We wanted to start off 2020 on a high note, so this week's Artist Focus is Emmavie, a singer/songwriter and producer who specialises in what she describes as "limitless, soulful, future R&B". Her music is an amalgamation of 90s R&B and her love for digital audio experimentation.
Last August she released her debut album, Honeymoon, which offers a collection of songs with heavy inspiration from Timbaland, Missy Elliot and The Neptunes. The full-length project features interludes which blend incredible harmonies and head-nodding production. These are accompanied by cuts like ‘Can’t Get Over You’, ‘Before The Night’ and ‘Let You Down’, where Emmavie shows a repertoire of R&B flavours that has been championed publicly by DJ Jazzy Jeff, Joe Budden, Posdnuos (De La Soul) and Phonte (Little Brother / Foreign
Exchange). On the album you can also find the ballad ‘I Hope We Never Break Up’, featuring
Ego Ella May - a powerful slow jam which lit up Soundcloud back in 2015.
There have been four singles released off the album. The first - 'High Off This' was released by Emmavie last summer, in mid-July. It was featured on R&B website ‘Soul Bounce’, and was added to Apple Music’s Breaking R&B Playlist in the USA. With its early 2000 R&B inspired production (reminiscent of Amerie's early work), the single is an ode to the exhilarating feeling of being in love.
Single two, ‘Distraction’, was made Track of the Week by DJ Ace on BBC 1Xtra (week commencing 29.07.19). The uptempo track, with its hip hop/soul groove and drum and bass drum fills, ends with a mid-90s inspired breakdown provided by the talented DT Soul on the Talkbox. In this song, Emmavie explores a new love, doubting whether it could be a fruitful
pursuit or merely a distraction. We've definitely all been there!
The third release from Emmavie’s debut album was ‘Burn This House’. The single - a suspenseful, anthemic ballad with shades of Prince - was added to Spotify’s Soultronic Playlist. The sultry 80s electronic soul-tinged production is the perfect background for Emmavie to show her vocal talents and melodic prowess as she describes a crumbling relationship.
Finally, before the album’s release Emmavie dropped ‘Stop The Tape’. The up-tempo and
uplifting track is filled with instrumentation and harmonies that bring back memories of
early Janelle Monáe. Emmavie has expressed that she was inspired by ‘Millionaire’ by Kelis
& Andre 3000 & ‘Never Catch Me’ by Flying Lotus & Kendrick Lamar. Her creative approach
to production is on full display, with the track shifting gears from a drum n bass arrangement to a full-on jazz breakdown towards the end of the song.
Emmavie has credits spawned across a number of artists - both UK based, and internationally. These include collaborations with IAMNOBODI, Budgie, ROMderful, Jarreau Vandal, Dornik, Alfa Mist, Nick Grant and Jay Prince. Last year Emmavie met DJ Jazzy Jeff, who caught one of her live performances in London. He invited her to his Playlist Retreat in 2019, in its fifth year. There she spent a week making music with not only Jazzy Jeff, but a collection of around 60 artists and musicians from around the globe, including Robert Glasper, Redman, Posdnuos (De La Soul), Devin J Morrison, Eric Roberson, James Poyser, MXXWLL & Young Guru to name a few.
She is championed by many specialists, including Future Bounce pioneer Jamz Supernova,
Everything R&B ambassador DJ Ace, and Rinse FM’s nu soul tastemaker Jyoty. ‘RATHER BE’
was BBC 1Xtra’s Weekend Anthem in December 2018. Her track ‘OOPS’ was selected by Joe
Budden as his Sleeper track on his The Joe Budden Podcast in April 2019. On Beats 1 in June
2019, when Julie Adunega asked Jordan Rakei who his favourite artists were, he responded with praise for Emmavie, describing her backing vocals as, ‘easily my favourite’ and championing Emmavie’s track, ‘LETTER’, live on air.
Emmavie's high profile performances have seen her share the stage with the legendary R&B
singer Jon B, Grammy and ASCAP award winning singer/songwriter Eric Bellinger, Smino,
Iman Omari, Mahalia, and The Internet front woman Syd (Red Bull Music Academy’s Paths
Unknown). She also had the privilege of supporting the multi-talented Masego on his 2017
European Tour, hitting 8 cities in the UK, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Italy.
Following a number of successful collaborations with Soulection (LA), Emmavie went on to
perform as part of the Soulection Sound of Tomorrow World Tour, to a sell-out audience at
KOKO (Camden) and at the Roundhouse. Joe Kay, Soulection co-founder, again invited her to
perform at his sold-out show at Village Underground in June 2018.
Recently, Emmavie and long-time collaborator and friend ROMderful took part in an episode
of Boiler Room TV’s ‘Crowdsourced’, which saw the two make several tracks on a live
stream using samples and subjects sent in by viewers of the cult show.
For more from this rising star, follow her on the following pages -