Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Feature: Emi McDade (31/03/15)

Emi is a 17 year old pop/folk singer-songwriter from Gloucester, she has been finding her feet as a musician and exploring the world of music since 2013. Emi has performed at many well-known venues such as Guildhall, The Fleece, The Wardrobe and many more, as well as supporting artists such as JP Cooper, Fiona Bevan and Kal Lavelle. Having already released one single, Emi has recently released 'Faith' and it's a track that shows she is an artist to be excited about.

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?

In all honesty, I never really ‘started’ – it just happened. Coming from a family of musicians there was just no escaping it! From an early age (say, 4/5?) I spent most of my time at my Mum’s music school so was completely surrounded by music, be it mostly classical! Though my background is very classical/jazz/West End based, I always had a love for folk/pop music and by the time I reached my teens, I started exploring different genres of music. This is probably why it’s tricky to pin down exactly what genre I fit in – some strange concoction of a thousand different influences!

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to?
Oh that’s so mean! There are so many… Am I allowed to pick 3?
Festival: Barn on the Farm. No brainer. Every year the artists are just absolutely incredible. And it really is home for me РI only live down the road! I think my personal highlight has to be Josh Osho headlining the third stage a couple of years back Рthe way in which he took a tent full of people, beers (or in my case an Oreo milkshake) in hand, and created an atmosphere in which, forgive the clich̩, you could have heard a pin drop. Just magical.
Concert: Jamie Cullum! Cheltenham Jazz Festival last year… Jumping on pianos, running around the audience, megaphones, saxophones…
Gig: I was lucky enough to support JP Cooper a few weeks ago. I’ve been a fan of his music for quite some time, this man has a voice like nothing I’ve ever heard before… But hearing him live! Wow. Sometimes just one man and his guitar can create a magic that is simply breathtaking, but JP Cooper really took it to another level. He really is inspirational.

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Hozier, The Staves, Rae Morris, Labrinth, Hozier, Tom Odell, Matt Corby, Daniel Merriweather, Hozier, Tenterhook, Jack Garratt… Oh, and a little bit more Hozier! I’ve also been really loving the old classics, Great American Songbook types recently. I’m also a bit of a Billy Joel fan… So, in short, a little bit of everything!

3 Questions for Emi:

1. What inspires you lyrically and who influences you musically? 
Well, as for ‘who’ – everyone in the list above! The biggest influence for me is day to day life, little things that often go unnoticed. When you walk into a shop and there’s a song playing that you haven’t heard before. It might be a burning candle, a bumbling bee, maybe an argument with a sibling, or… Heck, a really good chocolate bar (yes, I did write a song about a chocolate bar once!). There are constant small shapings that mould us into the people we eventually become, and these little things often wriggle themselves into my songs. Oh, and there’s always a song about ‘that guy’, am I right?

2. If you could invite three people to one of your gigs, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
You know, I got asked this exact question on my second ever live radio interview and I was ‘umming’ and ‘arring’ for goodness knows how long! There are so many people I’d love to meet.
1) Hozier. To find out his songwriting secrets!
2) Robin Williams. Simply because he was an absolute genius.
3) My grandpa! He was an amazing man, a fountain of knowledge and a great writer. I’d love to have known him now I’m older, and find out all the old family tales.

3. What process did you through creating 'Faith', musically and visually? 
'Faith' came out of nowhere! I wasn't expecting to write a song that night, but my fingers accidentally fell onto the opening piano riff and I found myself just playing with it. A few minutes later I came up with the line 'when you're talking in tongues your words are a double edged sword - my mouth is bleeding from your love', and from that point the song almost wrote itself. After that came studio time! I recorded 'Faith' with Phil Panton at Brook Lodge Studios in Essex (http://www.brooklodgestudios.com). It was my first time working with Phil and I honestly can't speak highly enough of him! It was a great couple of days experimenting with different sounds, tambourine playing (Yes. Tambourine.) discovering what the heck an Ebow is, and just general music, music, music! Absolutely loved every minute of that. 
Once I had the finished track, I sent it off to a local film production company, Zebrafish. I'd had this idea of a dancing couple in a barn and told them what I wanted the video to look like... Hallelujah, they liked the track and wanted to work with me! From that point they took care of almost everything. We were exceptionally lucky with the choreographer (Liam Lunniss - http://www.liamlunniss.com) and dancers (Jessica Grist and Sam Salter) who together have worked with anyone and everyone. They put the routine together in one night and none of us had seen the dance until it came to filming - and I was so blown away. They were stunning... I feel so honoured to have worked with everyone involved in the making of 'Faith'! 

Random Q:

Three things you can't live without?
1) My family
2) My keyboard
3) Chocolate

'Faith' Review:
Faith is an amazing song. With stunning piano and vocals and added haunting sounds, the drums build and grow into an incredibly powerful song. Written really well, Emi's lyrics are honest and compelling, accompanied by a beautifully choreographed dance in the music video and shots of Emi playing piano and singing, Faith is an overall wonderful song that I will be listening to over and over again. If you like Gabrielle Aplin, Becky CJ, Lauren Aquilina etc. and just generally great music, chances are you'll love Emi. 

Emi's Live Dates:
10th April: The Frog & Fiddle (Cheltenham) w/ Brooke Sharkey, Adam Beattie & Ben Cippola
19th April: Almonry Folk Festival
23rd May: Dot to Dot Festival
28th June: Marylebone Festival
(I'm sure there will be many more live dates announced soon, so head over to Emi's FB page to keep up to date!)

Emi's Links:

Check It Out!

Chart: Firestone - Kygo ft. Conrad Sewell

'Firestone' is one of the latest tracks from Norwegian DJ and record producer Kygo, it features vocals from Conrad (Sewell) and was released on 1st December (2014). It reached #1 on the VG-Lista, the official Norwegian Singles Chart and has become and international hit getting radio play and climbing the charts all over the world. 

Live Performance: The Love You're Given - Jack Garratt

Being tipped as 'one to watch' by many music peoples, Jack Garratt is a musical genius, bringing fresh ideas and creating chilled vibes, with brilliant beats and silky vocals. He's performing at a fair amount of festivals this year, as well as being on tour, releasing an EP in April and doing more of 'the musics'. Here is a live performance from his set at SXSW courtesy of BBC Introducing. Enjoy...

Cover: Mamma Mia - Jasmine Kennedy

This cover comes from three years ago, but throwing it back this far, is definitely worth it for this stunning cover of Abba's hit 'Mamma Mia'. I don't think I've ever heard such a chilled out acoustic version of the song, Jasmine really brings something new to an incredibly popular classic. I will be retracing my steps and listening to her originals, which have been noted in my notebook as 'brilliant', so you should probably go check those out too.

YouTube: Eyes Wide - Meadowlark

A favourite of Music In Time Blog's and a previously spotlighted band, Meadowlark have just released their second EP 'Dual', with music now being created by Kate and Dan, this duo are still making brilliantly crafted sounds. This was going to be a soundcloud section today, but the music video is too good, so make sure you watch that too, simply fantastic. That is all. Oh and go download the EP it's rather brilliant! (iTunes link)

Thanks for reading! 

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