Stars,” a dark, introspective ballad self released in 2018. The song’s distinctively wistful vocals caught the attention of Germany’s emerging deep house artist Pretty Pink, who invited Emina to co-write and feature on her next project. The resulting collaboration, “Overrated” was released through Found Frequencies and streamed by millions, bringing Emina to Berlin with a newly acquired taste for electronic music and an unapologetic desire to grow as an artist. Splitting her time between writing techno toplines, hosting open-mic nights in Berlin’s trendy Space Meduza Bar, and releasing an acoustic EP with folk-pop project Half a Disaster, Emina gained a small but dedicated local fanbase, whose support encouraged her to spend the entirety of the 2020 lockdown creating something more personal. Teaming up with Berlin producer Edgar Möller, she recorded six of her original songs, culminating in a record deal with UK based label At Swim Music. Emina’s upcoming releases invite listeners to pause and take comfort in the bleakness, the beauty and the absurdity of everyday life.

Reviewed by Nagamag on 
February 13, 2021

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