“All judgement, frustration, fear and anxiety is a mirror.”
From drumming on upside-down bowls when she was 6 and singing harmonies to Cat Stevens with her family as they washed dishes, Emma’s hauntingly beautiful vocal melodies danced effortlessly and cheekily over the chords to familiar tunes from the likes of Paul Kelly and The Talking Heads.
“I fell into a Bob Dylan hole when I was 14 and didn’t come out for 4 years.”
Gravitating towards ‘clever’ songwriting and enjoying the sassy, tongue-in-cheek nature of the likes of Bob Dylan, Emma’s “soft chick folk” style lets her add her own elements of cheekiness to covers while providing a stripped back but ever-focussed interpretation.
“I haven’t mastered the ‘sass’ from scratch.”
When not captivating audiences around Melbourne’s local music scene, Emma teaches Sustainability and Industrial Design at RMIT. This still leaves plenty of time for writing her own material or even “cleaning the kitchen 8 times a day”. Drawing inspiration from love and heartbreak, Emma has written up to 10 songs in a day at the height of such influence.
“I want to say that I don’t use heartbreak to fuel my writing, but it’s just not true.”
Emma’s music dreams are relatively humble, aspiring to simply write and play with other people, but notes that “playing at Meredith would be pretty sick”.
“I like the idea of two people’s stories and two different kinds of music coming together.”
Despite her very musical upbringing and 10+ years live experience, a couple years ago Emma developed performance anxiety and couldn’t even do Open Mics anymore. She pushed through by acknowledging and accepting that “fear is a natural limitant” whilst keeping in mind why she’s doing it – “all I want to do is do what I love”.
“Everything you do you need to do 100% and not many people I know can do that – including myself […] You never know what people think so you’re only ever assuming they’re going to think what you think, so actually it’s all about judgement of yourself.”
You can catch Emma playing Open Mics regularly at Bar Oussou or the Drunken Poet and follow her music on Facebook, though there’s not much original material up at the moment.
“If you put this on the internet, I’ll put my originals on Facebook.”
Your move, Emma 🙂