By: Lane Fahey, Editor-in-Chief
A line of students formed from one side of Trone Student Center to the other. The spotlight shined on Burgiss Theater, in anticipation for folklore singer Emily Scott Robinson. The theater was packed last week for the hour long concert and Q&A performed by the Furman graduate, class of 2009.
Robinson started as a social worker, and then soon realized in her early 20’s that she wanted to be something different.
“I took an unpaid week of vacation and went to a songwriting camp called Song School,” Robinson said. “I sat in workshops about songwriting, creativity and building an independent music career.”
Starting out as a part time musician, a few years later Robinson was ready to follow her dream.
“It took a few more years of writing songs, saving money and building momentum before I was ready to go full-time, which I finally did at age 29, two years ago,” Robinson said.
The folk singer’s new album “Traveling Mercies” will be released on Spotify in February of 2019. Robinson played a handful of her own songs, and had advanced copies of the album for sale. The songs are filled with emotion, both uplifting and downcast.
“Many of my songs are quite heavy,” said Robinson. “I have songs that reference alcoholism, domestic violence, sexual assault, abortion, childhood sexual abuse, death and trauma.”
Robinson looks to connect with others’ emotions through song, to show what it is really like to be human. “The truth is, we’re not alone, but we feel so alone when we go through difficult things,” said Robinson. “Telling these stories from the stage helps people feel less alone.”
Another song, titled “Overalls” is Robinson’s favorite to perform. The song is about a World War Two veteran who was buried in his overall jeans, with a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. Robinson describes the song to be about dying with dignity.
“I wrote the song about one man, but when people hear it, they think of the parent or grandparent they loved and lost. It’s incredibly sweet. I am so grateful I get to carry that song through the world,” Robinson said.
As a Furman alumnae, Emily Scott Robinson encourages all Furman students point get a job in the service industry at some point.
“Don’t be so precious with your plans,” said Robinson. “Be humble. Take some risks. Get dirty. Work with people who don’t have a college degree. Move to a new place and make new friends. Do what makes you happy even if it’s not in your field of study. The path is always winding to where you think you want to go. Loosen up on the reins. You’ll get there.”
Emily Scott Robinson’s music is available on both ITunes and Spotify, more information is on her website emilyscottrobinson.com