Wise Beyond Her Years – A Conversation With Miss Emi Sunshine

Festy 8 was a media nightmare, at least for us. Internet connectivity issues resulted in a number of interviews falling through because we could not connect with publicists who were coordinating artists’ schedules.

One interview that worked out was with Miss Emi Sunshine, a 13-year-old girl with a grown up talent. It was an interesting conversation. We talked about what is like to be a child star, life on the road, and her fascination with murder ballads.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Emi Sunshine. For now, she is still a bit of a novelty act — that little girl who was a You Tube sensation playing the ukulele by her aunt’s flea market stand. But she is growing up. Fast.

How much longer can she get by on being cute? How much longer can she keep strumming a ukulele instead of a more grownup actual guitar? And watching her perform, does she want to be a serious artist? She has serious talent, but her act tends towards Minnie Pearl Jr. at times.

Complicating the picture, Emi Sunshine is the economic engine that drives her entire family. An aunt runs the merchandise operation. Mom co-writes her songs. And her backing band is all family.

Dad plays the bass. He is pretty good. The brother on mandolin and the uncle on drums? Not so much.

If she wants, Emi Sunshine can be a star, country western, bluegrass, take her pick. But she will need better musicians around her.

Anyhow, that is the story behind this interview. It never made it into a story for The British Bluegrass News, as originally planned, because they have a pretty strict “No Drums” rule.

We’re not quite as strict here.