Singer/songwriter Emma Negrete dives deep into the mirror of self-reflection and comes out the other side with the soulful “Lost in Translation”
Stream: “Lost in Translation” – Emma Negrete
It is often said, to find yourself you first have to lose yourself, and the best way to do that is to travel. The late chef, author and journalist Anthony Bourdain said, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
It’s the voice that captures you first. Emma Negrete has that authentic soulful-pop voice that transcends decades and genres. Negrete’s new song “Lost in Translation” is a moment captured in three minutes and twenty-seven seconds over. Negrete wrote ‘Lost in Translation’ whilst she was living in Shenzhen, China. The song is both a diary entry of a love about to end, and also a moment of acute realisation about many things from love and relationships to self-esteem and self-worth, and also discovering that not everything is wrong or right, black or white.
Cause you are gonna feel how you’re gonna feel
And I am gonna feel how ill always feel
But God is always wrong in the devil’s eyes
“Lost in Translation” begins with Negrete’s soulful vocals that flutter like butterflies in the sun; her melisma creating an almost hypnotic trance. Backed by the same few chords on an electric guitar, “Lost in Translation” creates a safe space for introspection for the listener.
I’ve become a coffee shop regular
Glued my heart to a pen and some paper
Cause I just wanted something that would stick
As the song moves through the first verse to the chorus, percussive layers are added, and the song thickens like honey in camomile tea. There are hints of longing in some of her notes but mostly it is a euphoric moment of knowing yourself just a little better than you did yesterday.
Who would ever thought that I could ever find a
Cool British guy in the southeast side of China
He taught me it doesn’t have to be one way or the other
Lust comes in waves of gray, but love comes in colors
Negrete’s vocals are reminiscent of early 2000’s R’n’B, with those high notes and a groove that is subtle enough for you to just kick back and chill but also enough for you to sway your hips to. There was a sensuality to the genre that has become lost in the invasion of EDM into the majority of R’n’B songs making their way onto radio. Think Ashanti, early Alicia Keys, Brandy, Aaliyah, Erykah Badu. Negrete takes you back to that time but still keeps two feet in the present.
“I wrote this song while I was living in Shenzhen, China,” Negrete tells Atwood Magazine. “I had met a guy from London that was also working in China and he taught me mandarin and helped me get through this extremely challenging lonely time. This is was the first time I had really felt aligned with another person and that I was actually NOT keeping his company just because I was lonely. I dreaded nothing more than the day we would have to say goodbye and our time in china would come to an end. Meaning that “we” wouldn’t exist or make sense in any other time or place because we both belong in our own corners of the earth at the end of the day… regardless of the feelings we shared. I had an extremely hard time comprehending this concept because I had never known a love that didn’t end in flames and couldn’t understand why we would end it if neither of us were at fault of anything. I tried to find ways to blame him or blame myself to figure out why it was truly ending… I found nothing. I realized that it was our situation, timing, and dynamic that made it seem like fate…I realized that everyone was just a mirror of myself and there’s no more use in blaming anyone for feeling the way they feel… most importantly myself.”
“Lost in Translation” – Emma Negrete
They say some people shake you to the core in the best way possible. From listening to “Lost in Translation” and the story behind the song, it leaves me wondering about the British boy she met in Shenzhen, and whether he will ever know what his loving and unloving did to Negrete, and indirectly, to those who listen to the song.
You’d be right
And so would I
Yeah we were both right
Just not for each other
“The main thing that I hope people can take away from this song is that when you remove yourself from a situation, you don’t necessarily need closure with the other person to move on and love isn’t always about being in a relationship. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth of your wants and needs. Just because two people don’t always agree doesn’t mean either party is in the wrong. I chose to go about this song with a lot of simplicity and with a detached attitude of it because I am someone that tends to overthink and hold on to everything but sometimes you just need someone to say that one thing to pull you out of your thought loops. It’s so easy to say that love makes people do crazy things, but not everyone has the same definition of crazy. “God is always wrong, in the devil’s eyes.” You just gotta find your same kind of crazy.”
Stream: “Lost in Translation” – Emma Negrete
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