Emilie Cunliffe is the daughter of actress, television presenter and singer Kym Marsh. Marsh is the former star of Coronation Street who shot to fame as a member of pop group Hear'Say. Her daughter has released her latest single "Falling Out Of You" on Friday which she recorded in Nashville last year as she makes her own way in the spotlight.
Gwyneth Patrow recently criticised the use of the term 'nepo baby', which is used to describe the child of a celebrity who - rightly or wrongly - is widely assumed to have got a helping hand in the industry. Yahoo spoke to Cunliffe about her own journey to releasing new music and what role her mum has actually played.
I've worked so hard for my singing career. It's difficult because I still get people commenting, "You are only who you are because of who your mum, Kym Marsh, is." I think it's a bit unfair for people to presume that.
The industry that we're in can be very cruel but it can also be very rewarding. My mum has taught me to get on with my career and brush off negative comments from people, saying "don't listen to them" and "not everyone is going to like you". It was good to see my mum in the limelight to learn from her. But I always think back to when I was at school and people would say to me: "Your mum is Kym Marsh." I would say, "Yes, but my mum is like your mum. She's my mum to me." I've always admired how hard my mum has worked. I need my mum and then there will be times when she will confide in me. We're inseparable.
My mum always says, no matter what I'm doing, 'Believe in yourself. You've got this. You wouldn't be doing what you're doing otherwise." She is very honest, she would say, 'You are rubbish, stop.' It is the truth. Whenever I do a gig, I look at my mum first because I can tell from her facial expressions how it's going. I’ll be singing and she won't be saying anything but I can tell from her face and it is so comforting to me.
She gives me so much advice in everything, I'll even send her a picture of sausages and ask her, 'Is this cooked?' My mum went onto Popstars when I was three. Watching her Hear'Say performances back now, the music video where they are coming out of helicopters, I think: my mum is fearless. I can't believe how massive Hear'Say were. As her daughter, I look up to her as a mum but also as a singer and as an actress. I was too young to appreciate how much she was loved by everyone else.
I know I can sing. I have worked so hard for it and I have had so many knockbacks with it the whole time I’ve been doing it. I've had some ups and downs and it would have been so easy for me to give up. Until you've heard me sing then share your opinion on my voice. Some people might not like it, or it might not be up their street, but only decide if you listened to someone's voice.
People make judgments over a picture of me with my mum but I'm my mum’s daughter, of course I'm going to be in pictures with her. It can give you a little wobble in your confidence. I did a couple of talent competitions when I was 15, 16, and I didn’t get anything from it. That could have easily knocked my confidence but singing is 100% what I wanted to do.
So I carried on and carried on and carried on. I feel really lucky this window opened for me to go and record my music last year in Nashville, the beating heart of the music industry. Fast forward to now, I have just released my single "Falling Out Of You" on Friday.
I had always dreamed of going to Nashville as a singer and a musician. Being there, it was an out-of-body experience. Everything is musically driven - everywhere you walk there is someone singing. There are so many people in the music industry that I idolise - I love Patsy Cline and we went to the recording studio where she recorded her first album. I absolutely love Elvis, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus. My Spotify is crazy, I love everything from ballads to rock. Onwards and upwards with my singing.
My love for singing is the reason I haven't given up. I knew it was hard to break into the industry so in between singing I learned how to do beauty. I went to college and did a beauty course. I had a little salon for a while and I also worked in a salon in Manchester City Centre. I've done other jobs, waiting tables and I've worked in a bar, to make my own way in the world.
I have been singing and performing in front of people since I was nine years old. When I entered my first talent competition, I can remember it like it was yesterday. I wanted to sing The Little Mermaid because it has always been my favourite Disney movie. Mum was always there for me and I asked her to help me because I didn't want to stand still while I was singing.
Every night my mum would come back from work and she came up with these little actions for me. I got to the final and I remember saying: 'Thank you so much mum!' I was so nervous. My dad then bought me a recording studio experience and the rest is history. Ever since then I've been performing in front of people and I know it's 100% what I want to do.
Since becoming a mum myself, it has given me the fire in my belly to carry on with my dreams and make their lives better - and grow.
Gwyneth Paltrow says the term 'nepo baby' is an 'ugly moniker' (Entertainment Weekly, 2-min read)
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