Emily Warren
Emily Warren is on a quest to deliver the truth through her lyrics. Blythe Thomas

Emily Warren’s stepping out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight, and you’re going to want to pay attention. After years of working as a songwriter with the likes of Jessie J., Noah Cyrus and The Chainsmokers, she’s launching her solo career and shooting for the stars.

Warren, a 24-year-old New York native, released her single “Hurt By You” on Wednesday, debuting the music video on Refinery29. Speaking with International Business Times, she shared her inspiration for the song, which is almost as beautiful as the lyrics themselves. The song, penned “not too long ago,” is a reminder to Warren — and all who listen — not to hold back when falling in love.

“It sprung from a conversation I was having with Nick Ruth and Scott Harris, who I did it with,” she recalled. “I was saying it seems like all my friends were getting cheated on and most people get divorced and all relationships are doomed and how scary that is when you’re trying to fall in love. Every time we become more vulnerable, something’s holding us back. This song was a clear reminder to myself not to let that hold me back.”

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As for her sound, Warren called “Hurt By You,” a song that was conceived through a mixture of influences. She cited nods to Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald, noting the song features “motown-y” melodies and a bit of a Lauryn Hill-inspired breakbeat. While that wasn’t the intention when it was being written, Warren’s found that artists who inspire her, past and present, are often reflected in her music.

“Hurt By You” has been well received by fans, which is “icing on the cake” for Warren, who only ever set out to make music she thinks is “cool.” She recalled turning to music many times, whether it be to cope with heartache or happiness, telling IBTimes she’s thrilled to be able to give that same experience to fans. Warren’s received an outpouring of love from fans, thanking her for creating relatable music which, according to the soulful songstress, is all a part of her job.

“I’ve turned to music so many times, whether I’m heartbroken or upset about something or feeling good. When I hear a song that feels like it’s about what I’m going through, I feel less alone,” she told IBTimes. “I [just] try and always write the truth.”

No stranger to the business, Warren’s had a few surreal moments throughout her come up in the industry. The first came after she heard fans belting out the lyrics she’d written to a Jessie J. song some time ago. It continues to happen as Warren’s star burns brighter and her genius lyrics continue to be sung by esteemed artists, and she says it never gets old.

“I’ve had that moment a few different times. The first was when I wrote for Jessie J. I remember seeing her play my songs at her show and everyone singing the bridge back to her,” Warren recalled. “Hearing ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ [by The Chainsmokers ft. Daya] on the radio was the next time I was like ‘I can’t believe so many people in the world know this thing I wrote.’ It’s the craziest feeling.”

As she continues working on her own music, Warren continues to lend her talents to other artists looking for their next big hit. After penning so many hits, she’s setting her sights even higher. The singer’s long since dreamed of working with Rihanna, and recently began dreaming of hitting the studio with a former One Direction member who is making his own mark on the industry as a solo artist.

“I just listened to Harry Styles’ album and was totally blown away by it,” Warren shared with IBTimes. “He’s keeping it super tight in terms of who can work with him, but I would love to do something.”

Read: Fans Send Love To Harry Styles After His Step Father’s Death

Warren’s story is one in a million. Her talent and persistence coupled with her undeniable confidence make her a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, but it’s not an easy dream to pursue. To fans hoping to chase similar dreams, Warren warns be wary of outside influences pushing you to be someone you’re not.

“A lot of people end up sacrificing what they think is right or good or true or what they think is best for themselves because there are a lot of higher ups in the industry that can step in and say, ‘Well this worked for this person, so this is what you should do,’” she said. “That’s how you fall into a trap of not following your truth. Whether you’re signing a deal or deciding [what to] sing, whatever your gut is is what you should follow. That’s gonna help you in the long run, even if it doesn’t look like it.”