Published on February 21, 2023 by Ashley Smith  
Ediger THomas CD

Sophomore commercial music major Emerie Ediger just released her first single on Spotify thanks to a Samford collaboration. Director of Commercial Music Steven Potaczek helped Ediger pull together a team that included Zac Brown Band drummer and faculty member Chris Fryar and graphic design student Katy Thomas. Potaczek did the production work.  Ediger noted that the collaboration “really helped me bring my song to life.”

Her song, “'Drowning From the Inside,’ came from a place of raw honesty,” said Ediger who performs under the name Emerie Jayne. The song reflects on Imposter Syndrome. “In this digital age, it’s far too easy to compare yourself to the people around you and wonder if you’re on the right track. Jealousy is an ugly feeling,” said Ediger. “I wanted the song to reflect the effort to suppress those feelings of inferiority, and how that isn’t a healthy way to process those emotions. By releasing this song, I want others to feel like they can have 4 minutes and 33 seconds of their day to simply exist as they are and scream this song in their cars. It’s cathartic, to say the least.”

The cover art for the single resulted from a joint project between graphic design professor Geoff Sciacca and Potaczek.  They connected the commercial music songwriting class with a graphic design class to create visuals for the students’ songs.  Ediger was paired with Katy Thomas. “Working with Katy was so rewarding! She came up with the cyanotype process for the cover art and brought the release to the next level,” said Ediger.

“Recognizing not only the benefits of intentional, creative collaboration in education, but also the real-world practicality and everyday utility in the marketplace, (Sciacca) and I began to ask how we might develop specific assignments that would pair our students and their creative disciplines,” said Potaczek. “The most natural fit for this semester were our songwriting and graphic design classes.”

A Suwanee, Georgia native, Ediger came to Samford specifically for the commercial music program. “Once I heard about the new degree and how I would get to grow as an artist, I couldn’t wait to audition. I was especially excited about how our school of the arts emphasizes being a well-rounded artist,” said Ediger.  As a vocalist, she enjoys taking voice lessons and being a part of a variety of ensembles, such as choir and commercial chamber ensemble. “Being in the commercial music program feels like being a part of one big family. If you have an idea for a project, there’s always a chance to work with someone else and bring that vision to life,” said Ediger.

Samford has been a good fit for her. “It has long been my dream to play my music for a live audience, and Samford has given me multiple opportunities to do so. Thanks to my professors and their feedback, I’ve grown exponentially in my skills as a vocalist and as a songwriter. I’ve found that the faculty on campus genuinely care about their students as people, not just pupils. That sense of Samford community is unmatched,” said Ediger.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.