Emma King’s remarkable journey has already taken her from Northern England to Tennessee, touring Europe and receiving 5-star album reviews along the way.
From humble beginnings in the grass roots of Hull, East Yorkshire, Emma soon discovered the comfort and freedom that singing in her own room brought. Learning from her mother’s love of Annie Lennox, Bette Midler, and Fleetwood Mac, Emma developed the deep, soulful timbre that has now become a trademark of her sound. What made it even more impressive (and still does!) is how such a huge sounding voice comes from such a petite frame…
300+ gigs later and while still a teenager, Emma’s calling became apparent when she spotted American legends like Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson on late-night TV and soon declared her musical future to be America’s homes of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Nashville & Memphis. For Emma, she knew that musical growth meant travel, and started to look outside of the city that had primed her for what was to come. Next stop, Brighton…
When Emma had just turned 17 she sent in a demo tape of her songs to a new music college in Brighton, something she’d spotted in The Stage magazine. Almost unbelievably (to Emma) she received a reply from Carleen Anderson (Brand New Heavies, and God-Daughter of James Brown) with an instant offer of a scholarship; a direction that would not have been possible otherwise.
2 years later and Emma had moved from Hull to Brighton, excelled in the first part of her degree and formed her band Emma King and The Heartsets, featuring Emma and 4 young guys from the Brighton area, all busting out Country-tinged Americana. After multiple tours to Germany, and inspired by Emma’s ambition and plans to tour America, the band followed suit and together they began self-funded trips to Nashville, TN. The group’s instant likeability (and British accents!) eventually hit upon a management & record label team in PLC Records that took on and settled the whole gang in a traditional ‘band house’ in Manchester, Tennessee, heralding the start of a new adventure. Staying true to her band (in light of many approaches to her to carry on as a solo artist) Emma and the band went on a 4 year adventure that deserves a biography of its own one day.
"A sound that sits mid-point between the gospel soul of Aretha Franklin and the dirty blues of Fleetwood Mac - really something special". - The Blues Magazine
In between 21-hour drives touring up and down the Midwest, Emma recorded at Sun Studios ,Memphis (home of Elvis and Rock n Roll’s earliest recordings); became a welcomed regular at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Café; made herself at home in all of Nashville major studios; was the subject of a recording documentary project at Curb College of Music, Daytona Beach, FL.; she represented the UK at Nashville’s CMA International Show, appeared on radio stations such as the famous WSM Radio (home of the Opry); she even found time to write and record with multi-award winning producers and engineers including Chas Sandford (Steve Nicks, Chicago, Bette Midler), Milan Bogdan (KC & The Sunshine Band and Jake Niceley(Alison Krauss) and to support acts such as Exile, Jo De Messina, Deanna Carter, Old Dominion, Thompson Square, Rhonda Vincent, Brett Michaels – as well as Toploader, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Colin Blunstone and The Drifters (in the UK).
Eventually, Emma and co-writer/producer Ritch Spence moved back to the UK to release 2016’s eponymous debut album. The record received national radio play (BBC Radio 2 & BBC London), was an HMV recommended release, and was supported by Abbey Road Studios (where it was mastered), BASCA, BPI, and Blues Magazine where Emma shared a covermount with artists such as Joe Bonnamassa.
With her new album Electric Soul Therapy, Emma has felt the pull of Intercontinental music making once more. It was recorded both in the UK and the US, showcasing an evolved sound of Roots, Rock and Soul, alongside the idiosyncratic charm and power of Emma’s voice. Featuring Steely Dan’s fabulous Keith Carlock on drums, the album is underpinnedwith a master-crafted authentic feel, and also features film/tv composer Michael Whittaker on Keyboards, David Santos (Elton John, Billy Joel), Chas Sandford and many more...
Keeping the raw emotional power of Emma’s songs, many of the recordings feature live takes and the music oozes authentic analogue warmth. To top it off, the record it was lovingly mixed down to 2-track tape and mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London.
For Emma, and many of her listeners, her singing has always carried a theme of healing, and in her gritty, powerful, quirky, feel-good way, Emma has titled her new music Electric Soul Therapy.