Her premier video has already garnered more than 33,000 views
In the month since Emilia Pedersen’s first single, “Turn It Up,” was released on YouTube, it had more than 33,000 views. Fans and friends are clamoring for more. The song was amazing—sassy, yet fluid and graceful.
A 2016 Great Neck Record article called Pedersen, the now 16-year-old Great Neck actress, singer and model, “No ordinary teen.” She won the Miss Brasil Teen USA title in 2015, has opened fashion shows, sung opening acts for famous singers and is currently the junior ambassador for three charity organizations. What’s most fascinating about Pedersen is how she got where she is and what she’s going to do next.
With these questions in mind, we met at the local Starbucks. It was honestly a surreal feeling to see her in person. She is outgoing and enthusiastic, but also warm and welcoming, with a breath of fresh air.
For Pedersen, talent sparked at an early age. Her mother modeled in Brazil when she was young and has always believed in her daughter.
“I started taking some acting classes when I was very young, but it was in the seventh grade when I started taking it more seriously,” Pedersen explained. Being half Danish and half Brazilian, the influences of different cultures were certainly evident in her.
“Growing up in and traveling with my family to so many places really helps me to connect with different people easily,” said Pedersen, who speaks Danish, English, Portuguese and Spanish fluently. Speaking four languages definitely opens more doors for her in entertainment, and she has put her unique talents into good causes at a young age.
“My family always participates in charity work, which is where I first started meeting people and my career,” noted Pedersen, who has hosted successful fundraisers and charity drives for nonprofits such as Love Together Brazil, for which she is the junior ambassador.
After her early successes, she didn’t stop. “Turn it Up” is one of the 14 songs that Pedersen has written so far. It began with her jotting down her own lyrics. She then collaborated with New York University professor Eren Cannata, who polished it and added the tunes. A music studio in Glen Cove helped Pedersen record it. She plans to release more singles in the near future.
“Having your own song is something special,” she said. “I’ve done covers of songs, but you have to do it the way it’s written and sung. Having your own song is different. It really does have a place in your heart.”
Now, Pedersen sets her eyes on acting. She took some acting courses at the New York Film Academy, which helped transform her potential into a reality. Her instructors told her she was a natural at acting. Hearing that from professionals certainly helped boost her confidence. She has taken some acting roles and finds it fascinating.
These early successes didn’t come without sacrifice. To keep up with her career, Pedersen had to give up some her favorite activities. Back in middle school, she played soccer, set several records for track and field at school, and loved art. With her career taking flight, she had to cut back.
“I wanted to do it all, but it’s just not possible now,” she said. Having to juggle school, sports, her profession and traveling all the time can be too much to handle.
“I had lots of school absences and, eventually, it got to the point that it wasn’t working anymore,” Pedersen said. “Recently, I decided to be homeschooled. My schedule is a lot more flexible now, and I can travel a lot more and really focus on what I want to do.”
She doesn’t get to see her school friends as much as she wants to, but she keeps in touch with them via texting.
Pedersen plans to go to a college with a major in acting and her dream is to become an actress. Although it sounds glamorous, not everything is all that it’s cracked up to be.
“I’m scared every day,” she revealed. “I know that what I do isn’t really a stable career. It’s not like if you’re a teacher and you feel secure because you know what you’re going to do today and tomorrow and the day after that. That’s not the case for me.”
And despite all of her accomplishments, there’s a lot of pressure on her.
“In this industry, people always want something new,” Pedersen explained. “If you don’t come up with something else, people are going to get bored of you. And there’s always this expectation of looking perfect at all times.”
Luckily for her, she has a loving family which fully supports her dreams. When asked who she looked up to the most, she answered without a hint of hesitation.
“My mom,” she replied. “She helped me get through a lot of rough patches and supported what I wanted to do. She’s a strong woman, yet so caring and one of the kindest people I know. I don’t know how she does it.”
Pedersen’s mom is her “manager” and biggest cheerleader.
“Knowing that my family is always there for me is important,” she said with pride. “And I know I am good at it, and this is what I want to do.”
I am glad that I got to know a bit of the real Emilia Pedersen, a girl who is chasing her dreams and truly living her life to the fullest.
Watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw9ldu8IVGQ.