Recording artist, songstress and songwriter Emily West has a voice like an angel. She just released her debut album, “All for You,” via Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks on August 14. As a finalist on season nine of “America’s Got Talent,” Emily was able to perform for a wide audience and wound up being first runner-up. She has also performed many times at the Grand Ole Opry.
So I understand that you have performed at the Grand Ole Opry.
Yes, I love to perform there. I have performed there 35 times.
That’s a really big deal. Would you say your music is basically country or pop, or what is the genre?
That’s one of the reasons I moved to New York. I wanted to make other records, not just country records. I mean, I love country music, because it tells a story, but I also love Broadway. I love music that tells a story. One day I’ll make another country record, but this album is zooming me more towards something like Barbra Streisand. I would love to be Barbra. This album is more contemporary than country.
I understand that you also work with Cyndi Lauper.
Yes, she is actually on the record with me.
How long have you been singing?
I started singing when I was eight years old. I was in a pageant in Iowa. I’ve been singing ever since then.
Iowa is a long way from New York. You were also on “America’s Got Talent.” What was that like for you?
It was a surreal experience. I had acrobats, singers, dancers. It was like living in a service for a couple of months. It was the best time; it was a dream. I made a lot of friends from the show. It was like a dream the whole time. I mean, it was hard work, but it was worth it.
You were a finalist, correct?
Yeah, I was the runner-up.
The runner-up—that’s very impressive. What motivated you to get into the entertainment business?
I love to sing.
Well, you do have a beautiful voice. What musicians and artists have inspired you, besides Barbra?
Patsy Cline, Cyndi Lauper…anybody that told a story.
Do you write your own music, your own songs?
I do. I enjoy songwriting and interpreting other people’s songs.
When you’re up on stage and singing, performing, what does that feel like to you?
It feels like freedom! I feel normal when I’m on stage. I don’t always feel normal, normally. I feel a little out of place, but on stage I feel normal.
Is there anything you would like to talk about or promote for the magazine?
Just the record and the tour, and I am on Twitter and Instagram as well.