We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Emrich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, how do you think about risk?
Risk is something everyone has to face at some point in their lives, it’s how you approach and assess that risk that matters. Jumping off a bridge into water that you have not tested is really risky, and the reward is quite low, maybe 30 seconds of adrenaline, a cool video to post on TikTok, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a risk worth taking. On the other hand, if you spend days planning the jump, have a good,experienced safety crew, and clear the area, then it’s a risk worth taking. You could make thousands of dollars or more from that content you create online. That’s how I view risk. It’s a tool, and like all tools, it can be dangerous if misused.
Different people can view risks differently, for me it was taking that leap of faith and putting out music that I knew was incredibly subpar, borderline terrible. At some point I just thought to myself, “It’s worth it for the experience, it can’t hurt anything.” and now look where I am today!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a musician. I made a few songs that went viral mostly on SoundCloud, which got me a record distribution deal. However, I was focused more on life in the years following, so I have not done any music in a while. I have started doing videos on TikTok, where I have gotten over 100 million views in just a few months.
Most people just see the success though, and it’s incredible how most people think you can be successful overnight, but that’s not the case. There’s years of work hidden behind the public visage of success. They don’t see the struggles, the pain, the failures. It feels really amazing to see what you work so hard on seemingly blossom overnight after al your work.
One thing that sets me apart from my peers is that I have autism. It’s not something I have decided to let hold me back, I have decided to use the strengths I get from autism and use them to push myself forward. I don’t try to hide it, I am not going to hide who I am. Sure, I may be socially awkward, but that does not mean I am inhibited in intelligence, in fact it’s just the opposite. Often autistic people have higher IQs than non-autistic people. We aren’t dumb, we are just different.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m super casual with all my friends, and depending on who they are, this would vary, but for my closest friends this is about what I would do. First off I would want to chill a bit, maybe talk to them about their trip, catch up on things since we last met. Then we would probably go to a gym and work out. Afterwards we would hit up a restaurant. Depending on what I am feeling, I’d go to an Asian restaurant, like Chinese takeout or something. I might go to a sit down Mexican restaurant, or maybe a fast food joint like Chipotle or Taco Bell. Afterwards, we might go walk along the canal downtown. We might hit up a laser tag place or maybe even airsoft if we are feeling extra energy filled.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Honestly, I would like to shoutout my parents. They are private people, so I won’t mention names, but they have been so supportive of me all along my journey, and quite frankly, through all my short life. Sure, they were strict, sure they did a lot of things that I really did not like when I was younger, but I realize now that it all was to help me and grow me and protect me. If you ever find this, just know you are awesome!