During the summer I organised a charity concert and on the bill was a young singer from Derby. After I introduced her I sat at the side of the stage and began looking at my notes about the next performer. Then I heard the voice and my attention immediately switched to the woman on stage. That woman was Emzae who had impressed earlier when she was interviewed for Derbyshire Artsword.
When asked if she could describe her music Emzae said “I don't have a label for it. Some people have called it bedroom pop, others synth pop but I don't know. I'm a singer songwriter in my mind.”
Initially influenced by the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, Emzae then found the music of Damon Albarn and 'loves everything he's done.' She has shared her self-produced music online since 2014 and has amassed support from BBC Introducing, who have aired a number of her tracks including a spell as track of the week on her local station, BBC Radio Derby. Emzae was also invited her play at various events including ‘Faction’ at Rough Trade, Nottingham, and Dot to Dot Festival 2018.
Her thoughtful brand of melancholic pop music combines personal and observational lyrics, experimental lo-fi beats and emotive vocals to create memorable songs that make audiences sit up and listen. Following her single, 'Lucid Dreaming', and the subsequent remix EP, featuring Radio 1 supported producer Dopla, and a successful set at Nottingham’s Hockley Hustle festival, Emzae introduces her new track 'Glory'.
I spoke to Emzae about the inspiration behind the track.
“Glory is a slow-burning, emotional song that has proved popular at recent live gigs. It is essentially about being in your twenties and feeling as though you are part of a giant machine that you have no control over,” Emzae said. “Glory is about the feeling that you are stuck in a cycle and you’re not quite sure you’re getting anywhere. It’s about feeling alone and craving a connection with other people in the same boat. It’s about watching other people’s lives online to convince yourself that they have it better than you and that there’s the possibility you could too. It’s about the comfort of that but also the jealousy, superficiality and unnecessary critique of yourself. It’s about doing all you can to maintain your free time, your creativity and your dreams as they all slide out of view. And it’s about the world telling you you’ve got it easy, and you should just go and have a bit of avocado on toast. Ultimately, it’s about keeping the faith. Knowing that one day, if we stick it out and support each other, our generation will be the leaders and that we can all make a positive change to the world.”
You can find Emzae's music on Spotify and do look out for her live shows.