by TRACY ZOLLINGER TURNER
As a Bloomington High School South student, Emily Morrone sang in Sounds of South choir and performed in musicals. She also ran track. After graduating in 2015, she continued running track her first year at Butler University. “I was a pretty good runner,” she says. “But I always kind of knew I was going to end up being an artist.”
With that focus, she spent her college years writing and performing her own music acoustically around Indianapolis while completing her degree in music industry studies in three years.
Now the 23-year-old records and performs as Emma Peridot—a name she created last year when her style shifted from acoustic to a fusion of pop, R&B, and electronic dance music (EDM).
The name is an homage to her origins. “I’m Emily, my brother is Matthew, my dad is Michael and my mom is Anastasia,” she explains. “So, ‘Emma’ is my family, which is super important to me.” She included Peridot because it’s her birthstone. And, she adds, “I love the way the word sounds.”
Morrone is gay and out. She’s found that her music resonates with LGBTQ+ audiences, and she played Bloomington Pride in 2019. “I expect that a lot of my fans will be queer, and I love that I’m able to connect with that audience, but I don’t want to only connect with that demographic,” she says. “I want to connect with everyone.”
A prolific songwriter, she says she wrote her song “Pulse” in response to both the Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting and the sudden passing of a family friend. It was important to her that it be the first single she released under her new moniker. “The message of that song is to just be yourself and enjoy every minute of your life because you never know how long you have,” she says. “If there’s one thing that sums me up as an artist, that’s it.”
“Pulse” and two more songs, “Eyes Open” and “Bones,” have garnered more than 125,000 plays on Spotify. The first full Emma Peridot record, Now and Then—which will include earlier songs with ramped up production as well as brand new tracks—will be released on February 21. To launch the album, Morrone, as Peridot, will do some weekend touring around the Midwest, including a performance in Bloomington at The Back Door on March 5.
For more information, visit Emma Peridot on Facebook.