After Plantation native Emily Kopp graduated from the University of Central Florida in December, she got down to planning the next phase of her life as a performer of the soulful and introspective music heard on her debut album, “Serendipity Find Me.”
For her first national tour, from Charlotte to Chicago to New Orleans and many points in between, the thoroughly modern 23-year-old singer and guitarist got a sponsor (Lara Bar, a healthful snack from a Colorado-based company that had commissioned a song from her) and she hired a photographer to document the month-long trip that began May 6.
“You can be touring and playing shows all you want, but if nobody sees it online, it’s like it didn’t really happen,” says Kopp, who will end the tour Saturday night at C&I Studios in Fort Lauderdale.
The results so far, seen on her Tumblr (EmilyKoppMusic.tumblr.com), is a vivaciously personable and cautionary tale about life as an aspiring musician: an uncooperative 1995 Ford F-150 conversion van (bought on Craigslist), the marquee misspellings (hashtag: "payingyourdues") and new friends met.
What did you learn about yourself during this tour?
“I learned to take on a lot. I learned what I was getting into for the first time. It was kind of a wake-up call. … Being surrounded by people all the time, you don’t really get a break, you’re in the van all the time. … [But] this is what you do, you go out on the road. I learned that I am definitely capable and ready to be a touring artist full time.”
What did you learn about America?
“We didn’t stay in a hotel one time. I really want to credit people for their belief and kindness. People have opened their doors and hearts to us, myself and four guys they may or may not have known. … It was kind of an amazing thing to see that.”
Was there a most memorable moment?
“Oh, so many. [Laughs] My happiest moment was when we finally got everything with the car fixed and got back on the road. We went to many garages. This one happened to be in Chicago. I know more about my car than I’ve ever known about any car. I feel like a mechanic.”
Are you a different person after this journey?
“I wouldn’t say that I’m a different person… but the picture is a little bit clearer. The more you see and the more people you meet and the more you learn and discover about the world and yourself, there’s nothing like it.”
IF YOU GO
Emily Kopp performs at 7 p.m. Saturday at C&I Studios (541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale) with Nashville songwriter Wes Harllee and locals Bushwood. Tickets: $10. Info: EmilyKoppMusic.com, C-IStudios.com.