Anthony Hollyhead, music journalist for Rock N Load
Born in Reading, England in 1988, Emma has lived a wonderful array of experiences, experiences which have forged together to produce a talented musician who is in touch with the world around her. From a young age she displayed her musical talents and loves, firstly picking up the saxophone before moving on to learn the guitar, bass and drums; early proof of her ‘can do’ D.I.Y. attitude and ethos.
This innate ability within Emma is founded within a solid educational background and that “je ne sais quoi” factor that only the best musicians possess. At University she studied Environmental Science and really honed her awareness and consideration of the world around her – ideals she still holds dear to her every passing day. Whilst learning about local and global environmental issues Emma lived on her own 23" sailing boat for a year; an experience which she says helped her feel more connected to the natural world and gave her the freedom to explore her creativity.
This infectious ‘can do’ attitude was helped formed by her early years playing football. From the age of five, little Emma cut it with the boys and was suitably eye-catching to go on to represent Shropshire County and Centre of Excellence. She developed a keen competitive edge and a wonderful ‘anything is possible’ attitude thanks to these early footballing experiences and was rewarded with a stint at Fulham FC. Her passion for The Beautiful Game remains as strong as ever.
After leaving University, Emma went touring around south-east Asia and Australasia opened up her mind and soul to a vast mixture of different cultures and ways of life than her own. She taught English and Art in a Cambodian orphanage, she studied climate change in the rainforests of Malaysia, Emma did it all! And all the while, these experiences were stock-piling inside her, just ready and waiting to be unleashed on the world through her music. Returning to Europe, Emma was offered the opportunity to work with London-based band 'The Zarrs' as their saxophonist. Here, under the mentoring of frontman Eddie Lee ,Emma fell in love with the world of live performing; playing her first gig at London club 'Punk Soho' and sharing gig nights with the likes of Bastille.
After her travelling experiences Emma enrolled on a teaching course which then took her to France, a country she had loved from a young age spending school holidays at her Grandparents house near Toulouse. The culture, the countryside, the “esprit libre” all gave their influence to Emma and she settled in the vibrant city of Montpellier, on the south coast of the country.
It was here that she once again threw herself in to musical creativity. Launching and fronting two local rock bands with both ventures proving highly successful and garnering great support and critical acclaim. Emma wrote her first album in just 6 weeks and recorded over 2 days whilst still recovering from an illness that left her lungs working at 60% capacity. Emma says this wake up call to our mortality made her even more determined to 'just go for it' and work hard to strengthen her voice for future compositions. Her last band 'Midnight Waves' was named after Emma's affinity with the ocean; an environment which she says "has an ethereal, meditiative yet energising quality which is somehow just even more magical at night".
Acoustic guitar in hand, Emma will while away her time writing melodies, hooks, riffs and lyrics and it is her determination and aforementioned ‘anything is possible’ outlook on life which breeds simply breathtaking results.
'Escaping the Heat'
Acrylic on canvas